I always seem to be making lists around this time, that's the trouble with having both Christmas and a birthday in December. But at least I always start to think about gifting early, and this year I have a mixture of wants and needs, things for myself, things for my life, and things for my mind. I like to have a bit of a mix. (This is also something of a dream list, because I've been taught well by my mum that the best kind of presents are the ones you really don't expect, not even a little bit, not at all. We learned this the year my brother and I both got sheep for christmas. Yes. Sheep. Physical ones, but not at our house, on our friends farm. We didn't really get it at the time, but later in the year the sheep's wool was sold and we got a nice little paycheck, which was fun. Completely random, but fun. That's my mum.)
This is one of those perfect luxuries - the things that are so unnecessary yet totally necessary - and I would love to have this under the tree on Christmas day. I'm heading overseas for a big European winter right after Christmas and a travel-size leather perfume dispenser seems like the kind of thing that grown-up me deserves. I would love to fill it with the daisy-fresh La Tulipe fragrance, but at $90 for the dispenser alone I'll probably be pushing it.
Benah Creative Director Brenda actually turned me onto this one, she's a big Slim Aarons fan, and his amazing book Poolside sits in pride of place on the bookshelf in Benah studio. I love La Dolce Vita for that pure Italian glamour, the atmosphere of convertible cars, and big Lake Como villas and Negronis in the afternoon. I've always loved Italy and its molto molto molto life philosophy but have never really travelled there properly. It's the first place on my European winter list, and this book will ensure that I don't miss out on any of its summery allure, either. Amazing.
I remember having a polaroid camera when I was a kid, and playing mock-photoshoots with friends, dressing up in bedsheets and my mum's vintage scarves. I'm not sure what happened to that camera but I'd like one now, especially after seeing those perfectly grainy, perfectly, well, instant (more than any other kind of photo I think a polaroid really captures a moment rather than a scene, don't you?) results. The dream would be to have this camera on my holiday so I could get some snaps to take home and share - on the balcony of my Parisian apartment, singing along to Sound of Music songs really loudly in Salzburg. (Can you tell that all I can think about at the moment is my holiday?!?!)
When I was at school the History Boys was my favourite play. I had a group of close friends and we felt like the kids in that play to some extent because of the classes were taking and the teachers that we had and the lives we thought that we would live out. I wish that I had seen it at the Opera House in 2007 but I remember that I was sitting my HSC and I wasn't allowed out of the house, but now is the chance to change all of that. I always love gifts that are experience as well as presents, and this fits all of that perfectly.
five. A wooden breakfast tray
This one is really for my mum, who loves to get me presents that are useful and for the home. Well, I'm not sure how this started, really, it's got something to do with that scene in Gosford Park when Maggie Smith is having breakfast in bed in all her finery and complaining about "bought marmalade, dear me I call that very feeble" and also that post on the decorum with orange juice and pancakes and the perfect wooden tray. Another one of those luxuries that are both superfluous and necessary, big enough to fill with breakfast treats and a pot of flowers and a nice little napkin, but something you could also use for drinks, or as a magazine stand, or for laying out all of your nail polishes... It's not like I ever even have breakfast in bed - at all! - but maybe if I had a breakfast tray then I might? This would be the kind of gift that really does keep on giving.
I have a tiny little stocking that fits inside my normal Christmas one that says "For my tiny but very expensive present" and I think that this would be perfect in there. I have another string bracelet by Van Rycke, which I got for my birthday last year and I have never taken it off. I think that one in red, with that inspiring slogan that signifies so many things would be perfect.
seven. Benah Medium Zip Wallet
I recently got hooked on pouches thanks to the Benah Large Zip wallet, it fits everything in it and it's perfect for keeping everything in its place in big bags, as well as the alternative to carrying everything with you on short trips or morning runs to get muesli. Buuuuuuuuuut the move has awakened in me a need for another pouch, smaller and more compact, to keep money and cards and coins. Like the present inside the pass the parcel! My big pouch is burgundy so I was thinking a different colour, maybe black, or even pistachio (!!!) for my mini pouch. Everything in contrast.