So, I’m no Oprah, but I do have some favorite Christmas items that prove tried and true, that I’d like to share with all of you, in case they work as awesome-ly for you as they have for me!
- Melissa & Doug Wooden Advent Calendar
It took me a couple of years to find an advent calendar that was what I wanted. The disposable advent calendars at the grocery stores all have the little cardboard punch out and include chocolate. I wanted something that could be reused over and over, and also did not include chocolate, as it’s not something we let our 3-year-old eat often. I was looking for an advent calendar that could be a tradition of sorts. This wooden advent calendar is perfect! Not only does it help our son with his counting and numbers (he knows that Santa comes when we get to the ’24’) but also it allows him the freedom to pick which magnetic ornament will go on the tree that night. It’s fairly sturdy and the little wooden box to hold the ornaments is perfect. Wrap this in tissue paper before storing with your Christmas things, just to ensure that the finish stays nice. Excellent! Get your own here:
2. Pottery Barn Velvet Stocking
Now, there’s not much at Pottery Barn that I can afford. Most of the stuff I simply covet from the pages of their glossy catalog. But, these stockings are simply amazing. I ordered two for my husband and myself years ago and had our names embroidered. The stockings are a large size, are sturdy, soft, and just look amazing hung on our mantle. Three years ago, I ordered one with our son’s name on it, and it matches ours perfectly. The cohesive stockings hung on the mantle just look so nice year after year and it made me so glad I bought these. We got green stockings with a red cuff, and I believe they don’t make this color combination anymore, but there are others to choose from. They aren’t too expensive to begin with but, as I type this, the large ones are only $20 each. Check them out here:
3. Costco Holiday Cards
It’s just pretty hard to go wrong with this choice! Costco holiday cards are sort of foolproof, an excellent value and timeframe for completion. Choose a card design on Costco’s website, upload your own photos and personalize your greeting, and then pick up your cards and envelopes in 3-5 days at your local warehouse (where, admit it, you’ll make at least 2-3 trips to during the month of December anyhow). They are affordable cards that look amazing, and if you have a Costco membership you are halfway there. Get yours started here:
4. Calphalon Hard Anodized 16-inch Roaster with Nonstick Rack
This next item was actually on my bridal shower registry, and I realized the value of having such a pan even then. My mother bought this gift for me and I swear, I thank her every time I pull it out, which is mostly the holidays. Yes, sometimes you just have those pans or kitchen gadgets that only make an appearance a couple of times a year, but they are invaluable to have. And if you have a sturdy one such as this, that upfront investment will be all the more worth it. This pan, for starters, is huge. I’ve cooked 22 pound turkeys in it that don’t even touch either ends lengthwise. The nonstick rack is extremely handy for getting your bird (or ham, or hens, or roasting chickens) over to a platter to carve, so that you can work with the drippings remaining for gravy, if you wish. The rack also comes in very handy for handling all my solids during chicken roasting which I do a couple of times a year. If you like to cook your chickens with some onions, carrots, or herbs sprinkled below, then you can just transfer them all to your platter if they were originally on the rack.
This pan is large, but it takes up way less storage room than one of those freestanding turkey roaster deals, which reminds me of a huge crockpot. Those things are so large I remember my grandmother keeping it out in the garage to roast the bird on Thanksgiving morning so that it wasn’t taking up counter space in the kitchen. So save yourself some sanity and get yourself this awesome roasting pan. I promise you won’t be sorry.