After a certain age, writing a wish list can start to feel, well, silly. That’s not to say I don’t see the value in it, but as a (mostly) financially solvent adult human, the exercise of sending my loved ones a curated list of items that I want, but have tacitly agreed not to order for myself, has become decidedly overindulgent. It’s a little bit like creating a wedding registry if my wedding registry had been an email to my mom containing links to chunky sweaters.
Besides, once I’ve identified something I need, I see no point in gambling with size availability, holiday shipping deadlines, and the statistical unlikelihood that someone will decide to give it to me. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but as a small-space dweller who manages to over-research even the most straightforward purchase, I’d rather not leave anything to chance.
So this year, I asked any interested parties (again, just my mom) to consider sending me a snarky greeting card instead of a gift. In turn, I was able to rationalize my own rampant consumerism, indulging in seven holiday gifts for myself — no backorders, no guessing games.
1. Required Reading
I love receiving books as gifts. There is never a need for speculation about sizing, books are nearly always in stock, and they comfortably straddle the line that separates necessity and indulgence. Generally speaking, it’s no problem to wait a few weeks to see whether someone has gifted me a particular title while I work my way through the already teetering stack on my bedside table.
Unless, of course, I’ve determined it’s absolutely essential that I get my hands on the title in question as soon as humanly possible, as was the case with Rumaan Alam’s latest novel and Molly Wizenberg’s exquisite new memoir.
2. The Latest Loungewear Drop
Cult-favorite athletic brand Girlfriend Collective has been on fire lately, dropping new products, introducing new categories, and launching too-good-to-pass-up promotions on what feels like a weekly basis. As a devoted fan of the brand’s OG compressive high rise legging, I felt duty-bound to try its latest loungewear release—and it did not disappoint.
3. The Shipping Minimum Must
The thing about perusing gifts for others is that you’re bound to stumble across something that’s better suited for you (right?). So when a gift for my husband didn’t meet Everlane’s threshold for free shipping, I had no choice but to add this cashmere bandana to the order.
4. The Gift I Don’t Feel Like Explaining
Some items don’t necessarily make sense to those around you until they’ve been successfully incorporated into your wardrobe. To request this pair of shearling clogs from my husband would require too much explaining. Where would you wear those? Why do you need them? Are you supposed to wear socks with them? Instead, I bought them for myself and can now happily say I wear them almost everywhere, never without socks.
5. The Black Friday Impulse Buy
I try to avoid my inbox on Black Friday, lest I fall victim to the thousands of promotional emails offering me free shipping on everything from cheese knives to microwaveable slippers. This year, I figured I would just take a quick look, only to discover that True Botanicals was offering 20% off on its legendary nourishing cleanser. It simply wasn’t my place to turn down a deal that good!
6. A Pop of Color
As someone who wears almost exclusively black pants and white tee shirts, a forest green turtleneck is about as flamboyant as things get in my closet. But the thought of buying a black beanie to wear with my black jacket, grey scarf, black jeans, and black boots was simply too grim to go through with. Enter: this incredibly cozy, light blue Free People beanie that makes dressing for subzero temperatures just a tiny bit more bearable.
7. The Ultra-Specific Home Splurge
Home decor can be tricky to gift. A scented candle? Absolutely. A vase? Maybe. Artwork and wall hangings? Generally better to skip. After several months spent hunting for a narrow-ish, vertically proportioned asymmetrical mirror to grace the last unadorned wall in my living room, I didn’t see the point in waiting any longer to complete the space.