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Best Holiday Gift Picks For The Home To Celebrate The Glamorous Hospitality Spirit All Year

Do you want to gift ~ and maybe receive (or gift to yourself!) ~ thoughtful and unique home entertaining presents? 

I have curated some swoon-worthy ideas for your consideration. To inspire you …

I’m ever so grateful to all who tell me that you delightfully relish my garden designs, my tablescapes, and my garden-to-glass creations.  

In turn, I thought I could best demonstrate my gratitude by sharing and suggesting some of the items that make my world sparkle and shine. So in the spirit of the season, here is my curated list sure to elevate your holiday gift-giving.

When you embrace the every day as special, it will come naturally to you to make  the holidays shimmer and sparkle. 

I put this Gift List together using a few of my favorite things. 

Linen Napkins and Table Runners

          Linen Double Hemstitch Table Runner    Linen Double Hemstitch Table Runner

I most love using my antique and vintage linen napkins. They showcase such intricate embroidery and lace designs.  

When I need a color or look to compliment a table or barscape that the old-world designs can’t fulfill, I usually order from an Etsy search or more often than not, Williams Sonoma’s Italian washed linen with the double hemstitch.  

The “classic linen dinner napkins have a wonderful heirloom feel. They’re edged with double rows of hemstitching, a traditional needlework technique that creates a delicate openwork border,” and are available in a variety of colors.  

You can even have them monogrammed. That will make the gift ever more special. 

Cocktail Napkins

(Photo: Carlo Balisteriri)       


These are my creations xoxo  I honor the very inspiring women I feature on my monthly Ladies Who Lunch Conversations videocast with my hand-painted watercolor of their favorite cocktail.  As you’ll appreciate knowing that the monies go to the Lady’s charity of choice.  The artful cocktail napkins are, of course, 😉 a high-quality paper, and are lovingly beribboned and wrapped in a gossamer gift bag, and make a lovely conversation starter for many a Happy Hour.  

I can also bundle the Cocktail Napkins with my Art of the Garnis book. 

You can purchase from my Garden Glamour blog’s Shop  Cheers! 

Francine’s Outrageous Sauces


I fell hard for Francine’s Outrageous Sauces long before I met the woman behind the recipes.  Years ago, me and my gal pals were attending the annual Monmouth County Conservation Holiday party where there are oodles of makers and boutique vendors. 

Not surprisingly, we landed at Francine’s.  It took just one taste and I was smitten.  

I will make you a pinkie promise that you have never tasted such glorious Toffee and Fudge as Francines’.   I can’t say that her handmade in small batches sauces are as good as Mom makes.  But I can say they are better!

Years passed and yet upon arrival of a recent online order, there was a handwritten note from the Francine, explaining that she believes we met a fundraiser in previous decade. How this woman could remember such detail speaks volumes about here attention to what’s unimaginable…

And then, the story unfolds yet again. I just recently met Francine. In real life. At our Les Dames d’Escoffier Holiday party! Francine is a fellow Dame!

Francine’s delicious Dame-worthy sauces were on full display and I got to taste her newest addition: the Raspberry Coulis.  Oh my!  Not only will this gem gild the lilly of any dessert, but I am inspired to create an artful cocktail with it! That rrrriich, rrred color and flavor will have your loved ones just eating out of your hand.


EtonMessPix.jpgSticky-Toffee-Pudding-1200-7545 (1).jpeg

Cocktail Shaker

Fleur Cocktail Shaker                

While I have quite a few cocktail shakers (not surprising as the author of Art of the Garnish 🙂and a cocktail culture aficionado) ~ I have several of the usual silver, stainless steel and gold ones, I just love using this shaker I acquired more than a few years ago that is crafted with a “gleaming silver finish and golden floral vine motif.”  

Its garden-to-glass style elevates the art of the cocktail. 

Guests love it too ~ asking me to shake up something for them just to share in the floral’s  glamorous appeal. 

The makers ~ Z Gallerie ~ also have a matching ice bucket.

Fleur Cocktail Shaker

Cocktail Picks

You can’t take your eyes off these glamorous cocktail picks. While in my Art of the Garnish book I used orphaned earrings, or tie tacks or hat pins ~ see the bee pin on my Maria’s Mead cocktail and for a garden variety negroni:  


These picks make easy to use cocktail couture accessories and are excellent gifts. 

The luxury barware and home entertaining picks are made of food grade stainless steel, zinc, enamel, resin and glass, 4″ x 0.5″ x 0.5″, set of six, Packaged in a gift box. 

The Joanna Buchanan add style and personality to not only your drinks but can also serve as skewers to elevate the look of your charcuterie and dessert boards. 

Lucky charm cocktail picks                          Lucky charm cocktail picks

Candles and Lights 

I’ll leave it to other gift guides to suggest traditional candle brands.  There are so many superlative varieties, handmade ones, fragrant ones, colorful ones… 

I, on the other hand, prefer to not use real candles, especially on my tablescapes. For a number of reasons, including that I don’t want the fragrance to interfere with the aroma of the food; but mainly, I don’t want the burning soot residue on our walls or ceilings. (It was a rather arduous somewhat painful renovation ^:^)

According to the experts, candles can actually leave gray, soot deposits on surfaces. You might notice it on the ceiling, walls, or around picture frames. Candles in glass jugs are the biggest soot generators. 

And well, it’s just safer. Especially if imbibing in cocktails and or lots of good wine…

But no worries. I love using the battery operated candles. Especially the ones on timers, and those with remote control.  

I can achieve the dreamy, candle-lit vibe without the the interior design frets. 

I buy these decorating must-haves from a variety of sources.

These are a few of the tried and true standouts that you can readily gift and gift to yourself.


I found these fairy flower lights on Etsy from a British maker: Flower With Me. 

The fabric flowers come in 2 or 4 meter length.  I appreciate that the designer included a 40 cm lead from the battery box.  A thoughtful decorating detail. 

They look great in our garden room hugging the antique mirror that has its own storied past… 

You’ve read and seen my ardor for SoLight Design and its inventor and designer, Alice Min Soo Chun another of my Ladies Who Lunch Conversations inspiring guests we had the privilege to first meet this year.  Alice’s origami solar lanterns and Solar Puffs are perfect for an interior or exterior design  

Collapsible Solar Lanterns | Solight DesignGear Review: Solight Solar Lantern & Charger - Out There Outdoors     

and I use them in my interior plant containers as uplights as well as in tablescape designs.   


While I use bitters with  almost scandalous frequency, it’s difficult to choose just one brand.  So, outside of having your sister gift you her homegrown, handcrafted bitters, as mine recently did, here’s a few for you to choose from. 

Bitters can be thought of as a bouquet of botanics to amp up the flavor of your cocktails.

You can’t go wrong with Fee Brothers.  They offer so many varieties of flavors to distinguish any home bar.

If you can still get your hands on Modern Bar Cart’s Embitterment Bitters, you’ll be richly rewarded.  

Bitters are power-packed, adorable bottles that make terrific hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. : Fee Brothers Bar Cocktail Bitters - Set of 6 : Cocktail Drink  Bitters : Grocery & Gourmet FoodEmbitterment Variety Pack

Or you can convince Sharon to sell you some of hers 🤩

Gourmet Grater

We just purchases this artful grater at the pop up in Union Square, in Gotham, last week for a friend’s birthday. And one for us too!  It’s available in a variety of designs,  and includes a plate and a brush. The plate is serrated so that you just need to rub the garlic or ginger or whatever you’re mincing, and voila!  You can add lemon or olive oil directly to the plate, depending on what your mincing.  Very ingenious. And pretty. 

You’ll be happy to know that I found it for a lot less money on Amazon. Good news for you. Me? Not so much.  Ha.

Enjoy this Gourmet Grater for years to come. As a gift and stocking stuffer. 

Sparkling Wine

While those who know me, also know how much I adore champagne. Life’s just too short not to indulge in this delicious celebratory gift of the gods.

Here, I am sharing a lovely, ever day sparkling wine that I readily share with family and friends. I was introduced to this elixir years ago by a fabulous woman sommelier at her club in Gotham.

Raventós i Blanc de Nit 2016 - A Sparkling Monastrell for Cava Lovers - Wine  Casual

Raventós i Blanc, de Nit is from Spain

Tasting Note: A sparkling wine from Spain that cava lovers should not miss that has monastrell (mourvedre) in the mix.

Pale-intensity pink in color, this wine has a nose of quince, green apple, red cherry, pear, melon, biscuit and blossom.

On the palate the dry, medium-plus-bodied sparkling wine has tart fruit flavors suggested on the nose supported by medium-plus acidity and completing with a slightly chalky, medium finish.

The wine is steely in texture with small, persistent bubbles. It’s beauty and taste makes it so giftale. And because of its value, you will cherish it as your everyday sparkling wine.  

Now, if you can just recommend something for my challenging-to-buy-for husband!  

Season’s Greetings.

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"Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

 I adore plants. Plants are my muse ~ they are my paramour… I’m a garden artist; a nature lover, & horticulturist. I’m an author & writer. My passion for culture & beauty, along with my trait curiosity, brings you an authentic celebration of life. I’m a storyteller ~ weaving the artful gifts of horticulture, garden design, tablescape decor, floral design, cocktail culture, garden-to-glass recipes & their glamorous garnishes, homegrown edibles, food & drink; & cooking, to bring you my flair & what I’ve been told is an avid elan ~ as well as the stories from those who inspire me ~ to pursue an elegant, enduring, & joyful, entertaining lifestyle. It’s an honor & a privilege to do what you love.

Join me to celebrate a romantic, garden-infused, entertaining lifestyle filled with artful design, sparkling dinner parties, peerless martinis, and copious magnums of champagne!





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