For the greater portion of my adult life, I’ve purchased my parent’s Christmas presents with their own American Express cards, respectively, the numbers of which I kept stowed in a Word Document somewhere within the recesses of my Mac Mini. Opting to reference their personal information ONLY for excessive expenditures that
surpassed the value of my monthly stipend medical emergencies, every December twenty-third, I would both commence and complete my holiday shopping, wrap everything up –- corners askew, double sided tape visibly exposed — and then emerge home for the holidays baring the same Polo knit sweaters and Tiffany pens that I had already purchased for several consecutive Christmases prior.
I have an emphatic need for instant gratification (Hello, my name is Brooke, and I can’t stop watching Patrick Ta makeup tutorials and then partaking in Super Market Sweep- style quests to find and purchase all of the requisite products needed to recreate the look), which prompts me to [over]indulge in apparel and cosmetic related expenditures approximately eleven months out of the calendar year. Strangely enough, though, in the same way that I wasn’t, well, the best gift giver ever to walk God’s green Earth, I was never particularly impassioned by the idea of compiling a list of quasi-desired items that I hoped would emerge under the Christmas tree for myself either.
Attribute it to my recently diagnosed closet control freak nature, but I consider my wardrobe to be a living, breathing entity of sorts — a denim, leather and silk based bestie who I’m acquainted with on the same primal level that, let’s say, a new mother might be with her infant spawn. In the past few years, especially, my wardrobe has become one of my foremost focuses, something that I’ve carefully curated with the utmost precision to consist only of those items that I covet the most. My obsessively/compulsively/manically chosen pieces effectuate a grand scale portion of both my personal identity and my career, so naturally, I’m very specific about what I invite into the walls of my closet(s). That said, when requesting a Christmas gift, how can I expect someone [of sound mind] to meticulously differentiate between the nude and dusty green shades of the Isabel Marant Etoile Dicker Ankle Booties that I’m so desperately longing for?
Between my insatiable need for instant gratification and the fact that the specificity of the items on my wish list rival the complexity of extreme medical procedures (think septal myotomies and such), until a few years ago, it would’ve been totally reasonable to suggest that, invariably, I wasn’t the most festive or fun participant in the way of gift giving/receiving.
So what changed? Well, after a fair amount of maturing (I mean…it had to happen at some point, I guess) – pouts, kicks, wines — and the introduction of some particularly generous people into my life who noticeably enjoyed the act of gift giving as a result of the personalized sentiment that it denoted, I, too, came to understand the value of pre-planning a holiday list and bringing it to fruition for the purpose of celebrating loved ones. As such, in the past couple of years, especially, I’ve ruminated over holiday present ideas well in advance of December twenty-third and then searched for customized options that I felt were conducive to the specific personalities, quirks and tastes of those who I was gifting. Isn’t that the essence of what giving someone a present is all about?
In lieu of this semi-recent conversion from Scrooge to Santa, I decided to make a holiday gift guide that’s based on all of those carefully curated, tried and true items that can be found within the walls of my own closet. By doing it this way, I can personally vouch for all of the pieces that I recommend because, well, there are some major benefits to my previously mentioned need for instant gratification and OCD prompted purchases of wildly coveted items – I can now pass them along to you too.
See?! So it’s not all about me after all. 😉