'Tis the Season for Luxury. Oh yes, in yesterday's The New York Times T Magazine, the editors suggest a bit of lace. I think it is absolutely incredible--a museum piece--the dress they show. However, it's $16,000+ price tag did take me back more than a bit. Imagine all the bits of lace one can give for Christmas for that price. Might one get a lace car, for example?
And then there was the plain sweater, a straight knit affair that we who can make needles sing might whip off in a couple of days with maybe $100 of the best yarn we can find. Well, you can buy the sweater shown for a mere $1,600. I do believe that there is something to see the best in design and materials. And for those of you who can afford such price tags, perhaps it's just fine to indulge and keep the high-enders in business so they may continue to be an inspiration to the rest of us. It's an age-old dilemma. Must admit I almost ran to the needles--but I have a cardinal rule which I learned from an old Cathy cartoon strip: Never start knitting the first week of December! Bless that girl.
So, it's also the season to access our luxuries. Is there a bit of lace to add to a lovely wool or silk scarf, even one you might be passing along? Is there a bit of treasure in the china or linen closet that will bring tears of joy to a friend or family member? Is there an ornament that you probably wouldn't buy for your own tree, but will make a friend smile when they hang it on their own year after year, thinking of you? This year, I am giving my friend Lisa a wedding cake ornament that I just couldn't resist. She was married earlier this year. It is absolutely lovely, handmade, and was a bit expensive.
Far be it for me to suppress the spirit of giving. I'm just thinking of all the very personal ways we can gift. Let me tell you about one such present I received a few years ago: When I was in Copenhagen with my family--our son was on business--I visited the writer Karen Blixen's house on the sea. It was a short train ride from the center of the city. Karen Blixen is more commonly known as the writer Isak Dinesen, who gave us the incomparable Out of Africa. (Her life was the basis for the Meryl Streep film.) I was amazed at the art gallery at the house, works by Dinesen when she was struggling to become an artist. I fell in love with her work and snapped up a bunch of postcards depicting it which I sent from the hotel the next day. This was in the summer. That Christmas, one of my long-time neighbors presented me with a little music box. I recognized the image on the top and it puzzled me for a minute. Was this not one of Dinesen's paintings? Indeed it was. As the events started coming together in my mind, I turned the box over and found the postage stamp that had been on postcard. Later I found out that, my friend had found an old music box at a sale that just fit the post card. She assembled the gift that is one of the most precious and thoughtful I have ever received.
Do you have a gift of hand and heart you'd like to share with us?