For stylish quipsters
Sarah Smile pillow covers by Canadian designer Sarah Walker feature witty quotes by legends such as Coco Chanel and Audrey Hepburn; the bon mot shown above is from the 1954 film Sabrina. Sarah Smile hemp-and-organic cotton pillow cover, $39 (U.S.) through www.gnr8.biz.
For faithful friends
Hanukkah hostesses will love these lustrous jacquard napkins depicting the hand of Miriam, a Jewish religious symbol recalling the sister and protector of the infant Moses. Hand of Miriam napkin, $49.95 for a set of four at Williams-Sonoma (www.williams-sonoma.ca).
For the chilled out
Warm the cockles of a loved one’s heart (not to mention other body parts) with a throw from MacAusland’s Woollen Mill, a family-operated PEI business that has been weaving 100-per cent– virgin-wool blankets since 1932. MacAusland wool throw, $95 at Drake General Store (www.drakegeneralstore.ca).
For (Xmas) tree huggers
If you’re asked to a tree-trimming party this year, forget the pine-cones and popcorn: Contribute one of these exquisite ornaments by Baccarat to the festivities and you’ll be a (Christmas) star for many seasons to come. Noël crystal snowflake by Baccarat, $160 at The Room (www.thebay.com).
For new flames
The perfect complement to any modernist hearth, CB2’s circular firewood holder, handcrafted from powder-coated iron that has been given a matte finish, keeps kindling and logs neatly stacked and off the ground. Chuck wood storage, $99.95 at CB 2 (www.cb2.com).
Designer to the likes of Lee Radziwill, Renzo Mongiardino exuberantly rejected modernism, decorating his clients’ homes to look like ancient palaces, many of which can be pored over in this sumptuous new book. Renzo Mongiardino: Renaissance Master of Style, $95 (U.S.) through www.assouline.com.
For the folks(y)
Know someone who’s hosting a smorgasbord this season? Present him or her with one or more of these modern-folkloric Santa plates by Sweden’s Sagaform, perfect for passing around the pepparkakor. Santa serving plate by Katarina Hjalmarsson for Sagaform, $39.95 at EQ3 (www.eq3.com).
For the Luddite
It wasn’t e-mail that summoned the Magi to the manger. (Okay, it wasn’t Kate Spade note cards, either.) But the holidays should be about slowing down and savouring. These are ideal gifts for old-school entertainers. Holiday note cards by Kate Spade, $25 for a set of 10 at Indigo (www.indigo.ca).