Friday, December 18, 2009

Better Than Oprah

Helllllloooo, People!!!!!

Have you ever watched Oprah’s “Favorite Things” show? It’s the one just before Christmas when Oprah tells all of her favorite things from the year from CDs to computers to cars. And then she gives one of everything to every member of her audience that day.

That must be the hardest ticket to get your hands on in all of show business. In fact, I'm sure it is. I've tried.

I’ve only watched Oprah's "Favorite Things" show a couple of times, but for me those shows are the quickest way to bring out that green-eyed monster in me. I mean, it’s not like I don’t already have a washer and dryer that work just fine, but Oprah’s giving away a new set of front-loaders in Candy Apple Red, and it makes me feel like my little white top-loaders are completely inadequate.

Same with the sunglasses. Surely my cheap-o pair of sunglasses do not block the rays as well as the $300 pair she’s giving away. It makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong in my life that I have to wear cheap-o sunglasses. Know what I mean?

Of course, this year Oprah didn’t even do a “Favorite Things” show—I guess the economy has hit even O the Great. (Maybe her buddy Barack will give her a bailout.)

Anyway, a couple of years ago the girls in our small group decided to do a “Favorite Things” giveaway of our own. We don’t spend nearly as much as Oprah, but we sure have a good time.

We got together this week to have lunch at Julie’s house and to exchange gifts. The lunch was wonderful, but it was the gifts we were most curious to see—what would our friends choose as their favorite thing of 2009?

In past years we’ve given each other really fun things like jewelry, ornaments, and even cake mixes (that was me—my gift is usually food related. I wonder why.). Last year, Wendy gave us each a fleece blanket that everyone in my family fights over—it’s just so soft and warm.

This year was an abundance of great stuff. Here’s a picture of the loot I came home with. . .

Becky and Jymette loved the Slatkin & Co. Fresh Balsam candle from Bath and Body Works so much that they both gave it to us. That’s never happened before. But I’m glad it did because that is one great candle. I’ve been burning them pretty much constantly since Wednesday, and every time someone comes in my house they tell me it smells great in here.

Olfactory pleasure is important, you know.

Kim gave each of us a Mac Cosmetics lip set, complete with a lip pencil, lip stick, and lip gloss that all fits into that cute pink carrying case you see in the front of the picture. Adorable, huh? My lips will look amazing at the party we’re going to on Saturday.

This year Wendy gave the food gift—all of her favorites from Trader Joe’s. I love that because I love Joe the Trader, as he’s called around here. She also tucked in a beautiful red glass ornament as which looks great on my tree.

Beth always overdoes it, and this year was no exception. Some wonderful hand cream from Park City, UT—mmmmm. And a totally cool necklace from DeDe Jaderholm (it’s hanging around the water pitcher in the picture).

I haven’t talked about DeDe here, and maybe I will someday soon, but suffice it to say that she is a friend to all of us and an exceptionally talented jewelry designer. I have too many just a few of her pieces, and every one is unique and fun and special. Plus, she lives right around the corner which makes picking up a little gift (for yourself, maybe?) very easy.

Julie went the extra mile this year to give us each a hand blown water pitcher. You may have heard the squeals of delight as we each opened ours. See it toward the left in the picture? Isn’t that just the coolest thing? Plus, what makes it extra-special is that Julie scoured the countryside looking for them at estate sales and antique shops. I love that she did that.

So I think that’s everything. I love each gift. And I love that we all put some thought into why these are our favorite things.

Oh my gift? What did I choose to give to my friends? Well, my gift was a two-part gift which came from two of my favorite stores: Williams-Sonoma and Anthropologie. AND they are food-related, sort of, because I just can’t help myself.

Red measuring spoons from Williams-Sonoma because I love red and I love to bake and I think everyone else should too. (Of course, when one of my friends who does not cook took them out of the package she said, “Now what are we supposed to do with these?” I think that might have been the best line of the day.)

And this coffee cup that I bought earlier in the year. I just love the detail on it, especially the little flower inside the handle. Isn’t that just too cute?

Plus, I love Anthropologie for gifts because they always give you the cutest ribbons and doo-dads to put on your gift. See?

So, the “Favorite Things” gift exchange goes on, and Oprah’s got nothing on us. In fact, if she ever decides to reinstate her “Favorite Things” show, I know of six girls who would gladly serve as her personal shoppers.

Call me, Oprah!



  1. I came over from Musings of a Housewife when I saw in your comments that you have teenagers. I do too.

    Loved this post and your blog is wonderful! Merry Christmas!

  2. What a wonderful idea to do with some friends! love it! I may have to check out some of those items today when I go shopping!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Thanks, ladies! Susanne--I'm so glad you stopped by. Kay--let me know what you get!

  4. OH MY GOSH...I so forwarding this to all my friends! We have to start doing this! What fun

  5. That looks very fun! I'm going to have to check out that candle. I have a glass pitcher like that that is clear that I got as a wedding gift and have loved through the years... yours is such a pretty color!

  6. Wow. You have really nice friends.

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  8. What a great idea! That sounds like so much fun.

  9. How MUCH fun! I love this idea! Can I come next year? :)

    Oh, and I love your new look!

    Merry Christmas!