1.Silver or crocodile-textured picture frames, like this one from Monica Rich Kosann, are a “go-to” holiday gift. I like to try to give them filled with a picture: everyone appreciates receiving that favorite memory already beautifully showcased behind glass.
2. Chico’s jewelry is a fun and easy gift to give, especially around the holidays. The Kimmi Cuff Bracelet and the Perla Stretch Bracelet are two of my favorites. And Chico’s scarves make wonderful presents too!
3. Anything John Derian! His paperweights add a touch of levity to a desk, and his serving plates brighten any kitchen or dining room table. His imagination with découpage and animals never ceases to amaze me.
4. Every year each girl in my extended family receives a pair of pajamas. So, sometimes when we are together, we end up matching which makes us laugh!
6. As a family, we always share books as gifts. I look forward to receiving what others think I will enjoy—it’s such an interesting surprise! Often they are photography books of places we have traveled or wish to go, or beautiful books on designers.
Suzanne’s Favorite Family Traditions
On the Friday after Thanksgiving, my husband and I host “The Day After Feast” for family and friends. This year, it was Italian, and I tented my back patio to extend the first floor of our townhouse. We had a magician perform for the children (and grown-up children too!) Some of the kids, who work hard all year on musical instruments, shared a performance. We encourage squeaky violins!
I grew up with a Blue Spruce in the front yard, no matter where we moved. So, for Christmas, I always have a 14-foot Blue Spruce tree on the back terrace covered in tiny white lights. It’s my way of remembering the magic from those childhood days. I place a wreath on Luke, our garden statuary dog at the front door, and white lights on our exterior topiary trees. Winter berries go in large vessels where I normally have orchids, sleigh bells adorn the door, and mulling spices from Williams-Sonoma always simmer on the stove. We get creative too: one year we designed a “lantern tree” with Chinese lanterns.
If Suzanne Could Send a Postcard From Anywhere
Family travel is the greatest possible gift at the end of any year. These are times we all treasure. Favorite memories include biking in New Zealand with my husband and two children, an African Safari in Kenya with my children, and fly-fishing adventures in Alaska, Argentina, and the Seychelles with my husband. Maybe next year, I’ll send a postcard from the North Pole!
Most of All…
As a design office, we send our holiday card at Thanksgiving time. We make donations throughout the year that are meaningful to us, and we share that with all our clients, vendors and friends. For many years we sent sheep cookies in special packaging to honor our gift of knitter’s baskets from Heifer International. Click here to learn more about this incredible organization.
Last But Not Least…
Suzanne’s Recipe for Celery Root Mashed Potatoes
Serves a group
- 10 Potatoes
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 celery root
- 4 celery stalks
- 3/4 cup Milk
- Boil the potatoes with the skin on until they are tender.
- In a separate pot, boil the celery root for approximately 1 hour or until tender.
- Once the celery root is tender, remove it from the water, let it cool, then peel the outside off the root.
- Place boiled potatoes and chopped celery root into a large bowl and set aside.
- Chop garlic as finely as possible and slice celery stalks. In a frying pan, melt butter and place celery and garlic into the pan.
- Cook until the celery is clear.
- Pour the butter, garlic, and celery mixture into the large bowl.
- Use a hand mixer to combine the mixture.
- Add milk as needed.
- Serve and enjoy!