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We’ve all been there. You’re headed to a party, or a friend drops by with a gift, and there you are, empty handed as a Vegas loser. Next, you’re tap dancing, or dashing like Dancer to the back of a cupboard rummaging for that disliked gift you got last year to regift. You try to convince yourself that the next recipient will truly love the snowman with a snow globe stomach featuring a scene of ice skaters, or that red nose reindeer apron with the antlers and little red light highlighting awkward places.

Let me help you out. This time of year, you need to come bearing gifts. Chances are you will forget someone or some occasion, so stock up! I have learned the hard way. Now every year at this time I start surfing the web looking for gifts I can buy in bulk for hostesses, teachers, colleagues and friends. I aim to have a handful of all purpose holiday gifts wrapped and ready.

Since I prefer not to contribute to the consumptive excess already going on, I avoid gifts of candy or alcohol. Rather, I seek out items for the home that are useful, decorative, festive, and that I like, too, in case I have any gifts left over.

Donna Garlough, style director for Joss Main, a Boston based online retailer, adds one more condition. When buying a home d gift, stay “style agnostic,” she says. That is, steer clear of a specific look, like shabby chic, French country, old world or rustic, and don’t pick a polarizing color,
mens ugg boot slippers Here are a few of my favorite things
like hot pink.

Hen House Holiday Linens. At home I use her dinner napkins and placemats almost daily. The fabric softens with age and washings, but holds its great look. I don’t think you can go wrong with her line of holiday guest towels, $12 each. I spoke with David the other day and she told me her personal favorites this year are the holiday kitchen towel sets: merry and bright, and mix and mingle. Enter promotion code Marnifriends for 30 percent off all items. (PHOTO)

Wishbone Paperweight. This item, an unexpected touch of whimsy, is style neutral, sculptural, and upbeat. I like how the accent piece elevates the common wishbone, a light hearted symbol of hope, by enlarging it and gilding the iron base in antique gold leaf. “Metallic finishes are always a safe bet,” says Garlough, whose company, an offspring of Wayfair, targets millennials. Available in three sizes, the smallest one, at five inches ($28.95), makes a great desk accessory. (PHOTO)

Fresh Scents of Fir. Anyone who has brought home a batch of pine scented potpourri that smells like Pinesol knows: Not all home fragrance products are created equal. Some trip an instant headache, or a gag reflex. This time of year, the Frasier Fir home fragrance products, which Thymes spokeswoman Amy Banks describes as “just cut forest,” strikes the perfect nasal notes. Thymes offers the signature seasonal scent in candles (the company’s number one seller ($29), soaps, and, my favorite, reed diffusers ($50). The triple milled hand soap with white ceramic wood grain soap dish ($20) is perfect for the powder room. (PHOTO)

Stemless Sparkling Wineglasses. I like these stemless glasses not only for their gold star sparkles, but also for their entertainment friendly shape. Unlike traditional wineglasses, these are not top heavy, and thus more likely to stay upright when the party gets hopping. A set of four costs $32. Cheers! (PHOTO)
mens ugg boot slippers Here are a few of my favorite things