Sometimes the Christmas season makes people do unusual things.

Today I saw a lady take a taxi…… to a Michael’s.

This struck me as humorously odd because (a) Jackson isn’t the most, uh, metropolitan of areas, and (b) its a craft store.

As I was walking from my car, I saw the cab wheel up right.infront of the door and let out a hastily demeanored woman with a slick long ponytail and all-black garb.

Approaching closer, she appeared to be giving the cab driver strict instructions, and the repetitive pointing of fingers made me assume she was telling him to stay put while she went inside.

Done and done: my interest was piqued.  I had to see what this intensity was all about.

I shopped around, waiting for some sort of unusuality to unfold.  Instead the only excitement I came across was an adorable school-uniformed child unraveling 1000-feet of gold lamé ribbon behind the turned back of her mother.

I gathered my miscellanies and got in line to checkout, when who else but cab lady came furiously sashaying up behind me.  I couldn’t help myself… I had to nonchalantly turn around to see what she was buying that merited being chauffeured to the most un-cabbyish place on earth.

There it was, in her “Cajun Shrimp” manicured fingers: a minuscule 0.75 ounce vial of silver glitter.  SERIOUSLY?! GLITTER?? And in the smallest container known to man? #disappointed

Her impatient huffs and high-heeled taps prompted me to turn around and, with a sweet smile, offer her a place ahead of me in line.  With a responsive nod, she scooted ahead, threw down a few dolla dolla bills and whisked her unbagged vial out the door.

I saw her taxi dart away just as I exited the store.  So glad that glitter was in stock.  The next step would have been a helicopter.  Crafting is serious business.

If you aren’t busy chartering cabs tonight, why not make some truffles?  I made these for one of the first Christmas parties of the season and plan to make another batch for Christmas Eve festivities… After a big meal, sometimes all you want is just.a.taste of something rich and sweet and these seriously tasted just like the holidays in a bite.

You only need a few ingredients, and if your pantry is empty and your car is out of gas…….. well, now you know what to do.

Gingerbread Truffles

- 1 box Gingersnap cookies (about 50 cookies)
- 1 8-ounce brick cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 16 ounces white melting chocolate

Grind the Gingersnap cookies into crumbs using a food processor. Reserve 1/4 cup cookie crumbs for decoration.  Stir the ginger and cinnamon into the remaining cookie crumbs. Using an electric mixer, combine the cookie crumb mixture with the cream cheese, beating until a thick dough forms. Refrigerate for an hour, then shape into 24 uniform-sized truffles.  Return truffles to the refrigerator until ready to coat in chocolate.

Melt white chocolate according to package instructions.  Dip each truffle individually, using a fork or skewer, letting the excess chocolate drip off.  Place on a wire rack or parchment paper to dry completely.

To decorate, place remaining melted chocolate into a piping bag or ziploc bag with the corner cut.  Drizzle chocolate over the truffle and sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.  Once completely dry, place truffles in the fridge until ready to serve.

{makes 24 truffles}

Today I started my Christmas shopping.  Not the gift-getting, per say, but the actual shopping.  The a million-people, no parking spaces, empty shelves kind of shopping.

And what a day it was indeed…

After waiting in line 36 minutes to buy a $3 powdered sugar sifter, I walked to the parking lot, searching like an aimless lunatic for my car, forgetting I was in my sister’s car, and getting completely drenched by the stormy grays above.  After shoveling my stuff hurriedly in the back and fiddling with unfamiliar keys, I finally turned the lock hoping to hear the soft purr of an engine ready to get me the heck out of dodge.  What I heard instead was Eartha Kitt, blaring “Santa Baby” in a way that made me feel like I was in a Lifetime Christmas movie.  A bad, bad Christmas movie.

Soaking wet and lambasting crowds, I drove away plaintively intending to retreat to a hot cup of coffee and amazon.com… Driving down the road, I let my mind wander; wander to gifts I can’t wait to give, people I can’t wait to see, and, obvi, treats I can’t wait to bake.  The next thing I know I am singing along with my girl Eartha, begging Santa to slip a sable under the tree.  I’m such a pushover.

Here are: My favorite gift picks for her this Christmas season
Enjoy Perusing With: Pandora Christmas and a ceramic boot of eggnog

1. Original Wellies by Hunter; $125

2. Suede Invitation Clutch by J.Crew; $118

3. Layton Large Chronograph Watch by Michael Kors; $250

4. Acrylic Monogram Necklace by Poppy’s Closet; $58

5. Tortoise Sunglasses by Marc Jacobs; $98

6. Tweed Throw by Nordstrom; $58

7. Classic Trifold Wallet by Marc Jacobs; $198

8. Large Logo Studs by Tory Burch; $68

9. Lulu Frost Bangles by J.Crew; $68

10. Monogram iPhone Cover by daninotes; $55

11. Leopard Fringe Scarf by Michael Kors; $50

I’ve never been particularly good at keeping gifts a surprise.

It’s not that I intend to be this way, it just sort of, uh, happens.

I mean, I guess there were signs: rewind to 4-year-old Alice, begging my mom to tell me the contents of all the gifts under the tree. Knowing just.exactly what I was going to do, she would whisper secretively in my ear “It’s a purse, but don’t tell.” You can obviously tell where this is going- before she could even turn around, my curly-headed self would belt to the top of my lungs: “EMILY, YOU’RE GETTING A PURSE!”  She got a “purse” for 7 years straight.

Rewind to more recent times, like say, last year, when someone left the receipt for Bryan’s gifts at his house. Let me tell you, I did a great job explaining why I needed an 85″ projector screen. Guess not much has changed.

I am happy to report that this year no secrets have been leaked…. yet.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

To propel your inability to keep surprises, over the next few weeks I am going to be featuring a bevy of gift ideas for your perusing.  Because we all know boys/guys/men are the easiest to shop for, they’re up first… I had so much fun preparing this list, for when shopping for a gender that views gifts of cashmere and cheeseburgers with analogous excitement, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some ideas the sisters and I have had success with in the past and a few that our fellas will be surprised with this season:

1. Leather iPhone case by J.Crew; $38

2. Polarized Wayfarer by RayBan; $165

3. Howland Penny Loafer by Cole Haan; $148

4. Event Tickets by Ticketmaster; prices will vary

5. Watch by Luminox; $235

6. Home Theater Projector by Sony; $950

7. Vintage Handstamped Cufflinks by Cuffart; $95

8. Better Sweater Vest by Patagonia; $89

Festive decorating, to me, is one of the most fun parts of the holiday season.  I love to see personalities come out through the decorating styles of my friends and family: rustic, whimsical, nostalgic, chic… I seem to learn a little something about my loved ones each year through these uniquely personal touches.

Rather than sticking to one distinct holiday “style”, I like to mix a variety of pieces in coordinating tones, creating a look that is both put-together and inviting.  Metallics instantly add specialness to room without over-powering your year-round decor, making them the perfect {not so} neutrals for decorating your home.

Here are my favorite ways to get the look:

    • {1} Metallic glassware adds an instant touch of cheer to December dinners- no matter how low-key the menu.
    • {2} A simple mercury glass bowl filled with sparkly ornaments lends effortless charm to more formally decorated spaces, such as your living or dining rooms.
    • {3} A grouping of antique candle glasses brings warmth and dimension to small spaces without the stiffness of tall taper candles.
    • {4} Mixing unexpected textures- such as canvas and sequins- lends versatility to holiday entertaining without seeming stuffy.
    • {5} For those with limited space or time, a simple tree with white lights and glittery monochromatic ornaments can make a big impact with minimal effort.
    • {6} Make spontaneous holiday entertaining easy by serving store-bought hor dourves on pretty metallic cocktail napkins.
    • {7} Porcelain plates in whimsical patterns make dinner party decor as simple as setting the table.

1. Gold Chisel Glassware by Z Gallerie; $35

2. Mercury Glass Equinox Bowl by Z Gallerie; $36

3. Antique Glass Candle Holder by Crate&Barrel; $6

4. Sequined Pillow Cover by West Elm; $44

5. Glittered Silver Ornament by Pier 1; $6

6. Gold Cocktail Napkins by Plum Party; $5

7. Tinsel and Confetti Plates by Crate&Barrel; $8

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