December 02, 2023

You Are What you Give: Christmas Edition with... Caroline Kent

You Are What you Give: Christmas Edition with... Caroline Kent
Gift lists are as plentiful as pine needles this time of year and yet I still can't get enough of them. Presents have always been my thing, giving them, receiving them, advising on them, I love it all. The gift list is an irresistible peek into someone's deepest desires and idiosyncratic discoveries, a portrait of sorts, just as our to-do lists are shorthand diaries.

As 'tis the season, I have gathered together some of my most generous friends, all of whom have gifted me something clever, or unusual or precious in recent memory (and worth noting that none of these gifts were expensive, many cost nothing but care) and invited them to share their own. I thought it was only fair to kick things off with mine, and you can look forward to infinitely more interesting lists from artists, gardeners, musicians and more in the weeks to come...

1. Rosie McGuiness is one of my favourite illustrators, and what people wear one of my greatest obsessions, so this book is top of my list this year  Style & Substance, £20 
2. When we finally move back into our house after what has felt like an endless renovation project, these beautiful words are what I want to place in the heart of our home, who could wish for more than this?  Long May We Live... Plate by Sophie Wilson 1690, £240
3. Running dangerously low on my current bottle of Perfumer H's Fig, and given that I spend each and every day playing with ink, thought I probably ought to try this next... Ink Perfume, £130
4. When in New York earlier this year I did a spot of stationery 'research' in Bergdorf Goodman's and accidentally came away with this irresistibly lovely lipstick by Dries Van Noten, so perhaps Santa could bring me a refill?! Refillable Lipstick Case, £62
5. We began working with chic French brand Sezane this year, and you'll now find our cards in their stylish stores. If you too aspire to Jane Birkin's laid back Gallic style, proceed with caution as you'll want everything! Boots, £285

6. A chance Instagram discovery led me to this simple jeweller working with rough gem stones, found shells and hand-carved mother of pearl which feel both ancient and modern Dove Single Earring, On The Nature of Things £30
7. Kettle's Yard has been a visual touchstone all my life and this woolly hat, referencing the jumper worn by Christopher Wood in his extraordinary self-portrait in the house, is a genius example of museum fundraising! Kit Wood's Hat, £25
8. Another gift in hopes of having a kitchen to put it in in 2024! These baskets by All About Willow are as beautiful as they are useful...All About Willow Fruit & Vegetable Basket, £65 from BARD Scotland (You can look forward to a great wish list from James & Hugo, the wonderful people behind Bard in the coming weeks too...)

And finally, with all this talk of presents, we mustn't forget the main event - the wrapping. You could give someone a wooden spoon and make it the greatest gift they ever received by wrapping it enticingly. Don't feel restricted to 'Christmas' papers, anything bright and beautiful will do the trick (this paper is by Ola) and if in doubt, put a ribbon on it! I like to tie the bow with a decoration threaded through for an extra gift, and tuck Dresden ornaments or other little tokens like Fortune Fish or Lottery tickets into the wrapping.