The holidays can be an odd time. Amid the festivities, all the decorating and baking, a wisfulness hangs in the air as unmistakable as the scent of Fraser Fir. Another year passed, we muse. How did it happen so quickly? Where did we spend all those days?
And while we occasionally roll our eyes, Charlie Brown-like, at the commercialism of the holidays, we cannot resist the pull. Year after year we converge — scooting close to each other on the couch, sharing the last beer in the fridge, scrolling through a year’s worth of pictures on the iPhone. It’s so good to see you, we say. Next time, let’s not wait so long.
By the time we finally tear into that craggy mountain of gifts under the tree, the holiday togetherness is nearly over. We’ve begun thinking about the next day and the drive home.
Still, those gifts mean something. No matter how small or large. The thought counts, after all, and every one of those gifts was considered (if only briefly), purchased, wrapped, and stowed.
Some will be hits, many will be misses. But in that moment — as you joke about your brother’s reindeer PJs, or force a smile when your mother gifts you with three months of eHarmony — you’re part of something bigger, something knit together with memories and time. The presents you’ll forget. But those odd and lovely people don’t fade.
Leopard print coat by Stella McCartney, $2,365 at Gretta Luxe, 94 Central St., Wellesley
“Ranger” cosmetic bag by Ame & Lulu, $56 at The Flat of the Hill, 60 Charles St., Boston
“Aare” wall jewels, $225-$295 at Didriks, 190 Concord Ave., Cambridge
Plywood playing cards set by Donald Corey for Areaware, $36 at Magpie, 416 Highland Ave., Somerville
“Ruche” settee by Inga Sempe, $5,565 at Ligne Roset, 200 Boylston St., Boston
“Kiesza” vest, $650 at Calypso St. Barth, 114 Newbury St., Boston, and The Street Chestnut Hill, Newton
Feather bottle opener, $12.99 at H&M, 100 Newbury St., Boston
“Nixon” alpaca throw, $295 at Jonathan Adler, The Street Chestnut Hill, Newton
“Delft Blue No. 6” vase by Marcel Wanders for Moooi, $973 at Casa Design Boston, 460 Harrison Ave., Boston
“Punk” table lamp by BluDot, $269 at Lekker Home, 1313 Washington St., Boston
“Ditto” magazine holder, $79 at BoConcept, 999 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
“Bolling” tray table by Hans Bolling, $695 at Design Within Reach, 1045 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
Leather pencil holder by Oscar Maschera, $110 at k colette, 112 Commercial St., Portland, ME
“Fix” spice mill by Sagaform, $48.99 at www.allmodern.com
“Art in the Age” sweet potato vodka, $30 at Tamworth Distilling and Mercantile, 15 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, NH
“Mad Bomber” hat, $39.95 at L.L.Bean, Wayside Commons, Burlington
“Zip Transport” tote, $188 at Madewell, 329 Newbury St., Boston
“Escort’’ bootie, $565 at Stuart Weitzman, The Mall at Chestnut Hill, Newton
“On the Rock” table, $1,000 at Ligne Roset, 200 Boylston St., BostonHayley Kaufman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.