For the most part, I love living a few states away from family. Maybe “love” isn’t the right word. “Cherish?” I love my family — I cherish my independence.
But around this time of year, I miss them. The holidays are unquestionably about family and going “home,” two things I won’t be partaking in this year. So if I’m not going to them, I’ll bring a reminder of them to me. This Christmas, I’m going to surround myself with all the cozy trappings of soft familiarity.
That starts, obviously, with socks.
It always does.
Shop Good (3 N.W. Ninth; 702- 0517) has a great collection of men’s and women’s knee-high and crew socks in really fantastic patterns. Forget argyle (sorry, argyle, you know I’ll never truly forget you), the Sock It to Me line features mustaches, ladybugs, robots and unicorns. You can’t argue with unicorns.
I also loved a gorgeous, cozy blanket by Mama Quilt that reminded me of the quilts my aunt makes. The one at Shop Good is homey without feeling too musty.
At 42nd Street Candy Co. (4200 N. Western; 521-8337), I was immediately drawn to the wall of nostalgic candies. My grandpa has a legendary sweet tooth; 42nd Street’s Sugar Babies and old-fashioned candy sticks would make him light up. For my less-sweet grandma, the Beemans and Black Jack gum would be her favorite.
If you’re looking for something new, 42nd Street just got in two new treats that would make a perfect holiday dessert. Bedazzle My Bonbons is just what it sounds like: bite-sized bonbons coated in edible glitter of all different colors. Another new treat are the cake balls by La Bouchee that come in eight different flavors.
Just off Western, the new 30 A Home (1106 N.W. 50th; 286-3153) is an absolutely gorgeous furniture, decor and gift shop that includes design services. It’s tucked away on the corner of Western and N.W. 50th, so it can be a bit tricky to find, but keep an eye out for the sign — it’s definitely worth it.
30 A Home opened in early November in a lovely, architectural space that, come spring, will incorporate a courtyard for outdoor furniture.
Inside, each piece is obviously chosen with great care, creating a beautiful mix of modern and vintage with a lived-in, natural feel that remains polished. It reminded me of walking through the Northeastern summer home of a world traveler.
I particularly loved the furniture by designer Kevin Scanlon that mixes industrial, brushed metals with weathered, reclaimed wood — it’s absolutely unique. The furniture in this small, intimate shop definitely catches your attention, but 30 A Home also has a lovely collection of original art, decor and gifts.
Of the smaller items, my favorite were the Beekman 1802 soaps and hand towels that looked like something you’d find in my family’s cabin in northern Michigan. Held in small muslin bags, the goat milk soaps come in soft scents like “Month of December” and “Month of April.” Lovely.
With all these reminders of home, Christmas five states away will still be cozy and familiar. Now if I can only convince my cat to become moody and try to cancel Christmas at least once, it’ll be just like waking up in my childhood home.