A Witty Resort: Itâ€™s the most difficult time of the year, particularly if youâ€™re one of the lucky few who shops resort collections in December. You must ask: â€śIt is warm on this glitzy island paradise, but itâ€™s winter and I long to wear tights. What does one do?â€ť The solution: the Loeffler Randall Neel espadrille pump at Bishop Boutique ($375, 815 King St., Alexandria; 571-312-0042). The closed-toe, heeled shoe meets December halfway.
Turkish Delights: Cheap red felt wonâ€™t cut it when you need to stuff a stocking with artisanal whiskey and hand-cured reindeer jerky. These sturdy, footwear-inspired gift receptacles, from Timothy Paul Home ($42 each, 1529A 14th St. NW; 202-234-2020), are made from vintage textiles from Turkey, India and other non-U.S. locales. Theyâ€™re attractive enough to leave hanging after the holidays. Just say theyâ€™re oven mitts that are too pretty to use.
Chalk-Full: Doodling during dinner is usually frowned upon â€” especially when you end up permanently inking Grandmaâ€™s Chippendale table. But youâ€™re encouraged to get creative between courses with these Chalkboard Placemats ($34 for four, Uncommon Goods). The set comes with 12 pieces of chalk and a sponge you can use to erase each masterpiece. And although theyâ€™re designed for kids, thereâ€™s no shame in adultsâ€™ wanting a chance to scribble, too. Or maybe make a note to yourself that youâ€™re allowed to have only one piece of that pie.
Amish Paradise: D.C.â€™s gone country, or at least a bit rural. Smucker Farms of Lancaster County (2118 14th St. NW; 202-986-7332), a new shop that sources organic dairy products and produce straight from Amish farms in Pennsylvania, brings grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, organic yogurt and greens to the heart of the city. Olde Heritage Root Beer ($2.75) sells out fast, and Trickling Springs Creameryâ€™s Belgian Chocolate Milk ($6.75) requires a $2 glass bottle deposit, because the farmers wonâ€™t sell it in plastic.
Ladyâ€™s Choice: â€śHers: Design with a feminine touchâ€ť ($35, Clarkson Potter) is dedicated to â€śAdeline, Brielle and Oliviaâ€ť and encourages inspiration boards in oneâ€™s home office. For those who are down with that, this glossy decor book, by Romantic Homes magazine editor Jacqueline deMontravel, is essential reading. How else would you know how to artfully arrange pink shoes?
By Katherine Boyle, Jennifer Barger and Express staff