I won't stress you out over listing the dwindling days till Christmas, but we all know it's coming down to the wire -- ARE ALL YOUR GIFTS BOUGHT AND READY TO RUMBLE???  I know, that was mean. The Magpie just got bumped to the Naughty List, to be sure. But I'll make up for it -- forget wrestling with mall traffic or contemplating Chia Pets for yet another year, use the magic of subscription services to make your gifts feel unique and ones that will last well into the new year! 


I admit to being a total sucker for twee little shops and boutiques lining historic old streets.  I mean, really -- who wouldn't?! For those who live in the area, I'd like to recommend a perfect, Fancy day trip/holiday shopping excursion -- head out to Snohomish for the afternoon and get your browse on!


As wary as I am of clutter and the accumulation of junk, I admit to being a paper and ribbon hoarder.  It's my weakness, the siren song of collected ephemera. When I'm the recipient of a beautifully-wrapped gift, I don't tear into the gift, I gingerly separate the taped parts and keep the paper. The same with long scraps of ribbon. The voices of my mother and grandmother ring in my head: No, no, don't throw it away, it's still good!! And despite all logical arguments to the contrary, it's worth it when the holidays roll around.