Many of our Christmas gifts seem to run in (unplanned) themes around here. One year it was pants (I suppose my husband had worn through most of his that year), or socks, or sweaters -- or (more fun) jewelry. 2011 appears to be the year of tea and shoes, along with some cashmere thrown in owing to a great sale at Lands' End just before Christmas, plus free upgraded two-day shipping that got it here on time.
I gave my mom a Lenox teapot from a pattern she had admired since I was a little girl, and happened to remark on when we were shopping in Atlanta last summer. I love it when I remember something. I also had fun shopping varieties of tea at Teavana, and found pretty tea canisters, tea cups, a glass tumbler and some different blends of tea and German rock sugar there for her and my brother and his girlfriend.
My parents arrived from the airport bearing suitcases of treats - mostly of the homemade cookie, candy and coffee cake varieties (my grandmother's toffee candy was highly requested this year), but also some incredible teas. One of my favorites is this Chinese Green Kiwi Strawberry Tea from The Salt Table in Savannah, Georgia. I haven't been to Savannah in ages, but my parents are closer and can visit more often and this is one of their favorite shops. I'll be perusing their website soon as they do ship (free 3-day on orders over $25. in the lower 48).
On the shoe theme, parcels from John Fluevog (for my brother) and L.K. Bennett (most definitely a happy surprise for me) arrived ahead of my parents, along with a big box which turned out to contain those drizzly-puddly-perfect wellies from Hunter in classic green. I wore them for three days straight. The L.K. Bennett package turned out to hold the nude patent Maddox I've been wishing for since my summer trip to their Atlanta store. It was the last pair in my size, and they sent them out to me with a sweet note. I look forward to popping in again this coming summer.
So. Our houseguests have all flown off, the extra dining table is put away, my husband is back to the office, and I suppose it is time to start taking down the decorations. How long do you leave them up?