It’s been a few weeks since we’ve been upstate due to holiday parties, family events, etc.  But our last trip did result in this:

Being cut down by Anuj and driven back to Harlem where it’s currently sparkling in the corner:

It’s not the biggest tree in the world, but we decided to apply this year’s theme of ‘restraint’ to the holiday decor and gift-giving.  This means there will be no Gift of the Magi happening on Christmas morning.

I did my best to buy only handmade gifts this year (mostly through etsy.com) as a way to keep things personalized and meaningful, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Family member spoiler alert: please stop reading if you want to be surprised on Christmas!

Here’s a sampling of the beautiful items I scooped up as gifts this year.

This print from 12fifteen for my sister-in-law:

These coasters from 12fifteen for my mother and father-in-law:

This adorable print from JHill Design for my nephew:

These recipe cards from Moontree Press (right around the corner from my office in Brooklyn) for my step-mom and step-sister-in-law:

These notecards from Le Canot Rouge for my Dad and step-mom:

And these ornaments from Beehive Kitchenware for my mom:

This is only a slice of my family.  You can imagine the challenge in keeping Christmas affordable.  Initially, I thought the handmade rule was going to be restrictive, but it turned out to be really fun (and easy) to shop from my computer.   Most of the items came with a hand-written note and were beautifully wrapped.

Thanks to the many blogs that recommended these merchants and artists.

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