We asked our panel of women to share their favorite gifts they received for Christmas.  After all, Valentine’s Day is this month and hopefully you will pamper yourself with a gift or receive one from a friend or spouse!  But as you’ll read below, even if you other half is not good a picking out a present for you, pick out one for yourself! 


Hope you find a treat idea among our list of our faves!

Two gifts I bought for myself! My husband is not a gift giver, so I usually pick things out myself and buy them. I had been looking at a cute Fossil bag for a while...waiting for it to go on sale. It finally did right before Christmas!!         

And my next gift to myself was a Smartwatch. Having a son in the military, I never know when/where I might get a call.  I wanted to be able to receive that call anytime/anywhere. I am not one to carry my cell with me everywhere, so the watch gives me the convenience of seeing/answering his call quickly. This was also quite expensive; and unfortunately not on sale. However, they were my "Merry CHRISTmas" to myself!   

My favorite gift this year was a new Bible. My old one was falling apart. I wanted a study Bible of some kind, and spent several weeks looking at different versions. I finally settled on the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible. And it’s pretty too! That was also one of my wishes - to have a pretty cover.

I always buy gifts for myself for my husband to wrap. That way I can try it on or pick something I need or want. There’s an area I really like to shop in Southlake, Texas, and I timed my shopping perfectly this year. I was in Soft Surroundings the weekend after Black Friday and everything was marked down even more than usual. I found a blouse I really, really loved and what I loved more was it was only $20.00. I wouldn’t have bought it at its regular price! It was a Merry Christmas to me!

This may sound silly, but my husband gave me two new Calphalon cooking pans and I love them.  I had needed them but just didn't want to go spend the money!  I was very happy that he heard me saying what I needed and then went and got it for me.  The other gift I am excited about is some gift cards to Alamo Drafthouse.  We love going to the movies but don't seem to get there often enough.  This will get us there!  The last gift was really just a sentimental one but Millie (my granddaughter) made me a Christmas card and it simply said Mery Christmas Nana I love you.  That was the best!

This year my favorite Christmas gift was a set of soy candle votives.  The smell is so light and fresh and healthy.  It was an unlikely gift from my hubby.  I appreciated his effort to find a product that he was unfamiliar with.  I specifically asked for SOY candles.

Also, I bought a little wooden nativity for myself, on sale.  I was surprised how cute it was after I put it together. The candles are from Lulu Candles.  The Nativity is from JOANN Fabric and Crafts.

My favorite gift has a bit of a story behind it… In the early days of my mother’s retirement she took up painting. Over 30 years ago she created a small oil painting of her living room decorated for Christmas. It was an amazingly detailed image of her beautiful mantle and Christmas tree during the holidays.

It was the scene that my children grew up knowing as the place that Christmas magic happened. Several years ago, as she prepared to move into an independent living center, I became the owner of the very special picture. And every Christmas it now finds a place of special importance among my decorations. So this Christmas, my precious daughter-in-law painted a very similar picture of our Christmas tree and mantle complete with initials on the stockings and everything just as it is, during our Christmas Eve celebrations. Now I have the painting of my mother’s home that reminds us of the many wonderful memories from many years ago, near the current painting of my home, which I hope will create that Christmas magic going forward for my grandchildren as well. 

Both my daughter and daughter-in-law gave me a necklace.  One was from Madewell, and the other from Jimani.  Both are so beautifully made and I love the length, they’re so fun to wear!

My favorite gift I gave this Christmas were small wooden plaques I had made by an artist in Round Rock, Texas with "And I Think to Myself What a Wonderful World" written on it. I have a bigger version that she gave me a while back and every time I see it I smile and start humming the song. For some reason, it just makes me happy.  It was a big hit with family members and friends. I need to order a lot more!

Since my husband passed away in October, I was not in a festive mood this Christmas. Besides, all my decorations were in the attic and I just couldn't ask anyone to go up there and get them.  But, mostly, my heart just wasn't in it. Then a sewing forum I belong to on Facebook released a tutorial about how to make these "festive fabric trees" and about a week before Christmas I made a whole bunch of them for gifts, including this trio of different sized trees for my own table. I think they are so cute and they really cheered me up!  Anyone can join this sewing forum and then download the free pattern.


My favorite gift for Christmas was my beautiful Vera Wang purse and matching wallet from my daughter! It’s everything I love in a purse; well made, roomy, several compartments to organize items I carry & stylish!


One of my favorite gifts was a cuff bracelet from ZYMBOL.  We saw it at a festival and it ended up under the tree!  You’ll want to read the story behind the jewelry.  The cuff comes in different sizes for all wrists, and it’s so beautiful.  I love it!

We travel a lot, so my husband got both of us a travel pillow that unzips, and inside is a blanket!  And…he found some travel shoe bags that he gave me, as well.  We are headed on vacation later in February, so these will be great!

by Marcy Lytle

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