In the Lake household, the Christmas Stocking is a sacred artefact. Everyone sleeping on the night of Santa’s rooftop landing meets the morning with a stocking; children, adults and guests alike. They are a festive staple and personally, my favourite part of the morning. Sometimes, the most exciting, the most quietly elaborate, most beloved or unusual gifts will be contained within that mysterious red velvet shroud.
But, there are rules, oh! Yes, there are rules. Each present has a theme and is introduced by a riddle-laden tag. Now, I will leave you to create your own riddles, dear reader. However, I share with you the titular themes and, within them, gifts I long to be receiving this year. I’ve been very good, after all…
The Needed One.
Will it be body, bath or hair? It will be something you will use daily, giving you a small respite from the chore of buying your own toiletries. However, gift boxes got oh-so-grown up.
A modern take on the rose scent – think the largest, most pillowy dusky blooms on a hot summer’s day, champagne in hand and taking a stroll around lawns. Rose Damascena Absolute, blackcurrant and cashmere musk reform in Eau de Parfum and body wash.
Simply put, here we have a cleanser and conditioner for hair with a limited edition pearlescent claw clip. Authentic Beauty Concept focuses on clean formulas, free from sulfate surfactants, silicones & parabens, and vegan wherever possible (28 out of 31 formulas). The glow range focuses on coloured hair, with date and cinnamon for firming and soothing, whilst cationic Guar leaves the hair soft and shiny.
The Healthy One.
There always has to be something just a little healthy, just a smidge of an idea of verdure to balance the season’s gluttony.
The skin is a two-sided organ, so you can’t address every skin aim topically. Happy Glowing Skin supplements hydrate from within, supporting a happy gut and delivering happy skin, targeting fine lines, wrinkles, elasticity, uneven skin tone, dullness, dryness & thinning skin.
Skin Omegas+ focuses on skin hydration, with an omega-3 complex containing fish oils and vitamin A, whilst Skin Youth Biome™ uses microbiome technology for gut health, bringing six skin-friendly strains along with vitamin C.
Tensions could run high if the coveted bag of chocolate coins were hidden at the bottom of a stocking, as such an important element could surely not be missed. Nowadays, I like to satisfy my sweet tooth elsewhere.
Chocolate? Think truffles. A beautiful body care staple, with ingredients selected to deliver a formula just as luxurious as they sound: black truffle, cocoa, shea butter, champagne, silk, gold and cashmere extracts and luminous rose quartz, with a honey, vetiver and sandalwood scent.
Or, how about caramels? Slip’s silk pillowcase in caramel is a tenuous link, but one your skin, and hair will thank you for, reducing the prevalence of fine lines, increasing skin hydration and smoothing hair, all whilst you sweetly sleep.
It just isn’t Christmas without a pair.
Sublimely soft cashmere (85%, with a little nylon for better wear resistance) with a fine rib for comfort and fitting. Exquisite socks, perfect for an extra special stocking.
There was always an orange in every stocking. A running joke of the family was me marching off to place it back in the fruit bowl, from where even as a child, I knew it must have come. Silly Santa. Nowadays, we can view this citrus in an alternative frame.
You would expect nothing less of a formula from Chantecallie, a natural flush, seen here in a warm and bright orange-apricot tone, offering medium coverage for seamlessly effortless application and a slight pearlescence for glow. Complete with a vegan, cruelty-free formula, a section of company profits go directly towards preserving the Earth’s most precious assets, from wild species to endangered environments.
Take the heady zest of the fruit to your ablution with citrus and orange blossom to scent your bath, and a formula enriched with passion fruit and grape seed oils. Surely more uplifting and skin-caring, and without any peel or pith.
The Selection of Nuts.
Another very traditional element I did not fully appreciate as a child, every stocking contained a delectable bag holding walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts. Which, whilst now more appreciated as a treat, I will flip entirely too.
My all-time favourite candle, although I am always open to the idea of being swayed. Deep and woody yet rich and fresh, it embodies hazelnuts at the cusp of ripening, still under the leaf in the autumn rain.
The Personal One.
Maybe it’s the joy of having a rather unusual name, but it’s rather hard to find stationery with ‘Naomi’ emblazoned on it. For this reason, there is always something personalised hanging over the fireplace.
Choose every element, from font to colour, charm and chain, to create a gift that is both super-personalised and super kitsch. It’s a perfect stocking filler creation for a merry and memorable gift.
The Unusual One.
It might be a toy, a trick, a moment’s giggle or a morning of intrigue. What will the last beguiling gift be?
This year, intrigue befalls with bottled joy. How might such a refreshment make the morning unwrapping, you ask? With Lyre’s Alcohol-Free Manhatton Set. American Malt hosts vanilla, toasted nuts and gentle spices and gives a smooth and mellow finish. Apéritif Rosso offers the forward notion of blood orange and vanilla, soon followed by warm caramel, tangy citrus pith and warm cacao. Mix 2:1 and you have a Christmas breakfast Manhattan that will ensure your freshness for all the day’s demands.