Gift Box Wrapped with Calendar Page

The Perfect Little Gift

Gift Box Wrapped with Calendar Page

I recently threw a luncheon for some of my favorite girlfriends. These are all very special women; not only are they good friends who go to the theater with me, they’ve also treated me to lunches and dinners more times than I can count. Rather than place cards, I decided little gifts to salute our future would express how much I’m looking forward to spending time with them in the days to come. Sadly, I don’t have unlimited funds, so I had to get creative.

What could be more perfect than a calendar, each one chosen to express something distinctive about these terrific ladies? I found what I was looking for in Workman calendars, and I spent my time happily thinking about what makes these “girls” so unique.

My first choice was the most obvious. For Grace, the artist, it had to be 365 DAYS IN THE MET. This beautiful wall calendar features, of course, iconic paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, such as the newly restored “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” by Emanuel Leutze. There are also pages devoted to the various exhibits. So, in May, The Costume Institute is featured, with each day containing a small picture from that section of the museum. July takes up the balmy days with Islamic Art, perfect for the warm weather. No one can get to play hooky and hang out all the time in this wonderful building, but now, we can feel as though we’re there a little bit every day.

The selection for Fran was immediately apparent, too. This woman is, by far, my chicest friend, and quite possibly one of the most stylish people on the planet. She’s also a force to be reckoned with, as she travels for work to the Middle East and other exotic locales. Though tiny in stature, she always stands tall- and her super high heels, all by the hottest designers, help with the illusion. Just in case she runs out of ideas, I’ve gotten her 365 DAYS OF SHOES. January starts off the year with a bang, by featuring boldly striped stiletto ankle boots. Some of the designs are pretty far out; for October, you get red suede flats on a gold painted wooden platform. We can’t all dress as well as Fran does every day, but at least our wall with always be in fashion.

Michelle’s sweet black lab, Rocky, is an immediately lovable pooch. When I found a picture that looked just like him on the back, I understood that I had to get HERO DOGS for Michelle. An outstanding photographer herself, I knew she’d appreciate these special portraits. This one is perfect for anyone who loves canines, and the proceeds go to the American Humane Association. Definitely a win-win purchase.

Jamie is one of those moms who just makes it all seem so effortless. One of Sotheby’s auction experts, she’s also terrific at teaching her children good manners, and she delights in taking them to cultural events. I wanted to get something fun for the kids, and I think POCKET PIGS fills the bill. Need I even say that featured are the cutest little porkers on the planet? I couldn’t choose who’d win the title among the guitar player for August, the little ballerina for June, or the teacup piglets of May. As advertised, this one will make you “squeal with delight.”

There’s always that one person on your list who just has it all. For me, that’s Elle, a dynamite real estate agent who runs several other successful businesses as well. I always kid her that I wish she could just marry someone spectacularly rich, and equally busy, who’d say, “Why don’t you and Michall take the limo into the City and go to an incredibly expensive restaurant in between shows today.” Imagine my delight when I came upon HOT ROYALS, a divine compendium of eligible titled bachelors. While November’s Prince Sebastien of Luxembourg is a little young at 20, and cover boy Prince Harry is a little too wild, there’s nothing wrong with May’s Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. After all, what girl wouldn’t want to be Mrs. Sheikh Hamdan…well, you get the idea.

Not wanting to take these sensational girlfriends any place that wasn’t top drawer, I conspired with sister Theater Lady Leslie, and we set up a great menu at my favorite local restaurant, Café of Love in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Not only does Leslie make great food, served in a space that manages to be both as homey and as elegant as the best French bistro, she’s also killingly glamorous, and she always smells amazing. So, of course, I gave FLOWERS to this lovely flower. This page-a-day gallery calendar can be kept at work or at home. No matter if a massive crowd comes pouring into her restaurant all at once, howling to be fed; she will always have these breathtaking photos to provide a moment of serenity.

What I love best about shopping for presents, big or small, is that the experience gives me a bit of time to carefully consider my loved ones, what they’re like, and what I think they’d enjoy. That’s the gift I give myself.

Michall Jeffers is an accomplished Cultural Journalist and an avowed bibliophile, with a black belt in shopping. She writes extensively , both in print and online, on the best buys. Her eponymous cable TV show is syndicated throughout the tri-state area, and features celebrity interviews, reviews, and commentary. Michall is a voting member of National Book Critics Circle. www.michalljeffers.com

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