Grateful for a Home and Holiday Gift Ideas

California fire, AP photo by Noah Berger

Fall is my favorite time of year. I love pulling out our warmer afghans, lighting candles in the early evening darkness and making heartier meals. And I feel an extra sense of gratitude for our little house as the weather cools and the nights lengthen. Perhaps this is why I’ve been particularly saddened by all those folks who have recently lost their homes (to say nothing of those who lost family members, friends and pets) to fires here in California. I can only imagine the deep sense of loss and shock…to have started the day waking up in your own bed and by nightfall having no where to lay your head and everything you own gone. It’s mind blowing!

Houses are such flimsy things. We think of them as fortresses but in reality they can be a thin skin against what nature and man throws against them. I think about this from time to time as I live in “earthquake country” just a few miles from the San Andreas fault. Scientists have predicted that the “Big One” is likely to hit anytime in the next 30 years. My home could be one of thousands reduced to rubble in that event.

It’s a sobering thought, but one that makes me appreciate my humble home every day. I see it as an imperfect, impermanent sanctuary, but one still worthy of making as beautiful and comfortable as possible.

Maybe that’s one of the reasons why I like my job. I know there is nothing remarkable, noble or altruistic about selling stuff, but still it’s a joy helping someone else create their own beautiful sanctuary with the vintage bits I find. It makes me happy. Seriously. If I just wanted to make money, I’d build up my freelance writing career again or find a regular job. So with that in mind I’ve pulled together a few fun finds that might be just what you’re looking for for yourself or as a gift.

Holiday Gift Sampler

Saks Fifth Avenue Italian micro-mosaic picture frame and a Chinese-style ceramic box. Don’t they look Christmasy?


Large Margot de Paris Creations needlepoint


Wonderful necklace with glass pearls that look so real!!


Chunky vintage brass lion bank


Fabulous Mexican sterling silver and stone bracelet


Stunning natural agate bookends


Handsome Scandinavian-style artisan candleholders


Sterling silver angel pin/pendant


Plaster Borghese gilded griffin box


And do visit to find wonderful things from other vintage sellers and artisans.

As always, happy hunting,



  1. Love you column, you’d be great at freelance.
    “Things” help define apersons style and openly show people who you are.
    I’m a hobbyist seller and buyer in Ohio, more estate sales and yard sales. I love to see what you pick

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ann. I think you’re right…things do define a person’s style. (Isn’t it fun to step into a friend’s house and see the how she decorates it?)

      I love estate sales but haven’t been going to as many lately. Really should because I’ve gotten some great stuff in the past! – Karen

      P.S. Thanks for the compliments.. 🙂


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