Last night, while enjoying an exceptionally tasty French dinner at a local bistro, my husband asked me what I wanted for Christmas. We had just ended a 7 hour shopping spree, buying holiday gifts for everyone (including my husband) – everyone but me. So naturally, when he finally asked moi what I wanted, I stopped for a second – ok it was more like an hour – to think about all of the things I wanted this year.
Typically, I don’t ask for much, if anything. I can usually buy most things I want throughout the year, so asking for something specific at Christmas doesn’t seem necessary. I’d actually rather give gifts than receive them (funny how things change when you’re an adult!).
But then, I started dreaming of a trip to Paris, London, and/or Barcelona. However, because neither of us has the time nor disposable income for this, my dream was shattered or at least put on hold. I began to think more in terms of what things we could actually afford but would still bring a little bit of Europe into my life – because, as you all know, that is the reason for the existence of this blog.
When thinking about all of the European things that I love or things that remind me of Europe, a few little lovelies immediately came to mind. So, the list below goes out to my awesome and very generous husband, but it can also be used as a reference for anyone who wants to enjoy the small, but very European things, in life, without taking out a second mortgage.
A Few of My Favorite European Things
- Tea: Harney and Sons is my favorite tea brand – Paris or English Breakfast anyone?
- Fancy Chocolates: I love truffles and other fancy chocolates but rarely buy them because they are so expensive. What am I thinking? It’s Christmas! Bring on the Vosges!
- French Macaroons: Oh my, what I wouldn’t give to find a super easy and failsafe recipe for French macaroons! But, until then, I’ll take a few from Vanille in Chicago. A perfect stocking stuffer, don’t you think?
- English Toffee: There are numerous kinds of English Toffee on the market these days, but the best English toffee I’ve ever tasted was from Enstrom. It absolutely melted in my mouth and left me wanting more – and believe me, I DID eat more!
- Cookbooks: My husband and I love the Williams Sonoma cookbook series. I would love to add the French and Mediterranean books to our collection – hint, hint…
And last but not least...
- Bath and Body – I just love the French bath and body products from L’Occitane, especially its verbena hand creams and hand soaps. But I would love to try their new Savons de Provence. As for my love of all things British, Crabtree & Evelyn products are at the top of my list! One of my favorite things to do when holiday shopping is to walk into a C&E store to browse all of their latest collections, and savor my favorites, like the citron, honey, and coriander products. This collection fulfills two of my musts in body products: they are naturally made and smell of honey and lemon – perfection!
Crabtree & Evelyn Holiday Giveaway!
And, speaking of gourmet English gifts, the team at Crabtree & Evelyn was nice enough to send over a few samples of their holiday collections for me to try…
C&E’s Noel Collection was designed with the idea of a traditional English Christmas in mind. The infusers, candles, and scented scented oils are a perfect blend of mulling spices, cranberry, orange, and balsam. In a separate holiday line, the Windsor Forest collection leaves you with the scent of a fresh Christmas tree in the air – what could be more festive than that?
And if reading about all of these amazing products wasn’t enough, I’m giving away one of Crabtree & Evelyn’s classic hand creams! After all, ’tis the season for giving!
One very fortunate reader will receive C&E Hand Recovery cream from the citron, honey, and coriander collection. This cream is perfect for extra dry hands. And, with all of the hand washing going on these days to protect us from the flu and other illness, I’m sure all of our hands are a bit dryer than normal. I’ve tried the sister product, the Rejuvenating Hand Remedy, which left my hands feeling extremely soft and smelling of lemons – loved it!
Directions for Giveaway Entry:
- Visit the Crabtree and Evelyn site AND
- Leave a comment on this post telling me either a) which C&E product you like the most (assuming you’ve used the products before) OR b) what it is you MOST want for Christmas.
- US or Canadian Entries only, please.
Yes, it’s that simple!
Please send me your comments by Sunday, December 13, at 9 PM Eastern and I’ll announce the random winner on Monday, December 14. OK, ready, steady, go!
So, now that I have my list set, it’s all up to good ‘old Father Christmas and Pere Noel – wink, wink!
Happy Holidays Everyone!