Caroline de Maigret’s last-minute shopping list

“Every year it comes around, the semi-stressful, semi-joyful holiday period. I just love spending time with family and those I don’t tend to see enough of during the year, gathering around a beautiful big dinner table and putting the world to rights. And the best part is seeing my son, nieces and nephews so happy and overexcited!

However, Christmas also often means spending time with people who always seem to have harsh words to say, or conversations that try the nerves. And then there’s the rush involved in finding gifts… and which gifts?

Luckily I’ve found the perfect gift hit list to make everyone happy (including me). I have a whole ritual that goes down quite well. First, I give books: with generally a few picks I’ve enjoyed reading during the year and want to share (sometimes they’re all the same for everyone, but nobody is put out). I also give everyone a USB key loaded up with some new music that I like and a few classics I’ve rediscovered. Then, last but not least, for my two sisters, my mother and mother-in-law, I give makeup. It’s a lazy gift but it’s also pretty, practical and very personal. My picks are usually based on something I’ve discovered and use myself, like a new lip color, an evening-ready eye shadow palette, or a fantastic new cream I simply can’t live without.

It’s reassuring to know that this year December 23 will be a little less stressful than normal!”

Caroline de Maigret.