My Material Life

Good Things for Small Packages

It’s nice to have little gifts to share when you see friends this time of year, isn’t it? Of course this usually catches me off guard because December sneaks up so quickly. I’m more prepared this year, however, thanks to a few recent finds beginning with the small silver ornaments(?), charms(?), game pieces(?) you can see in the photo gallery above. I was so intrigued when I found a large bunch of these little boxes in the Whole Foods store in Cupertino earlier this month. I had to see what was inside and once I looked, I was hooked.


I decided to make some spool knit wreaths to go with the little made in the USA ornaments from Vilmain (see and/or purchase them here; a whole set would make a lovely hostess gift). I recently splurged on a very luxe yarn from Stacy Charles called Stella. It’s from Italy, 74% silk and 26% lurex. The ribbons I used were from my stash. I love that blue one from a box of candy given to me by a former boss when he returned from one of his trips to Italy. I knew it would come in handy some day.

That yarn is so pretty, isn’t it? I found it at the Very Knit Shop in Los Gatos. They were showing it knit up as a simple wrist warmer, and I think they added some beads to it as well. It was a stunning evening wrist warmer. Have you seen this spool knitter before? I added it to my collection last year, but this is the first time I’ve actually knit with it. It’s the Camden Rose Knitting Tower. You can find it here.

Now I mentioned small packages in the title of this post for good reason. Presentation is key in life and no more so than when you are giving a tiny gift. Container Store had the perfect approximately 3-1/2″ square, hard-sided, glossy white gift boxes that I needed for 79ยข. That’s money well spent. A gift box elevates everything. And immediately after I purchased mine I found more things that could fit in them and that would also make lovely and inexpensive gifts.


I found these items at Crate and Barrel. They are selling the snowbird soaps individually wrapped for $1 or you can purchase them in sets of 5. The winter scene ornament set of 6 discs is illustrated by Jen Corace and sells for $9.95; I’m not sure I can bear to part with any of them though!

Here’s one last small gift idea that already comes in its own neat little package. It’s my favorite Trader Joe’s Italian panettone, this time sized for one. I bought myself a bunch of these because panettone toast with butter is one of my favorite treats this time of year and I’m the only one in my house who eats it. I just remove all the paper, split the panettone open with my hands, and toast it in the oven โ€“ heaven.





  1. Something so precious and special about small things in a box- love that! Pannetone – I die for that every year….did you see the cookie mixes for sale in mason jars at Sur La Table – check them out – made me think of you – “Colleen could do this – only even better!” sending Love

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