Confession: I love The Chew. I don’t get to watch it as much as I’d like since I work in an office most days, but when I do catch it I always find myself drawn to Daphne Oz. She’s a cool, young city mom who likes to cook–she’s basically me (in my head).
TJMaxx and Marshalls recently enlisted Daphne to help shoppers nail gift giving this season, so we thought it’d be helpful to share her crazy good ideas. Find out what presents she recommends for foodies, famous fathers and new moms like herself below.
SHEfinds: Who is the hardest person on your list to shop for?
Daphne Oz: With such a large family, plus my colleagues on The Chew and friends, I know how hard it can be to get a thoughtful, creative gift for each person on your holiday list. I’d have to say that my father and husband are the hardest to shop for since they are both notorious for telling me that they don’t need or want anything. But that just means I have to put double thought into finding something they do need, or that they’re really going to use and love.
I love gifting around experiences, which is perfect because my dad is always taking up new activities. We love to spend time outdoors as a family, so I’m opting for a unique gift this year like a kayak that I actually saw in Marshalls! It will definitely help him have fun keeping fit, especially now that he’s a grandpa!
For my husband, we love to travel, so a classic Italian leather duffle bag is perfect, and maybe I’ll plan a quick little weekend getaway for three.
SF: You’re a new mom–what’s on your wish list?
DO: I love being a mom and Philo is at such a fun age right now. She’s so engaged and coming into her own. She loves to get messy and is always whizzing around our apartment in her walker or speed-crawling, so she destroys all the cute outfits I get for her, but I still love picking them out. Getting gifts for her is basically like picking out gifts for me since I think I enjoy them more than she does. But there are two things I really want this season: some stacked rings and a classic camel coat.
SF: You’re a co-host on The Chew–what’s the best gift for a foodie?
DO: For anyone who loves spending time in the kitchen–or eating–I like to gift creative items like copper Moscow Mule mugs to help them step up their drinks game, or cast iron Dutch ovens that you can find at T.J.Maxx and Marshalls. I love it when something functional can also serve as a beautiful accent for your home, which comes in especially useful if you live in an apartment without a lot of storage space.
I’m also a big fan creating your own gift baskets with gourmet cooking ingredients. The stores have an incredible selection of gifts from great brands at an excellent value–and you can’t get better than that!
SF: What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
DO: The best gifts are the ones that give you great memories. A couple years ago, my aunt put together a big book of tons of old family photos for us, and we’re making a family cookbook for my grandmother this year. But if I had to pick one thing, I’d say my engagement ring was the gift that’s made me the happiest. And the gift of our daughter, Philomena, is the best present of all.
SF: What is your favorite family holiday tradition?
DO: I come from a giant family–my mom is one of six, and they multiplied from there–Philo is the latest addition! I look forward all year round to our traditions when we get together at my grandparents’ home around the holidays. On Christmas Eve, all the kids bake Christmas cookies and we all have a giant Italian feast with my grandpa’s famous stuffed artichokes, pasta and antipasti. Everybody stays up to go to a midnight service that is held by candlelight at the church and we sing all the favorite carols. Then we get home and eat tons of cookies with tea and milk–we leave a few out for Santa, too.
The next morning, the kids race downstairs to open their stockings, and we have a big breakfast of popovers, egg sandwiches, and glazed pecan praline strudel. There are a few more giant, delicious meals throughout the day. <y mom and grandma are both amazing cooks, and of course I like to jump in there with them.
In the afternoon, we play a big game of Oz Family Football to help blow off the steam that comes with spending all the time with a loud, crazy family, and then come back inside to sit by the fire, play board games, eat more food, and finally crash in front of a classic old movie like Miracle on 34th Street or It’s A Wonderful Life with popcorn.
Be sure to check out Shoshanna Gruss’ tips on what to wear to holiday parties, plus the best gifts for home.