You Light Up My Life

We can’t decide what we love more about Skeem’s pillar candles. Unusual, ethereal scents like warm sake, black currant and sweet balsam? Fresh and funky glass designs? The way the hand-poured soy/paraffin wax and lead-free wicks burn cleanly and evenly? That each 12-ounce candle burns 90 hours, but when it’s done, you’re left with a snazzy drinking glass? Guess we’ll have to light a candle and meditate on that. Guess we’ll have to light a candle and meditate on that. $20.95, The Stone Haus, Gaylord, 989-732-0745.


You know how you were thinking you’d get a nice bowl to put by the entryway, where your husband could drop his keys and wallet and change each night? This is not that bowl. This bowl—heavy, hand-painted Turkish glass—belongs in a place of honor. Showcase it on a wall, atop the mantle, on the center of your dining table. Let no pocket flotsam mar its pretty face, let no husband call it his own. Silly lady, glamorous gilded bowls are for you. $45, French Bulldog, Elk Rapids, 231-264-9200,

Sharp Idea

Easy, inexpensive and essential to your holiday hors d’oeuvres arsenal: a warm baguette, a few wedges of cheese and this elegant serving set. $17 at Home-Jetton Miller, Lake Leelanau, 231-256-7855,

Northern Star

Dress up your holiday dinner party with place-setting décor that does double duty: Festoon each guest’s plate with a holiday-themed cookie cutter filled with colorful candied almonds. Guests can munch before the meal and keep the cutter as a take-home gift. Star, $.95 at Cutlers in Petoskey, 231-347-0341,; blue or gold foil-wrapped almonds $9.95; silver $19.95, Paper and Presents, Traverse City, 231-941-1444.

Out on a Limb

Nature-inspired décor need not be only mud colored or moose covered. Feather your nest—or your Christmas tree—with pieces inspired by Mother Nature’s softer side, such as this sparkly, beribboned bird’s nest. $12, princess and the pea, elk rapids. 231-264-8031.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski