Wrap Star


I’m not a traditional person, in many ways, but especially when it comes to holiday decor. Our tree is a multi-colour fiesta, with sweet ornaments that are precious, kitschy, handmaid and mismatched, plus a garland of bright fabrics from India, pom-pom neon elephants from Thailand… macarons, owls, deer, foxes, and even a beaver for good measure. It makes me so happy to see the colours, all interwoven with gold and white lights.

So, it’s no surprise that when it comes to wrapping, I am a huge fan of DIY, reused, recycled and quirky styles. This year the tree, in all its colourful splendour, has an array of bright packages tied up with yarn, ribbon and twine. The main papers are bright cactus-print with gold, hot pink paper with zebras, and some magenta paper with graphic avocados. I reused some pretty patterned boxes, and did colour coordinated (reused) gift wrap inside all the boxes, for an unexpectedly bright and irreverent holiday melee.

Here are some of my favourite inspiration pics to get you in the wrapping mood (all photo credits and links available here: https://www.pinterest.ca/alisonjc/gift-list/)

Although boxes were my vehicle of choice this year, I am always game to think outside the box when it comes to the wrapping! Enjoy!















What would you like to see a blog about in upcoming entries?


Festive Customer Complaints

Indulge, Open Letters

I love getting into the spirit of giving, whether it’s giving back to the community, taping a Mariah Carey inspired “All I Want For Christmas …. is youuuuuuuuu” carpool karaoke video (for students to giggle at their teachers playing at late night stunts, or planning and wrapping the beautiful surprises that I hope will light up the faces of my friends and family.


Anthropologie Lamb Ornament

Unfortunately, in our well-connected, cyber world, the ease is sometimes accompanied by glitches. Case in point: one of my go-to stores, Anthropologie, is usually a place I hit up in person, but the selection of baubles online is far better. Due to some site problems, I ended up finding out part of my order would ship separately, which sucks as a Canadian, with border agents charging a tax per package, flat rate. So, I wrote to Anthro:

Hopefully, in the holiday spirit, I get a solution, or at least they consider this problem for others in the future.


What stores have the best customer service that keeps you coming back?

What local shops and artists, or causes, are you supporting?

What stores have policies around this time of year that make you reluctant to shop there?

For the rest of December I’ll be posting festive gift lists, wish lists, holiday fashion and featuring hand-made and one-of-a-king artisans whose products are worth the investment.

Hi there, I’ve been a longtime fan of Anthro. Instead of a wedding registry, we made an Anthropologie wishlist. Needless to say, I’m a fan. I was hoping to spread some cheer by shopping for friends this year at Anthropologie online, and filled my cart. Your shipping to Canada is often fraught with problems, like unpredictable taxes and duties, and shipping costs. I figured I’d bite the bullet and go ahead. This time, however, an item that the site said it was available wasn’t. As a result, part of my order is to ship separately. The problem: Canadian customs bills us $10.00 for EVERY order they process. So, Anthropolgie having an out-of-date stock list is going to cost me $10… twice. The remaining necklace that I want is $38.00 and will end up costing me 25% of the cost of the item just to have it ship on its own. This is such an unfair burden to pass on to the customer since there was no notice from you that the item wasn’t available when I placed my order. What can you do to fix this?

Happy holidays to those who celebrate ambiguously, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Hannukkah and wishing you a very Stylish, Merry and Bright season ahead!


Anthropologie Penguin Ornaments

Yours Truly,  The Style Sa Vie

Wish I May, Wish I Might – A holiday list that’s surely a hit!


For all the good folks on your list this year, consider some outside (or inside) of the box gift options. Don’t forget to get yourself a little something, too.

From home decor with some sparkle, to baubles for your own body…

From left to right: Target floor lamp, YYZ Imports necklace, Hammered Serving Tray, Coffee Table Book, Mix-and-match scents, Bralettes from Aerie, Lumee self-lighting selfie friendly phone case, sleep set from H&M, Board Games for Drinkers, IKEA white throw rug and cozy booties, pompom scarf, gorgeous patterned briefs from Toronto darlings – Nuvango.

Try a bold t-shirt that puts you firmly on the map. This ‘The Future is Female’ shirt was gifted to our adorable niece. Her dad (the father of three girls) wants one of his own!

For the person with everything: a hand-crafted treat – like this leather leash for their bestie, an ornate herb-chopping knife, sleep soothing machine, aux-naturel Burt’s Bees Lipstick, a decorative perch for the brights and sparklies, cellphone lanyard, statement purse with bees… from Zara, amazing flamingo print leggings from Nuvango, satin pajamas, snazzy ampersand cutting board; for the health and wellness guru – yoga block, mat and accessories. And more Nuvango marble-print leggings, for good measure.

Above, a nubby, fat woven textile; some R&R for the bath, or the booze; little extras that are shiny and bright, or add some personality (patches, hammered coasters and ice bucket from Target, shoe polishing kit, a book that has her name all over it).

What is on your wish list for the holiday?

Ho-ho-hipster holidays 


There is no room for shame during the holidays, not about all the eggnog and cookies and belt loosening and certainly not about being a bit of a hipster.

Embrace it. I did. Cause who isn’t a bit of a Hipster at Hallmark moments? And who’s above a little self-deprication when it turns out we all have a bit of a penchant for ironic holiday choices (this might tie in pretty well with all those ironic fashion choices)?

Signs you might be a seasonal hipster:

You’ve Instagramed your holiday decor…  

your taxidermy is wearing a Santa hat and your pets have ugly sweaters. Your air plant vignette has elves hidden in it. You’re on Pinterest, regularly looking for updates for your Christmas style (* this could also qualify you as several other subcategories of Christmas celebrant, see Martha Stewart-Adherent, Overachieving Mom,… )

You’ve attempted,  or resurrected, some elborate holiday ritual/ tradition that you’ll tell your friends about. 

– cutting down your own tree, Christmas baking and themed dinners. You’ve organized a cookie swap, a Secret Santa party, a bad-Santa re-gifting party and an ‘Orphan’ party/brunch/dinner. You are also attending a Hanukkah party.

Your culinary attempts are all VERY tongue in cheek 

-beer can Turkey, making eggnog from scratch and elaborate sides like candied bacon and …. Well, you get the picture.

You own several ugly Christmas sweaters and don’t just wear them for the official party.

– same goes for onesies.

Your ornaments are carefully selected from craft breweries, handmade markets and children… Or look like they were. 


 the colour scheme is either effortlessly perfect or matches not at all. Bonus points for terrariums, carnival lights and woodland creatures.

All your wrapping is fair trade, local or handmade and your cards are from local artisans/ artist. You support local. Obviously. (and that’s a good thing).

definitely on recycled paper. Probably small batches, and likely to have moustaches, cats or pop culture references. Also featuring inside jokes. Like these wicked designs from Flakes Paperie (I just discovered these fine folks at the One of a Kind Show. You should check out their AMAZING stock on their website! I got my wife a few of these cards for upcoming occasions. They are beautiful and will put a huge smile on your face).


Last on your list, but definitely somewhere on your list, between being awesome and surprising your nearest and dearest with whimsical, skillfully curated gifts and goodies, you’re also making the world a better place, so you’ve purchased a goat, chickens or something wonderful for someone less fortunate… like the ones available here.


That’s something to feel good about.

So, how hip are you? Share more signs in the comments below 

Xo Ali