AD Editors Share Their Holiday and Winter Essentials: From Loungewear to Dishware, Throw Blankets, and More


Around the holidays, when spirits begin to lift and temperatures really drop, many of us have a staple that’s extra clutch—the odd purchase that, if you found yourself without it, would render the season just a little bit empty. Maybe it’s a trusty pair of kitchen shears that’s essential to all your holiday meal prep, or perhaps it’s a comforter-like robe you never want to take off when chilly weather hits. With all of that in mind, I asked my coworkers to tell me about everything they deem essential to survive the holiday season and combat the winter blues. Below are their very shoppable (and very gift-able!) answers, which include tons of stylish loungewear, lots of chic throw blankets, and even a couple of cozy sheet sets for a peaceful rest into the new year. 

Diane Dragan, Global Editorial Operations Director

Wüsthof Pull-Apart Shears

When talking about an investment piece, some people think of jewelry or furniture, but I think of my kitchen knives. Once I was able to acquire a drawerful of the basics and then some, a friend in the food business directed me to kitchen shears and I haven’t looked back since. This set from Wüsthof is my favorite (not to mention affordable!) with blades so sharp and construction so powerful that they make it easy and fast to trim and debone poultry (watch your fingers!)—a real timesaver both daily and during the holidays. From there, I moved on to using them to snip herbs, cut leafy greens, slice cooked veggies, and break down anything without having to drag out an appliance or even reach for and dirty up a cutting board. They’re my Thanksgiving MVP—even the knife-sharpener whistled under his breath when I brought them in and said, “Now that’s a nice pair of shears.”

Libbey Classic Goblet Party Glasses

Disposable plates and cups may be useful for large or outdoor gatherings, but if you entertain a crowd at home as I do, you’ll want a stash of these affordable Libbey Classic Goblet Party Glasses. From my first set out of college, more than a few of the sturdy originals still live on my shelves despite years of parties and the dishwasher cycles that follow. These durable, versatile workhorses are so dependable, we never even opened the fancy thin-walled, big-bowled dozen we got as a wedding present. They’re useful for wine, water, mixed drinks, elevated desserts, sit-down holiday dinners, Friendsgiving, or any entertaining need. Plus, if your guest accidentally breaks one, it’s easy to reach for another. As for the design, if like me you cringe at a seam between bowl and stem, you’ll appreciate the curves on this model. Salut!

Humphreys Balmorhea Duffle Bag

Luggage is my love language. So I’m swooning for my new duffel bag by Humphreys, an emerging Austin design studio that’s translating the magic of West Texas into an array of made-to-order furniture and lifestyle staples. Meticulously crafted of fine, full-grain, oiled leather, with sturdy brass hardware and a Riri zipper, their Balmorhea bag is perfect for carry on—big enough for a weekend’s worth of clothes but small enough to smush beneath a seat or overhead compartment. And carry it on I shall this winter, when I plan to make up for lost time and jet to check out some of the latest hotels. First up, I’ll head to St. Barthélemy to see the Rosewood Le Guanahani and the revamped Le Toiny. 

I’m not usually one for salves and unguents, but in the winter my lips get chapped AF, which is not a good look. Of course, I like that all the ingredients in Beau D. lip salve are organic, but what I really dig is the cinnamon-y taste—it’s like chewing a stick of Big Red. The ingredients roster includes horny goat weed (good for harnessing “virile energy,” according to the website) and cannabis sativa seed oil (which doesn’t get you high, sadly, but I like knowing it’s there). Plus, it seems to have a very subtle plumping effect, so I feel like Kylie Jenner. 

Rancho Gordo Royal Corona Bean

Like everyone else, I developed a bean obsession during the pandemic, and it still hasn’t gone away. My go-tos (if I can get my hands on them—these are in-demand beans) are Rancho Gordo. I love them all. There’s even a really yummy large one called the Corona bean (lol). In the winter I’ll make a big batch using Laila Gohar’s method on Sunday or Monday, and add them to things—or eat them plain—all week long.

Sofila Faux Fur Throw Blanket

I have a handful of cute blankets. This is not one of them. I spend many nights wrapped up in this blanket like a burrito while watching Love Island. It’s not a pretty visual, but it’s true! Sometimes it makes the journey from the sofa to my bed, where it provides an extra layer of warmth on chilly nights. I didn’t choose this fleece throw for its looks, but rather its silky softness and thickness. It doesn’t really fit in with my decor scheme, but I don’t care. (I can stash it away in a basket when guests come over.) But when it’s just me, myself, and I, there’s nothing cozier. 

Sophie Lou Jacobsen x The Qi Bloom Teapot

During hibernation season, tea time is essential for my survival. Although I have a small collection of teapots, I find myself turning to this one the most because it’s such a stunner. When I’m not drinking tea from this pot I love leaving it out on display—it’s such a beautiful piece of art! Sophie Lou Jacobsen’s glasswork is out of this world, so when she teamed up with The Qi—one of my favorite tea brands—I simply couldn’t resist. Just looking at it across the table warms my heart. I promise you won’t regret bringing it home!

Lululemon Cold City Parka

It’s rare to find a winter jacket that’s comfortable, stylish, and sustainably made. It’s even harder to find one that does all that while retailing under $1,000, which is where Lululemon’s Cold City Parka comes in. This winter jacket is easy to move in, easy to look good in, and sustainably crafted (the lining was made using 100% recycled nylon while the pockets are 100% recycled polyester). I love this jacket for the holidays because it’s not a one-hit wonder: Its design is simple, elegant, and it’s a staple I know will last me several holidays to come.

Simple, stylish, and warm. What more do you need from a beanie? Filson’s Watch Cap Beanie is crafted using American-sourced wool, meaning that it’s not itchy on your head. Whether it’s raining or snowy, this beanie will keep you warm and dry. What I like most about the hat is that its timeless look is perfect for a brisk walk in the park or a night out on the town. And since the cuffing of the cap makes it easy to adjust the size, the beanie can be worn by more people than just me (the holidays are meant for sharing after all!).

Asket Cashmere Wool Scarf

The Swedish fashion brand Asket is turning heads—and for good reason. With eco-friendly business initiatives like their “Know Your Impact” pledge, the company is using the data from their supply chain to calculate the impact of our garments and educate consumers on the origins of their materials. Its cashmere wool scarf, for example, is made from 100% recycled wool, meaning not only will you stay warm and stylish, but you’ll feel better wearing the scarf since you know exactly where the materials keeping you warm came from.

Restoration Hardware Luxe Faux Fur Throw

I got this blanket a few years ago as a gift, and it has been my trusty winter companion ever since. I love that it’s really heavy, but not as heavy as an actual weighted blanket, which I find to be a bit too heavy. I much prefer this thick, fuzzy throw that’s luxuriously soft and adds texture to the room. My only qualm is that I have the smallest one, and at 60 inches on its longest side, I can just barely make it comfortably cover my feet and shoulders if I put it over myself diagonally from corner to corner (I’m 5’7). Maybe this will be the year I spring for a larger version. (And although I can’t speak to the quality of these throws, there are a ton of cheaper faux fur blankets on the internet if you want to give this one from Amazon or this one from West Elm a try.)

Pukka Tea Chamomile, Vanilla & Manuka Honey

I’m one of those people who drinks iced coffee even in a blizzard, but on cold winter nights I like to have a cup of hot tea before bed sometimes. This vanilla and honey-infused chamomile one is the best tea out there, in my opinion. It’s subtly sweet without having to add anything, and the rich hint of vanilla perfectly balances the light floral chamomile taste. Also, the box is very pretty, and I’m a sucker for that.

Fly By Jing Triple Threat

Winter is all about hot foods, so my repertoire consists of a lot of rice, soups, and stews. I recently acquired this Fly By Jing sauce trio, and now everything it touches turns to gold. I feel like I’ll never get into a food rut during the season with this trio of sauces and seasoning by my side. Now, my bowls of rice and sweet potato are sweet, tangy, and spicy; and my sautéed greens have an incredible savory spice. 

As an avid runner, I appreciate that this rower gets me active when it’s too icy or rainy outside. I got it last year in the middle of the snowy winter, and it was a game changer for boosting my endorphins and keeping me sane during inclement weather. With a variety of games and fitness tests on the sleek tablet, you can spend anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour in a rhythmic row. Plus, it stows away easily, so I can set it up only when I need it.

Brooklinen Heathered Cashmere Core Sheet Set

As a hot sleeper, you’d think I would avoid cashmere sheets at all costs, but this heathered cashmere set from Brooklinen has changed my mind (and my sleep), completely. These sheets are just the right amount of winter cozy without any of the sweaty. If you need a little extra warmth or want to change things up for the season, I’d highly recommend them because they’re such high quality.

Dad Grass Hemp CBD Pre Roll 10 Pack

Anyone with relatives can appreciate this one. I’ll be bringing a cleverly packaged set of Dad Grass’s pre-rolls to the functions this year. The clear headed mellow provided by the 100% organic hemp and smidge of THC mean I can still carry on a conversation or carve turkey (JK, no one is letting me near the turkey) and calmly enjoy the evening. 

Lululemon Ribbed High-Rise Jogger

At a certain point in the winter, hard pants (jeans, trousers—basically anything without an elastic waistband), become a hard no for me. A self-proclaimed loungewear connoisseur, my ideal pair of sweatpants must strike the right balance of comfort, fit, and style—i.e, I can easily transition them from binging campy Netflix movies to impromptu Costco runs without worrying I’ll look overly frumpy. This ribbed pair from Lululemon checks all my boxes. In fact, they remind me of a beloved set from the Gap I had years ago, but elevated. Unlike other pairs I own, these fit perfectly snug around my waist (something I usually have to adjust a drawstring to achieve), while the pant legs themselves are comfortably loose. On top of their flattering silhouette (the 7/8 crop is ideal for short gals like me), the quality feels amazing, and I can tell that they’ll hold up even after several washes down the line.

Venn High-Performance Streamlined Skincare Collection

I’m always in desperate need of hydration by the time winter rolls around, so having a non-irritating, non-drying skincare routine is key for my ultra-sensitive, acne-prone skin. Thankfully, this is where Venn comes in. Venn has calming cleanser, serum, and concentrate formulas that supply a boost of hydration that not only quenches, but also leaves my skin feeling nourished and looking brighter. Although it’s hard to pick a favorite, I’m particularly fond of the Moisture Balance All-in-One Facial Cleanser, which I use at night and has a lightly exfoliating formula that isn’t irritating in any way.

If you’re like me (or maybe just me), you’ll exclusively use this Sonos Roam to play Ariana Grande’s “Santa Tell Me” and “Last Christmas” (the Wham! version only) when December rolls around, but I think it’s also the perfect companion to bring to holiday gatherings this year (not to mention an incredible gift for the very special music lover or audiophile on your list). Don’t be fooled: Yes, this portable speaker is extremely lightweight and compact, but its size doesn’t compromise the sound quality, which is next-level clear. And beyond this season’s Friendsgiving celebrations and holiday carol sing-alongs, the Sonos Roam can be enjoyed year-round to listen to music, podcasts, radio, audiobooks, and more.

CÔTE À COAST Alpaca Slippers

These Alpaca slippers from Côte à Coast got me through plenty of the darkest (and coldest) days of last winter. They’re like seriously fluffy hugs on your feet, not to mention cruelty free, handmade in Peru, and machine washable to boot. Beyond the many great functions, they are also just an absolute joy to look at on or off—because who doesn’t love wearable decor?

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream

Starting around mid-October—or whenever the steam heat in my apartment building turns on—my perennially dry skin petrifies into a fragile, flaky mess. Thankfully, a year spent locked indoors gave me plenty of time to experiment and finally find a face cream that can stand up to the challenge. Made from sunflower oil and beeswax, Weleda’s Skin Food is super emollient and thick, and unlike other creams that I often need to reapply midday, delivers moisture all day long. Even with no synthetic fragrance, it has a light, fresh scent that I love. I slather it on morning and night—but in the morning I’ll top it off with a lighter moisturizer as well, plus some SPF.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s ever considered belting comforter bedding around my body amid the laziest of winter Sundays. Needless to say, I was thrilled when I came across a house coat that seemingly did just that. I love that the Sierra robe is quilted, assuring that all the cushiony filler remains well-dispersed, and the oversized, shapeless silhouette makes it ideal for layering. My only wish is that the house coat didn’t take up so much space in a suitcase because I already know it will be dearly missed during my holiday travels!

Kelsey Borovinsky, Audience Development Manager

This electric heating pad for just your feet was actually thoughtfully gifted to me last holiday season. My feet somehow get so much colder than the rest of my body, and this little placemat-sized, blanket-looking pad gets worn like a pair of slippers to help me regain feeling while I sit at my desk, read on my couch, or lie in bed while begrudgingly watching The Bachelorette. The aesthetics here are a little clinical, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you found a version of this next to the bedpans at CVS, but I feel like that’s how you know it works. It has this clunky plastic attached remote that lets you set one of three levels of heat, and then turns off automatically in two hours just in case you take a little snooze. 

Everyone talks about beach reads, but the lit world is sleeping on marketing winter reading. There is nothing better than curating the vibe and settling into the couch for a wild night of ripping through 100 pages of a book. As I tend to do more of this during the dark winter months, the Kindle has become my favorite way to get library books without needing to leave my cozy little cocoon. I can finish a book and start a new one without even so much as moving my wrist. The Kindle even has optimizing metrics at the bottom of the screen like time left in the chapter and book and percentage completed. It kind of feels like reading on a treadmill, but this can be very helpful if you also made a competition out of your hobby and have an aggressive Goodreads book goal to finish by the end of the year. Also a sneaky fun feature is the soft adjustable backlight of the screen that allows you to enjoy reading without overhead lighting and instead just a few lit candles and string lights. Peak cozy. 

Guess Bora Faux-Fur Jacket

This moto jacket is my go-to any time the temperature drops below 71 degrees because it keeps me warm and comfortable on the chilliest L.A. days. The faux leather is soft and sumptuous, with just a hit of sheen in the material for added visual interest. As an added bonus, the fur collar is detachable so you get two looks in one. It’s also available in ivory, and I’m seriously considering adding it to my cart.

Bearaby’s Velvet Napper is one of the most luxuriously chic weighted blankets I’ve come across, and they just dropped new jewel-inspired colors like jade, sapphire, topaz, rose quartz, and this gorgeous silver topaz. The added warmth and weight helps me drift off with ease, plus researchers have found that the gentle pressure from weighted blankets not only improves sleep, but also relieves pain, lessens anxiety, and improves your mood. But if you have a hard time believing them, take it from me—your sleep will never be better.

Jacqueline Wladis, Commerce Partnerships Associate Director

Brooklinen Flannel Core Sheet Set

Slipping into these sheets is like pulling on that timeless flannel button down you thrifted for $3 in high school and wear on the first crisp fall morning of every season. Brooklinen’s flannel sheets arrived softer than the most delicate cashmere and keep me cozy in my not-so-well insulated, pre-war NYC bedroom. Paired with my Slumbercloud mattress pad and pillows (this gal runs hot when she sleeps), I’m able to achieve the perfect mixture of cozy warmth with a cooling touch. I’m telling you, do not miss out on these flannel sheets—not only are they brushed to perfection, but they’re also sustainable and eco-friendly!

Evan Welsh, Brand Marketing Associate

Pottery Barn Santa’s Reindeer Porcelain Entertaining Collection

This is a piece I don’t own personally but that my mother pulls out once a year for the holidays. She’s had these plates for years now, and as a kid, I wanted nothing more than to eat dinner or a holiday dessert off one of them or battle my sister for which reindeer we wanted (we both always wanted Prancer). The set features a variety of dinner plates, dessert places, mugs, and other items featuring Santa’s eight reindeer that act each year as a signal that the holidays have begun. For years, my mom has served our family and extended family meals on these plates—from baked apple crisps, to charcuterie boards, to Christmas morning cinnamon rolls—even using them for setting out cookies for Santa. I know the holidays would be great regardless of the plates we use, but the nostalgia that these reindeer plates, and the traditions they hold, make the season all the merrier.



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