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    Deck your tree with baubles that are eco-friendly and craft conscious. And for the luxe-hunters, some crystal shine

    SOME like it quirky and eco-friendly, while others go traditional with red and green. Meanwhile, we give you all that and more with our pick of tree ornaments that include crystal poinsettias from Swarovski to eco friendly dolls from Bangalore-based Varnam and cotton handmade angels from Amethyst.
    Text: Mrinalini Sundar

    xmas28Grab an angel
    Pretty and colourful, these angels from Amethyst will add some quirk to your tree. Draped in printed cotton, these handmade dolls are unconventional and can be handled by little ones too. Priced at Rs.200 each. Available at La Maison Rose, Pondicherry. Details: 0413 4210806

    Bright light
    Turn the tree, bright and red with this glitteryA� poinsettia from Casablanca. You could even make it your centre-piece. Priced at Rs.60 for two pieces. It is available at the store in Pondicherry. Details: 0413 2336495

    Hanging pretty
    Varnam has established a reputation for bringing a new design aesthetic to Channapatna craftmanshipa�� and their seasonal range does not disappoint. Take your pick from friendly snowmen, quirky owls or festive bells to add a splash of colour to your Christmas tree. We recommend these for families with young kids, as being wooden they cana��t be broken! At the store in Bangalore. Details: 080 25250360

    Happy Santa
    ever-greenThis dainty glass ornament, with a Santa Claus inside, will make for a good addition to the tree. They have different coloured bells, reindeer and stars on offer. The Santa Claus ornament is priced at Rs.120. Available at the store in Evergreen, Egmore. Details:9003090343

    Clip it
    Add some cute quotient to your tree with these charming feather wing clips. In rich burgundy it is made with fur and feathers. Contemporary and stylsih, this clip from Harrods is a must have on your tree. Priced at approximately Rs.250. Details: harrods.com

    Gloves forever
    Forget the stockings, get some mittens for your tree. Simple yet attractive, it gets a festive touch with a thread border and big, bold buttons. You could also fill the mitten with gifts and goodies to get the children excited. Priced at Rs.1,400. From Hab by Usha, it is available at the store in Mumbai. Details: 022 61274444

    Art of the bloom
    A little glitter wona��t hurt the tree. Make this Christmas luxe with this poinsettia ornament, Gold Tone, from Swarovski. Make it the tree topper for added effect. Available at the store in Express Avenue. Priced at Rs.2,510. Details: 28464060

    The Russian influence
    These stocking fillers from Bombkia��s are adorable. The set of five glass baubles are hand-painted to depict famous Russian landmarks and staples. The set comes in a wooden box and includes a Matryoshka doll and Saint Basila��s Cathedral. Priced at approximately Rs.6,233. Details: netaporter.com

    craftsvillaDiamond treat
    These hanging ornaments by Rastogi Handicrafts could add an Indian twist to your tree. The mirrored diamond-shaped ornaments will easily catch the light. Priced at Rs.250. Details: craftsvilla.com

    This side up
    xmas22These glass ornaments come in different colours and prints. From Via Pondicherry, and designed by Vasanty Manet, they sport hand painted flower motifs. Choose from blue, purple and green ornmanets this Christmas. Each ball is priced at Rs.750. Details: 0413 2223319

    Top gear
    The reindeer antler headgear in velvet with little ghungroos attached, works as a prop. The multi-purpose band can either be hung on the wall or tied to the tree. Priced from Rs.150 onwards. They also have stuffed snowmen, Santa wrist bands and Santa toys.A� Available at Twinkle, R K Salai. Details: 60508100

    Golden dove
    Well known for her paper cut ornaments, designer Karen Bit Vejle has designed a gold-plated mobile fir tree and doves. Inspired by H C Andersena��s classic Christmas tale, Fir Tree, this ornament comes with a red and green ribbon. Priced at approximately Rs.4,543. Available on georgjensen.com

    Other attractions
    For your X-mas odds and ends, drop by stores like Accessorize in Express Avenue and Raave in Egmore. While Accessorize (28464050) has Christmas pudding earrings which can also double as a great tree ornament, Raave, has the usual Christmas bells, stars and ribbons, besides Santa boots, snowmen ornaments, gift boxes, musical instruments and snow topped cottages.Details: 42146214

    Spotted in a festive window display, these lamps are signature pieces, but they do require a bit of space. Local craftsmen have wired together colourful glass and acrylic beads to create this stunning sparkly effect, and you can add as many or as few rice lights as you like, depending on the impact you want to create. Rs. 8,400 upwards. At The Purple Turtles,A� Bangalore. Details: 080 41528039

    Green delight
    This wreath is a delightful buy this season. In porcelain, the ornament from Interarts has ribbons and flowers printed on it in red and green. Place it front and centre, for visibility. Priced at Rs.9,000, it is available at the store in Indore. Details: 09301883636

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      Just five days to Christmas! Ita��s that time of year when you have to think of gifts for your family and friends, to put around the Christmas tree. While food, beverages and yummy plum cakes abound as gifts, some of my all time favourite stocking-stuffers include books. Nothing shows how much someone is on your mind than a well-selected book they have been dying to get their hands on. To me, reading is the ultimate luxury in todaya��s frenetic world, and curling up with a coffee and good book in your hands or on the Kindle is a delightful prospect.
      But how do you pick that really good read? I asked author Anita Nair, an inveterate reader herself, on her picks. Despite being neck-deep in her own writing, she cannot do without a book at hand. She chose Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty, a crime-literary fiction combo. a�?Ita��s not a conventional crime boAnita Nairok. I just loved the randomness of the characters, the feeling of human fallibility it conveyed. It was different, the language was superb. We all tend to be moralistic when we write, and even as readers, we dona��t want characters to behave out of type. This book breaks those boundaries.a�? Anita, who reads at least three books at the same time in different situations, says she has a�?a book on my bedside table, one to read in the loo, one at the dining table and another, probably short stories, to browse in the car during traffic jams.a�? Another favourite mystery author is US crime fiction specialist, Karin Slaughter, whose crime thrillers are addictive. She also tells me of another favourite, History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil McGregor.
      Christmas books for GiftsIf murder, mystery and mayhem arena��t quite the thing for you around Christmas, check out recommendations from corporate honcho Priya Chetty-Rajgopala��s reading list. She picks up Monica Alia��s Brick Lane whenever she has a moment in her busy day. a�?I really like reading without the pressure of expectation and time,a�? she says. a�?Because of the internet and my job, Ia��m always reading bits and pieces of things, and ita��s reached a stage where ita��s difficult to absorb the wholeness of a single read.a�? She describes herself as a�?a reasonably good readera�? in her earlier days, but now agrees that reading has become an indulgence. a�?Ia��m also reading more non-fiction than fiction, mainly because of what I do rather than what I need,a�? she adds. Her latest non-fiction foray is also one she recommends, Cultural Intelligence by Julia Middleton, the founder of Common Purpose. a�?I think shea��s fab, has a wonderful mind and a story worth reading,a�? says Priya. However for a quick fix, she turns to her old favourite mystery author, the queen of detective fiction, Agatha Christie. a�?I love re-reading her books.a�?
      As for me, I have a lineup of books on my bedside table and my device. Ia��m just hoping to find the time. After all, whata��s Christmas without a little hope?

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