Photographed by Noa Griffel

Q: How do you figure out what to give for Christmas and the holidays? And what do you want? — Marisa B, Bethesda

A: I love the holidays. The best part is getting to spend time with my boys, my family and friends. We do a lot of dinners and get-togethers — it’s always a good time (we have a few good singers in the family). When it comes to gifts, we all try to think about what a person would really want and something that is special to them. I get my brother rare books and first editions because he’s an avid reader. For my boys, who know a lot more than I do about music, I try to come up with the best playlists and load them to iPods… I have to up my game every year. Or for friends, I might get them that item they wouldn’t buy for themselves — a beautiful cashmere sweater or a statement bag, something for the home or table if they entertain a lot. For myself, I really love it when I get to spend time with the people I love — if we go to dinner or concerts or galleries. Time is the greatest gift for me…. I hope you and your family have a happy, safe holiday. — Tory

Read more features from Holiday Issues, past and present.