When Martha Stewart throws a holiday party, she doesn’t mess around. Every year, about 10 days before Christmas, America’s high priestess of entertaining invites more than 200 guests to her Bedford, New York, farm for an over-the-top open house straight out of the pages of her namesake magazine. There are strolling carolers and multiple Christmas hams; giant bowls of oysters, shucked à la minute and served with champagne; and one entire house (there are three on the property) devoted solely to festive desserts. “You never know what or who you’re going to see,” Stewart says. “Last year, Blake Lively came with her two children, and when you look at them sitting on the floor eating a giant piece of meringue cake, it’s just fantastic. They’re so beautiful, and they’re stuffing themselves! It’s special for them.” Special for everyone, really. How could it not be, when the main house alone is festooned with a minimum of 20 Christmas trees? “But it doesn’t look overdecorated,” Stewart is quick to point out. “You don’t feel like you’re walking into Bergdorf Goodman or something—at least, I hope not.” For Stewart, Christmas Eve itself is a more intimate affair, spent with her two young grandchildren and her daughter, Alexis, at their place in the city, where the family feasts on Alexis’s homemade fettuccine with truffles or caviar and opens their no-doubt gorgeously wrapped presents. Martha’s rule of thumb for successful gifting is simple: “If it’s something I desperately want to keep for myself, I know it’s really nice.”
Martha Stewart, at home in Bedford, New York, wears a Row sweater and Charvet shirt; Heidi Carey earrings.
Watch: Martha Stewart Takes a Stance on Holiday Trends
Claus Porto guest soaps, $22 for set of 15, amazon.com
Ariel Dearie Flowers floral arrangement, $275, arieldearieflowers.com
Stewart wears Brunello Cucinelli coat; the Row shirt; Mish New York earrings; her own sunglasses.
Gjusta olive oil, $14, gjusta.com
Munnu the Gem Palace rings, prices upon request, munnuthegempalace.com
Martha Stewart Collection cake stand with dome, $23, macys.com
Intimissimi tank, $49, and shorts, $44, intimissimi.com
Omega watch, $21,300, omegawatches.com
March candles, $10 for two, marchsf.com
The Aldridge family, a fashion-oriented clan that boasts nine siblings, including the photographer Miles and the models Saffron and Ruby, is a close-knit one. “It’s full of characters,” says Lily Aldridge, a model as well, who has strutted the Victoria’s Secret runway for nearly a decade. “And it’s everything to me.” So when she married Kings of Leon frontman Caleb Followill in 2011, she was eager to start her own. A year later, she gave birth to daughter Dixie Pearl. “She’s made me stronger and braver; before her I played it safe. Now I just want to have fun.” That sentiment is particularly exuberant during the holidays, which she now spends in Nashville. “I go crazy decorating the house—lights, reindeer, mistletoe, you name it.” And aside from surfing lessons and a Bulgari Serpenti ring, this year she’s asking Santa for a day at Disneyland with her daughter. “I love it—any excuse I have during Paris Fashion Week to go to Disneyland Paris, I take,” she says. “I’m a kid at heart.”
Mary Poppins set by P.L. Travers (Juniper Books), $135, modaoperandi.com
Bonpoint sweater, $220, melijoe.com
Chiara Ferragni, aka the Blonde Salad, is all over the place: A typical week could find her hopping from Los Angeles to Milan to New York and back. Since she launched her lifestyle blog in 2009 as a platform to promote her epic adventures and the casual-chic wardrobe she brings along, Ferragni has amassed millions of Instagram followers; worked with brands like Louis Vuitton and Dior; and introduced the Chiara Ferragni Collection. So when it comes to the holidays, she is happy to stay put—and bring her family to her. “The rule is that I fly everybody, but they have to take care of the cooking,” she says. “I never cook for myself—imagine cooking for 12 people!"
Chiara Ferragni wears a Massimo Dutti shirt; Faris earrings.
Giorgio Armani bag, $2,595, armani.com
Carolyn Murphy has been a beach babe pretty much all her life. Born in a small resort town on Florida’s Panhandle, she spent her childhood summers in Nags Head, North Carolina, eating crab legs, flying kites on the dunes, and learning to surf with her uncle Bob McGregor, who designed the logos for beach brands like Ocean Pacific and Hang Ten. Yet it wasn’t until years later, when her modeling career was starting to take off, that her love affair with surfing began. “One night in the ’90s over martinis at the Tribeca Grill, a group of friends and I decided to go surfing in Costa Rica—and that was it; I was hooked.” So much so that she moved there for two years, and still returns every few months. Her next trip is planned for right after Christmas, which she’ll spend at home in New York with family and friends—her wish list includes a George Nakashima coffee table and a Fineline Surfboards nine-foot longboard. “My dad and I always bake chocolate chip cookies for Santa, and leave them on a plate with carrots for the reindeer,” Murphy says. “My daughter, Dylan, is a teenager now, but we still geek out on stuff like that.”
Carolyn Murphy wears a Baja East blanket; Lisa Marie Fernandez bikini; stylist’s own jewelry.
Loewe wallet, $950, loewe.com
Fendi bikini top, $450, and bottom, $450, fendi.com
Dezso by Sara Beltrán necklace, $4,700, dezsosara.com
Carven bag, $340, and key chain, $250, carven.com
Vertly lip balm, $18, vertly.com
Chanel sandals, $1,100, chanel.com
The residences at Sugar Beach, Saint Lucia; viceroyhotelsandresorts.com.
Sonia Rykiel shirt, $390, soniarykiel.com
Fineline Surfboards longboard, starting at $850, finelinesurfboards.com
Fox & Bond bracelet, $1,300, with Tara Hirshberg for Gemfields x Muse charms, $1,350–$4,500, foxandbond.com
George Nakashima Woodworker Conoid table, $9,000, nakashima.com
Código 1530 Rosa Tequila, $60, codigo1530.com
At the age of 14, when Alek Wek fled war-torn South Sudan for the U.K., she discovered two things about herself: She had the body of a supermodel (“I’m five-eleven, and my freaking limbs!”), and more significantly, she had a voice. “From the day I got to London, I knew I had to speak for families who were less lucky than I was,” she says. For more than 15 years, Wek has been working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees with a focus on education, women’s rights, and clean water in her native country. Now based in Brooklyn, she plans to start her own foundation, Alek Wek Works. “Food, shelter, water—you can’t comprehend how simple things can mean so much,” she says. “My Christmas wish is for people to be more engaged and give so much more.”
Alek Wek wears a Rosetta Getty dress; Céline earrings.
From the Road scarf, $375, fromtheroad.com
Aimée.Aimer necklace, $8,800, aimee-aimer.com
Yestadt Millinery hat, $275, yestadtmillinery.com
Organic by John Patrick slip dress, $120, organicbyjohnpatrick.com
Tina Frey Designs carafe, $230, and cream and sugar set, $150, tinafreydesigns.com
Feed pouch, $35, feedprojects.com
Sidney Garber earrings, $6,500, sidneygarber.com
Wek doing refugee work; donate at unhcr.org.
Le Monde Beryl x Mola Sasa shoes, $380, modaoperandi.com
Journalist, model, and actress Hailey Gates is a sixth-generation Angeleno, so it’s fitting that her Christmas ritual is as old-school L.A. as it gets. Every year, her family heads to La Golondrina, the city’s first Mexican restaurant, on historic Olvera Street, for a margarita-fueled bash that her parents have been attending since they were kids. “It’s this kind of wild Christmas dinner,” she says. “They do a whole posada, and there are traditional indigenous dances, ranchero dances, and big ribbon-skirt dances. And then horrible but amazing things like the ‘Macarena.’ We have so much fun.” When it comes to gifts, however, Gates—the host of Viceland’s States of Undress, a docuseries about fashion and politics that keeps her constantly on the move—gets serious. The multitalented 27-year-old, who is also an advisory editor at The Paris Review, hand-makes almost every present, putting to use her engraver, her wood burner, her camera, and her embroidery skills. She even keeps a running list of gift ideas, based on conversations with friends and loved ones over the course of the year. “I know it’s intense, but I think gifts are an indication of whether or not someone is really listening to you,” she says. “And I like to let people know that I’m listening.”
Hailey Gates wears a Gucci coat and boots; Agmes earrings.
Givenchy bag, $1,990, givenchy.com
A subscription to The Paris Review, from $59, theparisreview.org
Valextra dopp kit, $610, valextra.com
Oliver Peoples sunglasses, $415, oliverpeoples.com
Akris sweater, $1,190, and sweatpants, $1,590, akris.ch
Sophie Buhai earrings, $550, sophiebuhai.com
Rimowa suitcase, $890, rimowa.com
Coach 1941 coat, $1,900, coach.com
Louis Vuitton notebook, $145, louisvuitton.com
Fabiana Filippi pants, $370, fabianafilippi.com
Marisa Berenson’s life is the stuff of legend: Gene Kelly taught her to dance; Andy Warhol shot her first wedding. Holidays were spent at her parents’ chalet in Klosters, where Greta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn were among the guests. But it was a fashion shoot in India in the 1960s, where she found herself at an ashram with the Beatles, that truly set her path. “It started me on a real journey of doing yoga, meditating, being a vegetarian, and learning a lot of philosophies,” recalls the model, actress, and burgeoning beauty mogul. “This spirituality has kept me sane through the good times and bad.” So what’s on her holiday wish list? Time, for one, and “a magic wand to transform the troubles of the world into good energies.” “It’s always nice, of course, to get presents,” says Berenson, who will spend this Christmas in California with her daughter, Starlite, and newborn granddaughter, Luna. “But there are more important things."
Marisa Berenson wears a Valentino dress; (right hand, left) Elie Top ring; (right arm) Cara Croninger bracelets; (left arm, from left) Cara Croninger bracelet; Patricia von Musulin cuff; Cara Croninger bracelet; Carven shoes; Berenson’s own rings.
Dior vest, $6,700, dior.com
Longchamp bag, $445, longchamp.com
Doyle & Doyle necklace, $9,800, doyledoyle.com
Gucci pillow, $1,400, bergdorfgoodman.com
Cathy Waterman earrings, $25,950, cathywaterman.com
Kate Spade New York book, $40, barnesandnoble.com
Céline bag, $1,400, celine.com
L’Hôtel Marrakech by Jasper Conran, l-hotelmarrakech.com
Lobmeyr decanter, $295, and tumblers, $215 each, lobmeyr.at
Manolo Blahnik shoes, $1,025, manoloblahnik.com
Marisa Berenson face oil, $173, marisaberensonbeauty.com
To say that Georgina Bloomberg cares for animals is an understatement. The daughter of billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has transformed her North Salem, New York, home into a veritable farm sanctuary, with five dogs, a pig, a goat, a bunny, and an ever-growing collection of retired mules and horses—nearly all of them rescues. She’s even dialed back her equestrian career (she won a bronze medal as part of Team USA at the Pan American Games in 2015) to devote herself more fully to animal-welfare issues. Gifting for Bloomberg is all about helping creatures great and small. Every year, to mark her son, Jasper’s, birthday—he’ll turn 4 on Christmas Eve—she sponsors an animal in his name. “I’m keeping a binder for him,” says Bloomberg, who always spends that night with her family at the 21 Club in Manhattan. “One day, when he’s older, he can see all the lives he saved.”
Georgina Bloomberg wears an Atlantique Ascoli shirt; J Brand jeans; Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini belt; Alumnae boots.
Pomellato bracelets (shown as necklace), $9,950–$23,000, pomellato.com
Santoni boots, $1,050, santonishoes.com
Bottega Veneta bag, $4,300, bottegaveneta.com
Harry Barker dog toy, $14, harrybarker.com
Loro Piana jacket, $7,450, loropiana.com
When Theo Niarchos opened his West Hollywood gallery, 6817 Melrose, his creative agenda was clear. “I look for work that’s relevant and straight to the point,” says the gallerist, who has championed boundary-pushing artists like Daniel Pflumm, Steve Bishop, and the Bruce High Quality Foundation. His holiday wish list follows suit, tending toward the artistic, the intangible, and the priceless. How about a day in the Nevada desert with the artist Michael Heizer, exploring his epic decades-long project, City? “It looks like you’re on a different planet.” He’d also be happy to spend a day with Elon Musk—a gift from which we could all benefit. “I would ask him how we could fix the L.A. traffic.”
Theo Niarchos wears a Belstaff sweater; Burberry jeans; Vans sneakers.
Alexandra Jules money clips, $3,750 (left) and $2,700, alexandrajules.com
Colby Mugrabi cannot remember a time when art was not in her life. “I grew up in a very creative household,” says the founder of MinnieMuse, a digital archive that deconstructs art, fashion, and architecture references. “I’m recontextualizing images you’ve seen before and inviting you to look at them in a fresh light.” Her artistic prowess extends to her gift giving: Friends will be receiving Tom Sachs–designed Nikes and custom-bound notebooks. But even those don’t hold a candle to the wedding gift she commissioned for her husband, the art dealer Alberto Mugrabi. “We had bride-and-groom Urs Fischer sculptures on top of our cake!”
Louis Vuitton Masters, a collection with Jeff Koons, bag, $4,000, louisvuitton.com
Escada sweater, $650, escada.us
Jasper Johns, by Max Kozloff, Harper’s Books, New York, $300, biblio.com
Pierre Frey tray, $234, pierrefrey.com
Prada key chain, $460, prada.com
Lynn Wyatt has been the queen of Houston’s social scene for more than half a century—and she shows no sign of slowing down. “I just like to have fuuun,” drawls the incredibly spry 82-year-old, fresh off the plane from Prince Amyn Aga Khan’s 80th birthday bash in Paris. Around the holidays, fun means hosting two ladies’ lunches the week before Christmas for 60 of her closest friends. “I space them a day apart to give my wonderful French chef a breather,” she says. “After all, he’s been with me more than 40 years!” But as délicieux as the food might be, the best part of these soirees, says Wyatt, is always the postgame. “Four or five of my girls will stick around for the afternoon,” she says. “We dish on everything and everyone!” And soon after that, Wyatt and her husband, the oil tycoon Oscar Wyatt, head to their ranch in south Texas. There’s a multicourse brunch, plenty of champagne, and, of course, lots of sparkly presents. “I have a wonderful, very generous husband who happens to love jewelry and know jewelry,” says Wyatt. “And that’s a very lucky thing.”
Lynn Wyatt wears a Prabal Gurung jacket and pants; Manolo Blahnik shoes; her own jewelry.
De Beers necklace, price upon request, debeers.com
Chanel lipstick, $37, chanel.com
A set of 10 Smythson note cards, $45, smythson.com
Vintage magnifying glass from FD Gallery, New York, $15,000, fd-gallery.com
Carolina Herrera jacket, $2,490, carolinaherrera.com
Alexandra Llewellyn backgammon board, $10,800, alexandralldesign.com
2013 Domaine Armand Rousseau Clos de la Roche pinot noir, $400, domaine-rousseau.com
A pair of tickets to Three Tall Women, $299 each, broadway.com
CoCo Vandeweghe is a born athlete. Her grandfather, great-uncle, and uncle all played in the NBA. Her aunt was the captain of the U.S. polo team; her mother, an Olympic swimmer. At 11, Vandeweghe picked up a tennis racket, and although she didn’t love the game at first, fortunately, she stuck with it: At 25, she is one of tennis’s most promising young stars, making it to the semifinals at this year’s US Open. “Achieving that before a hometown crowd was very special,” says Vandeweghe, who was born in New York but grew up in California. It’s out West where she still spends the holidays—action-packed affairs that include a Christmas Day scavenger hunt and charades with fellow tennis player Shelby Rogers. “My favorite tradition, though, is the roast dinner,” she says. “Followed by homemade caramel popcorn!”
CoCo Vandeweghe wears a Thom Browne cardigan; ASICS skort; stylist’s own shirt.
Jacques Marie Mage sunglasses, $555, jacquesmariemage.com
Burberry clutch, $1,795, burberry.com
Messika bracelet, $4,720, messika.com
Gabriela Hearst top, $450, and skirt, $750, gabrielahearst.com
Zadig & Voltaire sneakers, $253, zadig-et-voltaire.com
A one-hour private lesson at the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Newport, Rhode Island, $140.
As a C-suite tech exec with a taste for Chanel and a network that includes Arianna Huffington, Dr. Dre, and Beyoncé, Bozoma Saint John has no doubt received some pretty extravagant gifts over the years. But the recently appointed chief brand officer of Uber says one of her all-time favorites was neither pricey nor cool: “My younger sister got me a ceramic unicorn figurine that’s actually a champagne holder,” she says. “The unicorn is lying on its back, taking a big old swig! It wasn’t an expensive gift, but it showed she really thought about who I am: I just love champagne, and people have often called me a unicorn.” A woman of color with a high-profile job in Silicon Valley, Saint John is indeed an exceedingly rare creature. But the truth is, at nearly six-feet tall, and with a fashion taste for “things that are loud, like I am,” she would stand out just about anywhere. Saint John—a single mother who lost her husband to cancer four years ago—was born in Ghana and will head back to West Africa for a holiday season marked by all-night parties, spicy jollof rice, and a Secret Santa gift exchange between 25 relatives scattered across the globe. “I’m usually the organizer,” she says with a laugh. “I don’t know how I got that job!”
Bozoma Saint John wears a Rosetta Getty turtleneck; Céline skirt; Sophie Buhai earrings; Ariana Boussard-Reifel cuff; Manolo Blahnik shoes.
Beats Pill+ speaker, $180, beatsbydre.com
Designers of exuberant, often kinky furniture, interiors, and objets, Nikolai and Simon Haas grew up in a home where imagination was sacred. “Our parents kept us living in a fantasy land,” says Simon. “Reality was never very important in our house.” As Easter approached, glittery bunny tracks would start showing up around the yard. At Christmas, Santa’s sooty footprints and scattered cookie crumbs trailed from the hearth to the tree, where their mother’s massive collection of ornaments adorned every bow. Now, the Haas clan is preparing to initiate the next generation into their land of make believe: Nikolai welcomed his first baby—and the family’s first grandchild—in November. “Getting to do what our parents did for us at Christmas for my own kid just sounds so awesome,” he says. “I doubt anything in my life will bring me more pleasure.” Happily, we can all share in the joy. Haas for the Holidays—a collaboration with Barneys New York—has the twins taking over the creative direction of the store’s Madison Avenue windows and debuting highly giftable Haas Brothers XO Barneys New York products. Santa tracks not included.
Nikolai Haas (left) wears the Elder Statesman T-shirt; Gucci pants. Simon Haas wears Gucci cardigan; Tom Ford T-shirt; Boss pants. For stores, prices, and more, go to Wmag.com/where-to-buy-holiday-2017.
Kenzo scarf, $192, kenzo.com
Hay mug, $19, moma.org
Haas Brothers XO Barneys New York chocolate set, $46, barneys.com
Stella McCartney shorts, $175, stellamccartney.com
Crest White Stripping, by Johnny Smith, price upon request.
Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello T-shirt, $490, ysl.com
Comme des Garçons Concrete fragrance, $165, comme-des-garcons.com