In each December, there is a crescendo of work and shopping and plans and parties that leads to a moment when I find myself late for something, hiding in a parking lot, changing clothes in my car.

Joy to the world.

I have a good laugh, but I still need solutions, sleep and a car wash. (Last night, Tyson said to me: “You look younger, did you get some sleep? When you don’t get enough rest, you look old . . . er.”)

And heaven and nature sing.

My solutions for these last-minute moments:

1. JUST ADD RED LIPSTICK I feel like a breathless magazine editor telling you this, as if a lipstick really can change the world. But I finally found the burgundy shade I’ve been hunting for, and it certainly made me feel glam when I put it on (in the car) last Friday night. Try Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color in La Sensuelle, $32.50 at Nordstrom. (Ahem, Chanel: that lipstick name is eight words long.)



2. THE PERFECT BLACK DRESS It holds you in, flares in the right places, is right for every possible holiday party, and doesn’t wrinkle when it spends the day in the car. Add a cardigan for work. I own it, love it, wear it to death. $288 at Nordstrom.

3. A HOSTESS GIFT FROM THE GROCERY STORE I’m there with you, friends, running in on the way to the party, wishing I’d been more prepared and thoughtful. Do this: grab a bottle of champagne, a gift bag, and a pint of Haagen Dazs. Tell her the champagne is for now, and the Haagen Dazs is for later – her post-party treat. Tell her not to share.


4. LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEA Have you gotten your hands on one of Restoration Hardware’s faux fur throws? Softest, prettiest, cuddliest things ever. And just $79. I put this on the top of my wish list, and would happily give to anyone I love. The lynx color is my favorite.


Wishing you a happy weekend filled with holiday joy, red lipstick and enough time to get dressed at home.