Winter Survival Kit: Home Edition

Whether you enjoy the winter months or not, everyone can find a little comfort and joy when surrounded by these fireside favorites.

Compiled by Brooke McGrath

The Perfect Cup of Cocoa

A box of Christopher Elbow’s artisanal chocolates is good, but his hot chocolate is just as tasty, especially when sipped fireside. “The main secret to making the perfect cup of hot chocolate is to use real chocolate, such as one of our mixes,” Elbow says. “We grind dark chocolate, which results in a rich and deep chocolate flavor.” The most popular flavors are the Cocoa Noir, his classic chocolate flavor, and the Venezuelan Spice, infused with chilies and cinnamon. A cup in the store: $4.50; tin to take home, $18. Stocking stuffer, please!  

Sweet Treats

Below left: If you’re going to get snowed in, make sure you have the necessities ready. Yes, this includes food, in particular one that pairs well with hot chocolate. 3 Women and an Oven’s delectable kiss sandwich cookies come in three lip-smacking flavors: peanut butter cookies filled with chocolate buttercream, spice cookies filled with salted caramel buttercream, and Belgian chocolate chip cookies filled with vanilla buttercream and rolled in sprinkles. At $1.75 each, you can afford to stock your entire pantry with them.

Set the Scene

Above right: Decorating the mantel is a popular holiday tradition. Step up your design with these light-up birch sticks on a stand, sure to make a statement whether it’s just for you or your fireside guests. Birds and greenery sold separately. Price: $120.

Decor for the Floor

Add a little extra warmth—and beauty—to your hearth room in the form of a one-of-a-kind rug. Shown here is an over-dyed Turkman rug, made in Turkey. An older rug, it was sheared short then over-dyed with blue. At 6 feet 6 inches by 9 feet 6 inches, it’s the perfect addition for fireside chats. Price: $2,950.  Available for viewing at

A Personal Touch

As if your fireplace needs more attention during the winter months, this American-made steel fireplace grate adds a personal touch to your home. It holds up to 12 letters so you can custom-make it with your family name or even your alma mater. Price: $169.95.

Snacking Fireside

Make your fireplace dual-purpose with the s’mores maker and popcorn popper (sold separately). Throw your graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars together in the dishwasher-safe, chrome-plated grill baskets, and you’ll have six gooey, chocolaty sandwiches ready to eat in no time. Set of two baskets also includes new recipes: Merry Berry, Peanut Butter Cup, Hawaiian s’mores, Banana and more. But, if you’d rather have salty than sweet, place the steel popcorn popper (with food-grade porcelain enamel finish) over your hearth and enjoy two quarts of freshly popped popcorn instead. Popcorn popper: $29.95; s’mores makers: $24.95. All available at

Warm Toes

You can be warm and look good during the winter months, even when you’re just lounging on the couch. Give your toes a little holiday love with Sock 101’s December Sock of the Month. The Holly (with stripes) for women ($10, calf-high; $12, knee-high) and The Nicholas for men ($12) will go out to all Sock of the Month members during the first week of December. Not on the (nice) list? Check the site to find out where you can pick up a pair or sign up for the club.  

A Room’s Aroma

Surround yourself with the scent of the season: Spiced Biscotti from 5B&Co. It’s a warm blend of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and anise. Whether used in a tablescape or on a coffee table, it’s sure to gather friends ‘round.  

Bundle Up

You can never have enough blankets in the winter; plus, when you find ones this pretty, they act as a stylish sofa accessory, too. Made by local artisan Kalee Michele, these colorful retro crochet blankets feature a classic look in soft yarns. Midcentury modern in style, they’re large enough to get cozy in and are lightweight but still warm. Numerous color combos available (custom orders, too). Throws measure 5 feet by 5 feet with stretch. Price: $165 with free shipping in U.S.

Order online at