Gifts to make holidays merry and bright

Infant Welfare Society Hinsdale Auxiliary president shares finds for family and friends

After spending a week over Thanksgiving with family in New Jersey, Hinsdale's Danielle Tuck will spend a quiet Christmas at home with her husband, Rich, and her daughter, Haley.

Christmas Eve will be celebrated with dinner with friends and an 8 p.m. service at Union Church.

"Christmas Day will be spent just the three of us, opening presents, hanging out in pj's and FaceTiming family throughout the day," Tuck said.

Tuck knows not every family is able to celebrate Christmas comfortably and works to provide gifts and other support year-round for families by serving as president of the Hinsdale Auxiliary of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. The agency operates the Angel Harvey Family Health Center, which provides health care services and education to medically underserved and vulnerable Chicagoans.

"Everyone deserves decent health care, and (the center) is affordable and they take what people can pay," Tuck said.

The Hinsdale Auxiliary, whose major fundraiser is Tablescapes, recently held a shopping night to raise funds for the center. The group also conducted a coat and mitten drive and purchased 40 gifts for some of the attendees at the center's "See Santa" event.

Tuck, who has experience as president from her time with Hinsdale Junior Woman's Club, said other auxiliary members make her job easy.

"There's a lot of dedicated people that really step up and have done it over the years and have some experience," she said.

Tuck, who said she has done some but not all of her shopping, found a variety of gift ideas on a trip to 13 stores in town Monday for the third in a four-part series on holiday gift ideas available from Hinsdale merchants.

Next week's shopper is Diane Nelson, president of the Friends of the Library.

• Tuck's four grandchildren - Allison, Charlie, Campbell and Chase - will love the adorable Wikholm "Tomte" (gnomes) and learning about the Scandinavian tradition surrounding them. Stockholm Objects, $38 each

• 14-karat yellow gold huggie earrings set with diamonds are the perfect stocking stuffer for 14-year-old daughter, Haley, who just recently got her ears pierced. Razny Jewelers, $280

• olive puffer gloves are a great item for a gift exchange, Tuck said, speaking from experience. She just bought them for that purpose last week. Meredith Jaye, $24

• sister Corinne will find a great spot for a stacking book display paying tribute to fashion icon Chanel in her new home office. Marcus, $180

• a 14-karat solid gold Elgin pocket watch with a decorative dial, circa 1890, would be a timeless gift for dad Jim. Hinsdale Watch Shop, $3,800

• a set of two trays in black enamel with gold trim are the perfect housewarming/Christmas combo gift for friends who just moved into a new home. Trumeau, $246

• Tuck hopes husband Rich will share when he receives his monthly wine club shipment of two bottles, usually one red and one white. The membership includes a newsletter and 10 percent discount on purchases. Hinsdale Wine Shop, $419.88 for 12 months

• dark teal Laurence Tavernier long-sleeved pajamas in viscose satin with a floral print will make mom Lydia feel like she is on holiday in France. Yves Delorme, $248

• a JBL Flip 5 waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker will let Reagan and Derrick, Tuck's niece and nephew, jam to holiday tunes - or whatever music they like - at home and on the road. Verizon, $119.99

• any hostess would be thrilled to receive Fabbri pannettone and cherries, pappardelle all'uovo and arrabbiata sauce and a bottle of Radici di Puglia olive oil, all imported from Italy and beautifully arranged in a festive Christmas box. Altamura, $125

• a shiny copper Metro Tote Deluxe from MZ Wallace caught Tuck's eye immediately. "This is totally for me," she said. Alixandra Collections, $285

• Aunt Raya, who just moved to Florida, can brighten up her typical New York black wardrobe with a pair of Phillipe Model animal print sneakers. redE Mas, $498

• Stephen Edwards, the music director at Union Church, is in the midst of a capital campaign to buy a new piano for the church. A Steinway Model D Spirio R 9-foot concert grand piano would sound beautiful in the church, whether Edwards was playing or operating the instrument as a player piano, with almost 5,000 songs in the library and the chance to capture live performances. "If I could gift it to him, I would," Tuck said. Steinway & Sons, $227,100