Martha Stewart On Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Cash Ok, Household Items Are Not

Martha Stewart is widely-known for her Christmas expertise, from those elaborate meals to hosting the perfect party. Speaking to Bloomberg Reserve this week, she also offered up some tips for last-minute gift giving. Interviewer Peter Elliot asked her to advise the “trader or executive” who is in a pinch.

“It wouldn’t be bad to give [recipients] cash. Especially for kids. They would be thrilled to go out and buy what they really want.”

Stewart also has specific advice for husbands buying for their wives — plan before you’re in a last-minute crunch. Although she doesn’t say cash is out of the question for that spousal gift, Martha, the business icon and Queen of domesticity, does say women shouldn’t be showered with household items at Christmas time.

“Women can get those things themselves. What they want is a beautiful piece of jewelry, a handbag — something you’ve thought through. That’s something you don’t mess up… The secret here is to ask. If she’s hinted she wants a handbag, go to one of the better stores — she’ll have hinted at that, too. And ask for help. And you know what? Your wife wouldn’t mind a wad of cash either!”

When asked if her core business at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia could be summed up as “the holidays,” she says it is part of the business but not all of it.

“The holidays are just a part. Flannel sheets. I’m not kidding. I’m all into flannel sheets. Would you have ever thought flannel sheets would be a profitable business? But they are.”

That is despite the fact that when asked how she and her enterprise became so closely “associated” with the holiday season, Stewart responds that the holidays are always part of the business plan.

“Associated? We’re not associated. We are the holidays. Here, the holidays never really end. It’s a huge focus for our business — almost a $100 million part. We’re at Home Depot. We’re selling trees on Black Friday. Last year we sold 90,000 trees on Black Friday. So everything we do, from photo shoots, to trees, to — well everything — it never really stops.”

Stewart is set to open a café in New York City near her company headquarters, a previous Bloomberg article revealed. No date is yet set for the opening, although the shop is said to be hiring staff. Long recognized as an icon of the home entertaining industry, Stewart has been in the news lately for public spats with Gwyneth Paltrow, who is also trying her hand in the same field.

[Martha Stewart Image via ABC News]