For the second year in a row, country music legend and philanthropist Dolly Parton has teamed up with kitchen retailer Williams-Sonoma for a line of holiday wares, and it’s just about as disappointing as a hard candy Christmas.
Parton first collaborated with Williams-Sonoma in 2020, introducing her patchwork Apron of Many Colors and a boxed cookie mix that is described as the singer’s “favorite Southern-style sugar cookies.” This year, there are cookie cutters in classic Christmas shapes like angels, as well as Parton’s signature butterfly ($30), a patchwork oven mitt and pot holder set ($40), and a gold-handled rubber spatula emblazoned with Dolly’s signature and a sweet slogan.
While it’s true that no collection of material goods could live up to the celestial presence of Dolly Parton, the Williams-Sonoma collection looks like the company didn’t even bother to try. I appreciate the callbacks to Parton’s most personal song “Coat of Many Colors,” but it seems pretty rich to charge 40 bucks for two pot holders inspired by a song written about a coat that was pieced together from rags because Parton grew up in poverty.
And why in the world would I need to pay Williams-Sonoma $17 for a bag of Holly Dolly sugar cookie mix when the recipe for those famed cookies already exists in Parton’s cookbook Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s: Love, Laughter, and Lots of Good Food? Considering that I already need to provide my own butter and an egg to make those cookies using the mix, scrounging up some flour and sugar shouldn’t be too difficult.
At the very least, Williams-Sonoma could’ve given us a little bit more glitz and glamour for all that money. An avowed maximalist who proudly puts a Christmas tree in every room of her home and leaves them up until her birthday on January 19, Dolly’s rhinestone-studded, proudly “town tramp”-inspired aesthetic shouldn’t be boiled down to a boring spatula handle and some basic gold foil thread.
And before anyone comes for me for slandering the good name of Dolly Parton, let me be clear that this scorn is directed squarely at Williams Sonoma. Considering that she’s worth an estimated $350 million, the woman isn’t afraid to make a quick buck. I know that well, considering that I’ve spent hundreds of my own dollars on Dolly art, merch, and products, including the $100 I recently spent on the Home Shopping Network, buying her new fragrance (and the accompanying body cream) Scent From Above.
And sure, the patchwork apron is cute and those holly berry and plaid napkins will look precious on a country Christmas table, but let’s be real: Dolly Parton’s incomparable aesthetic deserves more than the boring, mass-market treatment that Williams-Sonoma has given it.