Holiday Gift Guide 2020

I don’t know about you, but I am so excited for the holidays. This year has been a doozy. I can’t wait to start shopping, wrapping, decorating, and baking in anticipation of jollier times to come.

In that vein, I wanted to share with you a few gifts ideas that came to mind, some of which are uniquely 2020-themed.

  1. Zoom Pro Version – I actually just ordered this as an early birthday present to myself so that I can watch entire Hallmark Christmas movies with my friends over Zoom without getting cut off at the forty minute mark. Last night was our first go at it. Even just setting up the technology and deciding on the movie was fun. I felt so futuristic with my friends on the screen as I spoke into my remote to pull up the right movie, which itself was tricky because there were two movies with the same title on the streaming app, one with “The” in the title and one without “The.” Once we all had the same movie teed up, we had to push play at the same time. I was mysteriously behind the others. Not wanting them to pause their screens, I had to catch up without letting on that I’d messed up the synching. After winding up in the subtitles drop down screen numerous times, I finally managed to move the movie forward. My choices were being ten seconds ahead of the others or half a second delayed. I chose the latter. I got to hear the movie twice, which is good for me because I’m usually slow to understand plots. The whole evening was full of laughs. I was grateful to the technology that brought together some moms of little kids that ordinarily would have a tough time meeting after bedtime.
  2. New Masks – My family’s mask collection needs some replenishing. I think I’m going to hit up Old Navy for new masks to put in their stockings, or maybe even for St. Nick’s Day because the situation is getting dire. (Where are our masks disappearing to?) I love Old Navy’s animal masks and Christmas dinos for my little ones and the food and pink tie dye masks for my middle ones. And for the brother in your life, the bird mask.
  3. Treadmill Desk – Like everyone, I’ve been needing to multitask at home more. My dream gift is something that transforms my treadmill command center into a desk that I can type at while I walk. I am willing to risk serious bodily and computer harm to fit in more writing time for my second book that is taking approximately forever to get going on. I’m thinking something like this, except one that can correct the slight downward tilt on my handlebars. I don’t have a good solution yet. If you can help your loved one work while working out, you’ll win best gift giver of the year.
  4. The World Needs Who You Were Made to Be by Joanna Gaines – This book caught my eye because it’s a theme I wove into my own–that it takes all of us to make the world go round. In Joanna’s book, children create their own hot air balloons that reflect their unique selves. At the end of the day, they go for a ride and the sky is filled with all different colors and patterns. Since comparing ourselves to others starts woefully early, I love that this book reminds kids that the world needs the gifts only they have to offer 🙂
  5. Nice Hand Sanitizer – This year, we’ve all had the experience of putting on funky-smelling hand sanitizer that we’ve immediately regretted applying. Treat a loved one to a bottle of the good stuff. I was given this Handmade Soap Company lemongrass and cedarwood hand sanitizer. I really liked it and found myself putting it on just because. The cedarwood scent reminded me of the chrism used at my kiddos’ baptisms.
  6. A Meaningful Coffee Experience – No need to buy a whole new machine for your loved one, although that would absolutely guarantee lifelong love and devotion! Even just a bag of coffee with special significance will get her smiling during her coffee break. Coffee from a place she’s visited or plans to visit can transport her to another locale even when travel isn’t possible. This extra-caffeinated Kicking Horse coffee always reminds me of our time in Canada, when a friend served it to me and it knocked my socks off. I’m instantly back in her kitchen when I drink it. Some coffee companies are devoted to a special cause. This year, I’m hoping to find under the tree a bag of Writer’s Block coffee.
  7. Igloo Night – Igloos are popping up at restaurants around the country as a way to offer outdoor dining. Treat your family to a fun night out at a local restaurant. (Check out the ones Karben4, a favorite brewery of one of my main characters, just set up.)
  8. State Park Pass – Even with so much canceled or limited, the outdoors remains open. My family has enjoyed our state park pass this year. Although snow is on the horizon, there’s plenty of ways to still have fun. Devil’s Lake State Park, a setting in Write in Time, has lots of ideas for what to do when you’re there in winter.
  9. Fun Stationery – To give or to keep or both, fun stationery is a perfect excuse to write to someone, especially who might be feeling particularly lonely this year. Being from Wisconsin, I love these nosy cow notes.
  10. Cookbook – Your loved one has had more time than ever to find his way around the kitchen. A new cookbook to further broaden his cooking repertoire might be more than welcome. (For you, too, if you get to try out his cooking!) I have found so many amazing recipes at Half Baked Harvest. The latest cookbook, Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foods: A Cookbook is sure to please.

Best wishes for happy holiday prepping!

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