There’s no place like home for the holidays. Which is a good thing, because that’s where most of us will be celebrating this year.
And since 2020 is the Year of Being at Home — whether by choice, necessity or state mandate — gifts for making home-life better should be at the top of everyone’s list. These ideas are aimed at making their abode a little cozier, a little more nurturing and a lot more merry.
Gifts for self-care
An overabundance of stress seems like a regular part of life now, so make practicing self-care easier with gifts that improve their daily routine and emphasize wellness and relaxation.
HomeSoap: The company that makes the popular PhoneSoap device, a gadget that kills up to 99.9% of germs using UV-C light, realized a pandemic calls for something bigger. With HomeSoap, you can sanitize tablets, toys, remote controls and, of course, germ-covered phones in a sleek, unobtrusive machine that also includes universal charging ports so you can juice up your devices as they’re disinfected. $200 at Nordstrom
Ekobo Ona Essential Oil Diffuser: Made from eco-friendly bamboo fiber and wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, this diffuser fills up to 1,000 square feet with the calming aromas of essential oils. It uses cold-atomizing technology, rather than heat or water, for a cleaner system and better-smelling scents. $80 at DIGS (Ballard) and digsshowroom.com
Sea Stones Bathtime Essentials Wine Holder: Give a multitasking mom, an overwhelmed friend or your favorite frontline worker the break they crave — alone time in the tub with a glass of wine. Make the wine part easier with this fun holder that suctions to the wall. It’s accented with hand-picked beach stones and includes a sturdy, BPA-free plastic wine glass. $38 at uncommongoods.com
Urban Walls You Got This Decal: Working from home. Remote schooling. Keeping it all together. Give the gift of a daily affirmation with this 11-by-1-inch mirror decal out of British Columbia that offers an important reminder: You got this. $10 at uwdecals.com
Gifts for better sleep
You can’t always be there to wrap them in your arms or tuck them in, but you can help them rest easy and encourage sweet dreams with these thoughtful gifts for a better night’s sleep.
Hatch Restore: This bedside clock/smart light/noise machine was designed by sleep experts to help customize a sleep routine that includes light therapy, meditation, breathing exercises and white noise. The attractive half-moon design has a soft bedside reading light and a gentle sunrise alarm clock. And it can all be controlled via an app. $130 at hatch.co
ILoveHandles Snoozefest Duvet Set: A Portland design studio has tried to eliminate bedtime battles with a creative solution that’s more fun than counting sheep. The company’s beautiful, 100% cotton duvet sets turn kids’ covers and pillows into a game, with a maze they can follow from start to finish (with 19 stops along the way), or a word scramble of hidden animal names. Grown-ups will be jealous. $100 for a twin duvet cover and two pillowcases at ilovehandles.com
Sheltered Co. Weighted Blanket: Offer refuge from the weight of the world under a weighted blanket, which many rely on to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and improve sleep. This one feels good on multiple levels — it’s hand-crocheted from eco-friendly, waste-reducing deadstock fabric, using nothing but the fabric for its weight. Sweet dreams. $465 at shelteredco.com
OAS Swim Machu Picchu Adult Robe: Wrap them up in a luxurious, jacquard-woven, 100% cotton terry robe, designed in Sweden and made in Portugal. The fabric is a calming, deep forest green with a graphic print. And three patch pockets keep their hands toasty and their phone at the ready. $175 at Nordstrom
Gifts for downtime
Encourage them to take a break and stay in the present with presents that remind them to play, whether that means baking, listening to tunes or partaking in some good old-fashioned board-game fun.
Mustard and Co. Pretzel Baking Mix: Give a gift that brings the family together with a delicious payoff. Made in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, this kit makes eight soft pretzels from a mix of non-GMO wheat flour, organic cane sugar and Oregon sea salt, and includes instructions for getting the shape just right. And since it’s from Mustard and Co., the kit also includes one of its gourmet mustards for dipping. $25 at mustardandco.com
My AudioPet Slow Jam the Sloth: This petite Bluetooth speaker is a visual reminder to slow down and chill out to some soothing tunes — or take a break for an impromptu dance party. The super-cute smiley sloth has big volume and adds fun to a kid’s room or levity to a home office. $25–$30 at Snapdoodle Toys and myaudiopet.com
Sunnylife 4-in-a-Row Lucite Game: The classic four-in-a-row game gets a stylish upgrade for the discerning game-lover. It makes an elegant and playful addition to the living room coffee table where pastel pink, orange and blue will take them back to carefree tropical summers. $95 at Nordstrom
Scrabble 2-in-1 Message Board Edition: This magnetic Scrabble board mounts to a wall to keep a leisurely game going with your wordsmith family or roommates. It includes a dry-erase board, magnetic letter tiles, four metal tile racks, a dry-erase marker and more. $30 at hammacher.com