just a girl living her best life in the upper lefthand corner

20+ Practical Gifts for 2020

Believe it or not, I love shopping during the holidays. Well, e-shopping, anyway. 😅 Crawling the mall when it’s insanely busy is actually my personal nightmare (I have PTSD from working plenty of Black Friday / holiday shifts when I had a job in retail… lol).

As much as I enjoy shopping during the holidays, both for others and for myself (just being real — too many great deals to pass up!), this year just feels different. So many people and families have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic that it feels a bit weird to me to share gifts that are too frivolous this year… or maybe that’s just me? 🤷🏼‍♀️

Since we are likely going back into quarantine / lockdown very soon in Seattle (and maybe in most other American states?), I thought that offering a more practical gift guide may be helpful this year.

Please note that as an Amazon Associate I may earn a small percentage from any qualifying purchases.

The one bright spot in quarantine (in my humble opinion) has been the uptick in cozy loungewear to wear around the house. I absolutely adore being able to work from bed in my jammies! I get kindof dressed for any Zoom meetings (not exactly “newscaster style”, but similar), but some pajamas / loungewear items look polished enough with a cardigan or sweater blazer thrown over them. As much as I love holiday pj’s, I tend to gravitate mostly toward versatile, classic colors such as black, grey, or tan for most of my pajamas (with one festive holiday set!). Investing in a set or two is so smart because they will likely be on heavy rotation in the coming months.
Loungewear sets for him & her:
Cleobella (her), lululemon (both), A&F (him / her), Tommy John (him / her), Eberjay (her), LLBean (him / her), Reigning Champ (him)

Since everyone is spending more time at home, it can’t hurt to make our spaces as comfortable as possible. I am personally a huge fan (pun-intended) of the versatility of the Dyson Air Blade that can not only heat or cool a room, but it can also purify the air (which, in the time of COVID-19 and the year we had the worst wildfires in history, has become invaluable for clean breathing air inside our homes). The two other alternatives are air-purifying only, but still make amazing gift options!
(Dyson, Molekule, Alen FLEX)

I don’t know about you, but my anxiety has skyrocketed this year — so much to be concerned about, both domestically and worldwide. To get the comfort of a distanced hug (and help to curb anxiety) a weighted blanket would be so helpful.
Weighted Blanket with Removable Cover
(Cooling version)
Designer Knitted Blanket style

In the same vein as the last idea, CBD has also been such a godsend to help me keep my focus and stay balanced. I wrote a whole post about my experience with Equilibria CBD here — I highly recommend gifting the Balance Box or any of their Holiday Gifts, but if you’re not sure which products the recipient would want, a gift card would also be very thoughtful!

Seasonal Affective Disorder is SO real, especially in the climates that receive inclement weather during the winter months. The limited daylight and grey, cold / wet days start to wear on a lot of people and can cause depression. A thoughtful gift for anyone in your life that may struggle during this time of year could be a therapy lamp that works as illumination for Zoom calls (or makeup tutorials / TikTok videos, if that’s their thing) as well as doubling to combat SAD.

There are few things in life more cheerful than fresh floral arrangements — gifting a floral subscription would such a thoughtful way to bring some beauty and happiness to a loved one throughout the year.
UrbanStems, BloomsyBox, Bouqs

Since we’re all likely sharpening our skills in the kitchen this year as part of quarantine, giving a loved one a cookbook would be such a thoughtful gift. Depending on your budget and where your recipient lives, it might be fun to also include an Instacart gift card so they can order their meal ingredients for delivery!
Personally, my favorite cookbooks are by
Barefoot Contessa & Half Baked Harvest

Take the guesswork out of meal planning and ingredient shopping with meal kit deliveries! Nearly every service provider offers gift cards — this would be especially great for someone new to cooking!
Sun Basket, Home Chef, Freshly, Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Purple Carrot

If your gift recipient isn’t into cooking (or just doesn’t have the time), consider sending them a DoorDash gift card so that they can support their favorite local restaurants and order some delicious meals that they may not have normally treated themselves to. There are other food delivery options (UberEats, Postmates, GrubHub), but we find DoorDash (who recently acquired Caviar) to be the best service.

If you know your recipient well (regarding their food preferences), I think that sending a gift basket with gourmet treats would be such an amazing gift to receive, especially for the foodie in your life!
Harry & David // Williams-Sonoma

Upgrade your loved one’s coffeemaker! There are so many options to choose from nowadays, depending on your budget. This is something that I think a lot of people wouldn’t necessarily purchase for themselves, especially if what they currently have “works just fine”.
Delonghi // TerraKaffe // Nespresso // Keurig
Additionally, if your recipient enjoys flavored coffees, I can’t recommend Skinny Syrups enough! A sampler or gift card would be a great addition to the coffeemaker (get $5 off your first Skinny Syrups purchase here)!

One thing I have really enjoyed during quarantine has been making fun, flavorful cocktails at home instead of just my usual boring gin & tonics. If your gift recipient enjoys imbibing, I can’t recommend this cocktail recipe book enough (written by the owner our favorite Seattle speakeasy-style bar that always wins awards for their incredible drinks / extensive liquor collection). Depending on your budget and where your recipient lives, it might be fun to also include a Drizly gift card so they can order their cocktail ingredients for delivery!

A Winc wine subscription or gift card would be such a great present for the wine lover in your life. Depending on your budget, a wine glass set may be a nice addition to the subscription or gift card. These stemless glasses are the ones that I use daily (for all beverages — not just wine!), but I also really love these stemmed glasses.

Know a beer lover that could use an activity during quarantine? How about a Craft Beer Starter Kit? It could become a lifelong hobby, or just a fun one-time-thing to experience and further their appreciation for the craft of brewing beer.

I love to read, but frankly I just don’t have the time to sit down and dedicate to flipping through a book, so audio books are where it’s at! This year, consider giving a Libro.fm subscription to share the gift of audio books with loved ones; this company helps to support local bookstores instead of the “big box” companies!

We’re all spending more time at home and often that means in front of screens watching tv shows and movies. Gifting a streaming subscription would help keep your loved one occupied and entertained throughout quarantine. I feel like most people probably have at least a few of these subscriptions already, but on the off-chance that they don’t already subscribe to all streaming channels, this source of entertainment would be such an amazing gift. The services that our household subscribes to are: Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+ and we’re very pleased with all of them.

I am enraptured with my Masterclass subscription — there are so many cool things to learn from experts in their fields that you would never normally get access to! Masterclass is often adding additional courses, so I can’t recommend this enough. A year-long subscription would be such an amazing gift, especially for quarantine!

Needlepointing is something I just haven’t gotten into, but it seems like the hobby has been blowing up since quarantine began. If you know someone that loves crafts and needs a new activity to do at home, consider gifting a Beginner’s Needlepointing kit! Also linking one of my favorite bloggers (Carly) who has become a huge needlepoint fan over the course of 2020 and she has an amazing beginner’s resource blog post.

My husband is not a big LEGO guy, but he IS a big Land Rover fan so I took a chance by ordering this LEGO Land Rover kit for his birthday earlier this year — it turned out to be hit! I was shocked at how into building it he was! He spent every free moment for the greater part of a week assembling this vehicle and it turned out so cool! He told me that he really enjoyed it, so I highly recommend looking for a LEGO / Technic set that suits your recipient’s interests… they have SO MANY cool options these days.

My favorite discovery that I made during quarantine this year was ManiMe stick-on gel nail polish. You can read my full review here — I’m crazy about the brand and their product… I’m officially converted to these stickers after being a religious every-two-week salon-goer for years. The stickers are not only totally affordable, but with the brand’s proprietary nail scan technology they’re also completely bespoke and made for your unique nail shape. They’re honestly so cool and are such a great way to pamper yourself at home. Send a gift card to your loved one (get $5 off of your first purchase here!) so that they can enjoy as well!

Gifting beauty and skincare from Sephora is a great way to give your loved one a pampering spa experience at home or just help them replenish their makeup cabinet. If there’s a Beauty Guru in your life, but you’re unsure what products they want / need a gift card from Sephora would be perfect.

This last suggestion is decidedly less “personal”, but I believe it will always be appreciated… especially in these strange times: a general Target / Amazon gift card. This gift may seem like something that you as the gift giver came up with at the last-minute, but the flexibility will allow the recipient to make any purchases that they may need (more than things that they want, which may be the case for so many families this year).

If you are looking for additional gift guides, you can find them here.

Happy [Holiday] Shopping, friends!

xx, Natalie


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  1. […] other reason is because my friend Natalie, from Natalie in the Northwest, put together 20+ Practical Gifts for 2020. I thought “what a great idea… but with the […]

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