Let’s be honest—it’s been a tough year. But among the struggle and sometimes overwhelming darkness, 2020 has brought to light what’s most important to me: Family and friends are everything. Our health is a gift. And believe it or not, kindness is not lost.
This year, our holiday traditions might look a little different than usual, but rest assured, memories will still be made. When I start to feel sad that my children might be missing out on fun childhood milestones, I remember that life doesn’t always go as planned, and resilience is acquired by overcoming difficulty. This is *much* more important to learn than offering them the perfect gift or holiday celebration. It’s often in times of struggle that we witness an abundance of kindness—and if I want my kids to be anything in this life, it’s for them to be kind.
That being said, our gift guide might also look a little different this year. Think of this all-encompassing holiday list as a combination of gifts to help encourage much-needed wellness—both mentally and physically. Ideas to make your home cozy and cheerful! Charities that are worthy of contributions! And some amazing small businesses to support (of course).
I hope that this time has proven to help you grow and reflect. Most importantly, I hope that this holiday season is surrounded by friends, family and the kindness of others. Cheers to 2021 being a year filled with peace, love and healing!
So, let’s get started, shall we?
Wellness + Skin Health Gifts
A need-now tool that provides a relaxing facial massage, leaving you with glowing, radiant skin. Simply roll it over your face in an outwards direction to help reduce the appearance of puffiness and fine lines. Bonus: It’s designed from rose quartz—aka, the ultimate self-loving stone. Use this roller with your favorite face oil for best results!
Corson Beauty Bath Fizz ($22)
This soothing bath fizz relaxes and relieves stress while detoxifying and reducing soreness. You can find it in a nine-ounce recyclable glass jar (because, green consumerism). Perfect for a long, hot soak in the tub on a cold, winter evening. Plus, it smells just divine!
Kinship Insta Swipe Lemon Honey AHA Pads are extremely thin and compostable, and fully saturated with skin-smoothing ingredients. The pads work to resurface your complexion using glycolic acid to help clear pores and reduce the appearance of blemishes. Combined with the powers of manuka honey's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, these little life-savers will soothe skin, leaving it bright and glow-y. These are perfect to swipe on a few times a week or after workouts!
Moon Juice Cosmic Cocoa ($30)
Moon Juice Cosmic Cocoa is a delicious adaptogenic powder that can be added to hot water or warm milk for an arousing, nourishing and decadent hot chocolate. It’s made with a blend of heirloom cacao (which helps to boost mood and libido!) as well as edible hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin from within. Plus, it’s packed with adaptogens, including ashwagandha, shatavari and reishi, to target and reduce stress. Don’t miss out on this cult favorite!
Made with simple ingredients, The Fresh Start Face Oil brightens and visibly evens your complexion with ease. Using a beauty-food blend of essential Vitamin C and antioxidant-rich fruit oils, this quick-to-absorb oil helps to soften and smooth for that fabled glow. You might just ditch your moisturizer permanently! Perfect for all skin types.
Shea Brand CBD Muscle, Joint and Skin Balm is made with arnica oil, and hard-hitting essential oils like black pepper, cinnamon, eucalyptus, ginger, peppermint, and wild oregano. It also utilizes CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis! Perfect to rub into your feet or achy muscles after a workout or a long day.
Add elements of warmth and comfort to your days with Skylar’s newest scent, Vanilla Sky. This fragrance was created to envelop your senses and enrich your heart and soul. Vanilla Sky is a decadent scent with rich, warm vanilla notes and hints of cappuccino. Try this latest arrival or any of their other amazing travel rollies! Psst...it’s also available as a subscription, which delivers a new scented rollie to your door every month for a year (only $20 a month!).
ICYMI, I love multitasking skincare—so it’s no surprise I’m equally obsessed with makeup that’s super versatile, too. These colorful, perfect-for-the-holidays, lip-to-lid balmies work wonders as a sheer lip balm and subtle eye shimmer. Bonus! It’s also formulated to help nourish and hydrate skin, thanks to natural oils and antioxidants including elderberry, hemp and plum oil. As if you needed another reason to click ‘add to cart,’ these balmies are also zero waste, which means they won’t add trash to the planet—they're tube and cap-free, wrapped in paper and a recyclable carrying case that's made from up-cycled materials. There’s so much to love!
Not gonna lie, I love this brand—not only because we share shelf space at Whole Foods (plus, they’re based in Ohio!), but also because it’s run by a fellow mama of four! Full transparency: this scrub is like no other. A beautiful blend of both Himalayan sea salt and sugar, Skin Foodie is the perfect exfoliant for even the most sensitive skin. Not to mention, it’s a scrub and butter all in one, leaving your skin super soft and oh-so-smooth. My favorite scent? Grapefruit and vanilla, hands down (a warm, citrus aroma gets me every time). Sweet, but beautiful!
On a serious note, hand sanitizer has never been more important. Lucky for us, Touchland has taken hand sanitizer to a new level with these cute, fragrant hand sanitizing mists! Wave goodbye to harsh, goopy hand sanitizers and hello to Power Mist—the first beauty-forward sanitizer designed to make your skin happy. Each mist contains 500+ spritzes to evenly eliminate 99.9% of harmful germs. Its lightweight formula absorbs quickly, never feels sticky and leaves your hands smelling great. This might be the best stocking stuffer for everyone on your list!
Cozy Home Items
For that feet-in-the-clouds feeling. Made of super soft Sherpa (um, yes please!), these plush, pull-on booties were designed to keep you warm all day long—whether you’re cuddled up on the sofa or stepping outside to get the mail.
My favorite time of day is in the morning, where I can sip on my hot cup of coffee alone & in peace. You, too? Good news: These cute and colorful mugs will make it even more cheerful! These morning must-haves are not only sturdy—they’re the perfect size for your morning tea or coffee. Brightly colored with encouraging messages, these adorable mugs make me ready to bring on 2021!
Have you ever seen a more gorgeous kettle? Worthy of everyday display, this Japanese kettle features clean lines, simplicity & beauty to both its form and function. Enamel-coated steel provides efficient thermal heat conduction, while the beechwood handle and maple knob lid elevate the design ever further. Perfect to make a hot cup of coffee or tea on a cold winter evening!
This is one of my all-time favorite books. Not to mention, with everything going on in the world, I honestly feel it’s more relevant now than ever (let’s face it, I’m not exactly feeling very mentally strong these days!). The goal of this book is to help raise self-assured children for a life of happiness, meaning and success. I found it to be very inspiring with practical advice I continue to use with my four children every day.
I was definitely late to the game with silk pillowcases—but after trying this one from Brooklinen, I’m totally hooked! Sleeping on luxurious Mulberry Silk has been found to protect skin and hair from friction damage, so it’s kind of a big deal. Plus, Brooklinen’s Mulberry Silk is versatile: it's naturally cool to the touch while possessing a breathable, yet insulating fabric, which makes it great for all seasons (and hey, this celestial design is super cute!).
If there’s ever been a year to document with photos, it has to be 2020, hands down. This stand-alone piece artfully combines a solid brass easel with premium quality papers to bring you a beautifully unique desk or tabletop display. Just add 12 of your favorite photos in the calendar design of your choice; gift it or enjoy all year round!
I just love this charmingly simplistic clock—it’s the perfect blend of traditional, yet modern functionality. The old-school bell alarm can be silenced with a quick tap of the top, and an LED touch sensor allows you to easily see the time at night. Featuring a graphic face with two-tone hands and delicate brass feet, this stylish and timeless bedside companion is the ultimate holiday gift!
NEST New York candles elevate everyday living and holiday entertaining—this votive-style candle is proof. Meticulously crafted with a proprietary premium wax, this holiday have-to-have is formulated to burn cleanly and evenly, infusing your room with the most iconic scents of the season. This year, I’m *all* about a traditional, comforting Christmas. Lucky for me, this candle boasts a blend of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, and cinnamon, alongside a hint of vanilla and amber. The perfect holiday fragrance! I can’t wait to cozy up to this over the winter season.
Farmhouse Pottery Balsam Woodland Trees (from $32)
Decorating for the holidays always brings me so much joy! I just love these Scandinavian-inspired Balsam Woodland Trees from Farmhouse Pottery. They’re a sophisticated way to bring a piece of nature into your home. Mix and match these petite woodland pieces to create your own personal forest for the holidays!
Lush and inviting, this handmade wreath adds a dynamic touch to your celebrations—whether it's to adorn your front door or style above your mantel. This wreath, made with a medley of hand-cut and arranged safari sunset, pepper berry, and seeded eucalyptus leaves, is a joyous and dazzling accent that's fit for the season.
This charity is near and dear to my heart because I worked as an Intensive Care Nurse at Children’s Hospital. I have witnessed the pain and difficulty these families endure having a child hospitalized, sometimes for weeks or even months. The Ronald McDonald House is a safe haven for these families, as it gives them a place to stay with warm meals, so they never have to worry about anything other than being by their child’s side. Here are a few ways you can donate or volunteer for this amazing organization (or you can check out their 2020 Holiday Wish List):
- Meal Volunteers: Prepare a delicious meal for the families of hospitalized children under the guidance of our chef, designed with a carefully selected menu full of nutritious ingredients.
- Welcome Blanket Volunteers: Each new family coming into Ronald McDonald House receives a Welcome Bag, along with a welcome blanket. These blankets can be very comforting to the children and serve as a treasured memento of their time spent at the House. What’s great about being a Welcome Blanket Volunteer is that you do it at your home.
- Snack Pack Volunteers: Making snack packs allows volunteers to prepare bags in their own setting, and drop them off at the House anytime.
One of our favorite family traditions is packing shoeboxes for kids in need through Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. I love to watch each of my kids prepare a package for a child their own age! I let them pick out the items and write a special note. This year, you can even pack a box virtually from the comfort of your own home. National collection week is November 16th – 23rd!
This amazing organization might be a lifeline for more women than ever before—many have lost jobs and found themselves in financial difficulty during the pandemic. Dress for Success Columbus is non-profit organization that empowers women to achieve their goals through free-of-charge suiting, career center services, and employment retention programs. You can support this charity and other women by donating clothes, money or your time.
I was inspired by this organization at the onset of the Black Lives Matters movement, but they’ve existed for quite some time. Ranked as one of the top seven organizations dedicated to empowering girls of color, Pretty Brown Girl (PBG) is an organization dedicated to educating and empowering Black and Brown girls by encouraging self-acceptance while cultivating social, emotional & intellectual well-being. The belief is that by developing positive self-esteem and confidence while giving the gift of self-love, girls will be inspired to dream their biggest dreams! Donate online to help support this amazing foundation!
We hope this holiday gift guide gave you plenty of ideas for everyone on your list this season! Have anything you’d like to add? Love one of the items or charities we listed? Leave a comment below!