The holiday season is here, and while 2020 has not been a typical year by any stretch of the imagination, there’s one thing that remains consistent: the holidays are about love, joy, and giving to others.
Sure, we all wish more than anything that we could give our loved ones hugs over gifts, and many of us long for affection and personal connection more than we long for stuff. But just because we can’t be physically close (at least not yet) does not mean that we can’t make smile the people we love.
We can shower our friends, familia, and neighbors with little gifts that will bring them joy, and we can put some extra effort into the process to pick thoughtful gestures and mindful presents that just might help brighten up 2020 a little bit.
Gift guides are going to look a little different this year. Party outfits and fancy accessories might not be appropriate, but self-care goodies to enjoy while staying safely at home are necessary.
Ways to give back are more important than ever before. Books that educate and open your mind are must-have items on your list. And don’t underestimate the power of a delicious treat or a virtual experience you can enjoy with siblings, parents, sobrinos, and sobrinas, no matter where they live.
Holiday shopping in 2020 is complicated — to say the least. And knowing what to give to the people you care about certainly requires a bit of extra energy and thought this year. But these mindful regalitos are just the inspiration you need to make others smile this season. Happy giving!
For beauty addicts
Just because you’re barely leaving the house does not mean you don’t want to look and feel your best. After all, feeling beautiful isn’t about how you look for others, but how you look and feel for yourself.
Beauty addicts know, self-care is important all year long, even on Zoom, which is why we’re all about these beauty must-haves. MAC Cosmetics Frosted Firework holiday gift sets are as gorgeous and festive as they are functional.
Whether you’re looking for an eyeshadow palette or a lipstick set, they have you covered. Plus, if you’re into a beauty that gives back, 100% of the selling price of MAC’s VIVA GLAM Lipstick is donated to the M·A·C VIVA GLAM Fund, supporting healthy futures and equal rights for all.
We also love the new collaboration from Smashbox and Rizo’s Curls called Jefacon, a beauty gift box designed to empower women and inspire them to recognize their inner boss. Smashbox Jefacon celebrates all women’s immense power and honors the numerous interpretations of the “jefa” mindset.
This must-have Glow Getter gift box, curated by Rizo’s Curls founder Julissa Prado, includes her favorite beauty items to achieve her ultimate jefa look. Available at RizosCurls.com
For the young
Little girls need big inspiration, and a great book can do just that.
It can be hard to find literature that reflects the real experiences of young Latinas and immigrant families. Author Luz Mack, a mother herself, recognized the value of using storytelling to keep cultures alive. She wanted to write a children’s book that inspired kids to learn from each other and motivate them to learn about their own families’ upbringing and unique cultures.
This will inspire children to learn from each other and even motivate them to learn about their own families’ stories.
“I wanted to do something for my daughters so they could see both themselves and their mother’s childhood memories on the pages of a storybook,” Mack says. “Storytelling helps to keep our culture alive, and I’m grateful to be part of a broader community of creators developing content that will inspire the future generation.”
Her new bilingual book, ¡Pequeña María Descubre su Baile! / Little María Discovers Her Dance! is available for pre-order and will be released on January 6, 2021.
For everyone who wants to give back and say ‘Thanks’
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we need to be grateful for what we have. Encourage your familia to start a gratitude journal where they write down the things they are thankful for every day. It’s a great way to remind yourself that despite the struggles and troubles of 2020, we have a lot to be grateful for, and there’s no better way than going creative.
We love these colorful, customizable journals from Papier, an interactive journal inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project, that encourages you to write one sentence every day reflecting on what you are grateful for in that moment.
Another idea to encourage others to give back is to offer a charitable gift card to donate to the non-profit organization of their choice. TisBest allows recipients to give the gift of good and help others by selecting from a list of 300 curated charities to choose a cause that they are passionate about.
Haven’t we all been eating our feelings a little bit this past year? Goldbelly allows you to enjoy delicacies and special treats from restaurants, cafes, and chefs across the country, no matter where you live.
Choose from specialty cakes, world-famous desserts, local favorites, and foods people wait in line for hours to eat, without ever leaving your couch.
We’re thinking Philly Cheesesteaks from Pat’s in Philadelphia, lobster rolls from Maine, deep-dish pizza from Chicago, cupcakes from California, and everything in between. Or, for kids who love to bake, organize a virtual baking session thanks to the mastermind behind sweet treat haven Milk Bar in New York City.
Christina Tosi also offers free baking classes on her Instagram account, and you and your daughter/niece/mom/friend can bake together even if you’re miles apart.
For nieces and nephews who love a good game
Game night is one of the best ways to bond with relatives and loved ones of all ages, but it’s a bit more complicated during a pandemic.
Send your favorite niece, nephew, child, or buddy a retro game that never goes out of style. Classic games are getting a modern twist and making a big comeback in 2020. Rummikub, Uno Attack, and Kids Against Maturity are real crowd-pleasers.
For anyone who needs to relax
This includes all of us.
Try a stress-relieving coloring book and watercolor pens to provide some instant Zen. A weighted blanket will make anyone feel instantly snuggly, cozy, and comfortable. And to truly transport you out of this world, this Galaxy Cove projector light is sure to make any loved one feel magical and calm.