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2020’s been quite a year, and most of us are craving a little extra comfort as we stare down the socially distanced winter ahead. Since we’ll mostly be homebound, it just makes sense to conjure pleasant sensory moments and inject cozy touches of hygge wherever we can. Here are some of my favorite cozy and self-care gifts for the people on your list — or, who are we kidding? — yourself.
Created at a 300-year-old monastery/perfumery in Florence, Italy, this subtle, refined potpourri was created to evoke the scent of the Tuscan Hills. I’m not normally a potpourri fan, but this secret blend of herbs & flowers smells isn’t cloying. Instead, it’s green and woody with notes of lavender, bergamot, bay, thyme, rosemary, clove, balsam and patchouli. It also makes a sophisticated gift; (Gwyneth Paltrow’s patrician character in The Talented Mr. Ripley gifts it to a wealthy friend.) Lucky Chicagoans can snag it at Merz Apothecary.
2020’s given us enough strife to last a lifetime: Send a subtle message of peace and acceptance to your neighbors with an olive branch peace wreath from this stylish Oregon flower shop. 10% of sales go to Fair Fight, an organization that educates voters about elections and their voting rights.
A far cry from the staid, uninspiring FTD bundles of yore, Urban Stems offers dramatic and modern-looking arrangements with nationwide shipping. Their festive holiday offerings range from $35–$175.
The Frasier Fir Candle by Thymes is, IMHO, the best holiday candle out there, and my longtime favorite candlemaker Tatine is now being carried in CB2. Tatine specializes in earthy, natural scents and my go-to is St. John’s Wood, which has undertones of cedarwood and vetiver. Bonus: Tatine’s luxe, rock n’roll packaging makes each candle feel special. Follow Tatine on Instagram for info on the owner’s creative projects and her Spotify playlists (she’s got excellent taste in music.)
Essential oil diffusers are another way to scent your home and they give off a more subtle scent, which you can tailor to your own taste with your own blends. I like the sleek, stone Vitruvi ones at West Elm.
With seven essential-oil blends tailored to each of the chakras, this line was created to foster feelings of groundedness, nourishment, intentionality, harmoniousness, expressiveness, insightfulness or wisdom.
This tiny roller ball includes some tried and true “calm down” oils like sage + lavender. I love this as a gift for stressed-out coworkers.
This is the best herbal tea I’ve ever tasted — and I’ve tasted a lot. The secret is that the more bitter turmeric and ginger flavors are offset with a touch of sweet Meyer lemon. Both turmeric and ginger are warming, stimulating herbs that feel great in your belly on a cold afternoon.
These elegant throws will keep you warm and add a cozy, refined aesthetic.
These are less aesthetically pleasing but the snuggle factor is through the roof. My massage therapist introduced me to these blankets (he uses them on his table to give comfort to clients) and my home will never again be without one. I consider them so indispensable that I’m including several links.
The linen, silk and organic cotton bedding from Eileen Fisher (queen of neutral, drapey garments for ladies of a certain age), is something to behold. Layer pieces in mixed neutral colors and textures for a louche, elegant effect.
This bathtub tray has room for all your bath stuff: beverage, book, iPad, candle. It’s got a water-resistant seal that keeps it looking fresh over the years and brackets underneath make it adjustable, (in case your tub situation changes up) so it’s a gift that’s meant to last a lifetime.
I can’t believe I only discovered this product for “bath enthusiasts” this year. You know how many older tubs have a drainage vent near the faucet that prevent you from filling the tub to its top? This silicon drain cover snaps over vent and allows you to fill the top to your desired water height. It’s perhaps my biggest life-hack for 2020 survival.
This class European bath foam has woodsy, pine-forward scent notes like chestnut, cedarwood, and light patchouli, and basically makes me feel like I’m taking a bath in the middle of the forest.
These 100% wool socks from thoughtfully curated artisanal shop More & Co. are luxurious, cozy, and available in a gorgeously subtle color palette.
Are you new to hygge? Get wise to all things Danish and cozy-making with this bestselling book.
This beautiful and comprehensive coffee-table book is about the fascinating history of the pop-culture artifact. Co-authored by Button Museum Founder Christen Carter and Hake’s Auctions founder Ted Hake, the book tells the story of America’s movements and eras through a button lens.
This wide silk mask in soft neutral colors makes you feel like your favorite fancy-lady film from the forties. Now all you need is a dressing gown and a Cary Grant clone.
Socially isolating is the right thing to do, but if you’re missing massages and chiropractic, tide yourself over with a DIY session on an acupressure mat. It doesn’t actually hurt at all and I find myself relaxing within mere minutes of lying down on its “needles.”
Supportive yet non-hideous house slippers? They exist! Haflinger’s German-made, boiled wool slippers are sturdy enough to last for years, maybe decades. For a fluffier, more boudoir-forward look, these fuzzy mules from Vionic (an arch-supportive brand Oprah loves), are available in multiple colors.
My mother is impossible to buy for, but at some point I realized that the woman is always cold but would never buy decadent loungewear for herself. That’s when I started shopping for her in Anthropologie’s loungewear section, filled with impractical and pretty items. Case in point, these velvet wide-leg pants and matching hoodie in deep teal.
Nadaam’s cashmere actually lasts and this sweater and matching joggers come in a variety of colors. And, the matching sets of men’s cotton and cashmere loungewear are well-made, cozy-at-home basics that the fellas will love.
It’s the ultimate mash-up? Though we’re pretty sure that whatever the crime was, Thomas was the one whodunnit.
As a SAD sufferer, a HappyLight is a non-negotiable part of my winter survival toolkit. Their full spectrum light boxes helps boost mood and energy.
These old-fashioned bulbs cast a romantic, ambient glow and make a great stocking stuffer.
Stick a pack or two of these in a super-tall vase or jug, tuck into the corner of a room, and enjoy the dreamy romantic glow it creates.
A lamp shaped like a moon? Yeah, it’s on this year’s list for all my witchy lady-friends.
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Adventures in Perimenopause, essays by women in perimenopause and menopause
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