Well, it’s Tuesday, December 8th, 2020. Normally, things are just cranking up in terms of the holiday season. However, this is not a normal year, so if you’re doing gifts for 2020, and you want to shop for them online, it’s really time to get going.
In fact, according to an article I found in House Beautiful, you’re already a little late with some vendors.
Of course, I imagine that most people will be happy to receive a holiday gift no matter when it arrives. In fact, I’ve always felt that the winter holidays should be in January when it’s really ice-cold up here in the northeast. I know. That’s what we get for living up here.
BREAKING NEWS BULLETIN – WE INTERRUPT OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAM WITH THIS IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
The contracts for my Bronxville, New York apartment have been signed!!!
I know. I know. Y’all told me it would go fast. However, I’ve been alive long enough to know that no matter what we think/believe/feel should be happening; it isn’t always what happens.
Can I tell you how relieved I am? So, I’ve been doing a massive PURGE. Marie Kwando has nothing on me. Lol, except for my life-time box of mementos, family heirlooms (more like tchotchkes), and important papers, if I haven’t looked at it or used it within the last couple of years, it is history.
In fact, yesterday, I dumped five huge garbage bags of musty samples that have been living in those green boxes in the Donald Cabinet. (that’s an ancient, awful post. haha) Some of those samples I’ve had for 20 years or more! I reckon that at least half of them no longer exist. Oh, I kept a half dozen or so.
This, below, was one I kept.
Brunschwig and Fils Le Lac. I’ve used it a couple of times for tiny things. It is insanely expensive.
But, thanks to the incredible home organizers Anne and Kate from Done & Done, who organized 90% of my stuff 2.5 years ago (you can see that here), this task has taken me half the time it would have if they hadn’t spent two whole days here back in 2018.
Speaking of Done & Done, if you’re looking for a great gift, I can’t recommend their organizing course highly enough.
One thing that’s helping me to keep a tidy house is to put it up for sale. Haha.
Anyway, did I say? I’m MOVING THIS WEDNESDAY, on the 16th of December.
Yes, a week from TODAY!!!
WE WILL NOW RESUME OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING WHICH IS:
“GET YOUR ASS IN GEAR TO GET YOUR HOLIDAY GIFTS FOR 2020”
But, before I begin to talk about some of my favorite gift ideas, I’m wondering. Are people even doing gifts this year? I mean, of course, we’re doing gifts. But, are we doing gifts like we normally do?
I imagine that gift sales will be down and especially sales from brick and mortar — physical stores.
The idea of trying to shop during the pandemic is not exactly my idea of a good time if it ever was.
This is how one couple in the UK goes shopping for their holiday gifts for 2020.
Good for them; they are practicing excellent social distancing!
One thing about the virus is that it’s making us all think a lot more about the air we breathe. Remember, we touched on indoor air pollution and air purifiers in this post.
Well, the other day, because I read a LOT online, I came across the most interesting and eye-opening article. It has to do with our gas stoves. And, according to this expose, apparently, the fuel is not as “clean” as we’ve been lead to believe for the last 50 years or so.
Now, I’m not in any way, suggesting that everyone go and get rid of your gas ranges.
Of course not. However, it might be good to use your range hood fan every time you cook and bake. And, also get a little air purifier for your kitchen.
There are many. But, later on, in the widget (no fair peeking!), you will find two air purifiers that have superb reviews, and they’re nice looking too.
So, now that I’ve riled you all up let’s get more serious about the gifts.
Actually, the list starts with the air purifiers. I’m definitely going to get a couple for my new place. And, I really want to get a Roomba Robot vacuum. The only problem for me is I’m probably going to want to fix it dinner, read it a bedtime story, and then have it crawl into bed with me.
Sad, isn’t it?
Okay, here are some ideas to help with your holiday gifts for 2020
If you get seriously strapped, go DIGITAL.
Digital art – There are some great sources in this post and many more in the new Etsy Guide.
Laurel’s Guides. Lol, well, it’s not really funny except that, of course, please buy them. If you like the blog, you will LOVE the guides. I put my heart and soul into each of them.
They range in price from $29.00 – $229.00.
The $29.00 one is the brand new 150 Best of Etsy Home Furnishings Sources. It’s the culmination of dozens of hours of research.
At $49.00 is 333 Decorating Rules & Tips You Need To Know – This is a terrific guide that’s crammed with measurements and proportions you won’t be able to find anywhere else. Well, I couldn’t. If you order this, you will get the Etsy guide for free.
The rest of the products will get both of the guides above for FREE from now through December 30, 2020.
At $199.00 Are two products. The Laurel Home Essential Paint and Palette Collection. This is a 2-volume curated Benjamin Moore Collection. You can read about Part I here, the paint colors, and Part II here, the paint palettes. Part II is where you’ll see a bunch of glowing testimonials. There are more, but how many do you need to read? lol
Also, at $199.00 and a guide, everyone who has a website or is thinking about starting a website or making money on the internet or earning a living by working in bed, working in your PJs, and not taking a shower. Anyway, it’s the Six Figure Income Blogger Guide.
But, don’t let the word “blogger” trip you up.
You DO need a blog on your business website because a blog is what keeps your website fresh in Google’s busy eyes and automatically raises your business above your competition that has a boring “dead” website. And, no, you don’t have to blog as much as I do. However, once or twice a month is a must. But, there’s also so much you don’t know you don’t know. I mean, I didn’t. And, I was spinning my wheels, not getting anywhere for 19 months, because I made every mistake and then some. This guide will save a lot of time and help you to have a more successful business.
Anyway, you can read my entire internet story from Laurel the Luddite to Laurel the world’s most unlikely geekette.
Finally, the crown jewel, but only because my name is in the guide’s title. Haha And, it was the first one I wrote way back in 2015.
Laurel’s Rolodex. This is where I spill ALL of my secret and not-so-secret sources. If you’re in the interior design trade or want to be and you don’t have this resource, I can pretty much guarantee that you’re leaving money on the table—a LOT of money. Oh, and you’re also probably charging your clients too much, too.
This will help prevent them (your clients) from the dreaded “shopping you,” and help you come in at a LOWER price than retailers, AND still make a nice profit. How does that sound? No, I’m not talking crap. It took me over ten years of being in business to understand that I didn’t always have to use a middleman to get terrific furnishings for my clients.
Sorry for all of the flagrant self-promotion; it’s for your own good and your loved ones too. ;]
That’s because GIFTING IS AVAILABLE! Yes, indeed. Even if you’re not interested, maybe someone on your gift list is. When you click on the link to place your order, you’ll quickly see a gift box icon. Click on that, and it will prompt you to put in your recipient’s name and email address. You can even tell them what day and time you wish your gift to arrive. How cool is that!
Please go here to learn more about my rockin’ guides. There you will find links to give you more information, but they are the same links as here. When you are ready to order, please use the purchase products page because that is how you will get your free guides. And, please remember that the offer for the free guides ends December 30, 2020. In fact, the prices for the free guides will be going up in January.
Okay, time to move on with my best sources and ideas for your holiday shopping.
I adore Nordstrom! And I know that a lot of you do, too; here’s why. Not only are their prices the best, but they also have a little box you can check off that will tell you if your gift will arrive by Christmas Eve. Bloody brilliant!
Oh, and, Nordy’s is having a little BUY MORE SAVE MORE SALE right now! Up to $300.00 off your order!
Before I get into 33 of my FAVORITE gifts amongst dozens of other holiday gifts for 2020 in the HOLIDAY SHOP, there is a little explanation.
In the holiday shop are gifts for men, women, foodies, gardeners, teens and tweens, budget gifts, expensive gifts, and everything in between. Also, just today, Melissa and I added over 30 new items to the Holiday shop widgets.
Please enjoy some of my favorite gift ideas. A few of these are on the expensive side, so if you can’t swing the portable air filter cost, perhaps it could be a group gift.
Please be sure to check out the book list in the top menu if you’re on a computer. Or in the “burger” menu (3 horizontal lines on your cell phone) OR, click this link for the favorite interior design and decorating book list.
And, below is the gift idea widget.
There are explanations underneath each item. Please click on the individual items if you’d like to know more about them.
please pin to Pinterest for reference
I hope you enjoyed my ultimate holiday gifts for 2020.
Of course, I could keep going. That’s why there are bigger lists in the HOLIDAY SHOP. Also, please be sure to check out the newly updated HOT SALES. There are some great gift items there and my favorite brands that are having some wonderful sales right now. And many of those brands have great gift ideas on their websites. Of course, they do!
PS: If you have any questions about any of the guides I’ve created, please don’t hesitate to contact me via the contact link in the top menu bar. Or, if you’re a subscriber, you may write me back on any email you receive from me from Mailchimp. (but, please, right now, I can’t handle any other questions on account of MOVING.)
Please note that these are all digital PDF files that get downloaded through a link you will receive.
Every time you click on the link, it automatically downloads to your computer’s hard drive.
You can use it on a mobile device, but it’s easier to first download it to a computer (PC or Mac). Otherwise, you need to download it to an app for mobile devices and tablets, like Apple books. I’m saying all of this because many people understandably get confused by what it means to download something. It’s not your fault. It’s the real geeks who have made it difficult for us normal people to get the deal. It’s because they give you two options.
However, your hard drive automatically SAVES, even when you think all you’re doing is opening the guide.
Therefore, you need to go into your downloads folder and drag the guide out to your desktop. There, I keep a folder where I keep all of my PDF downloads, mine, and others I’ve acquired.
This is what the geeks have failed to tell us. This is why you need my blogging guide. I will tell you what you need to know in PLAIN FREAKING ENGLISH. That is because I’m not a real geek, but through years of toil, I’ve learned to speak fluently enough to understand many things. If I can learn this stuff. Believe me; you can too.
Yay! on the fast sale of your Bronxville apartment! And whoo hoo on moving in to the new place next week! Such great news and you deserve good things Dahling!
Including a robot vacuum! I absolutely adore mine! I have a Roomba that’s a couple of years old now but it’s reliable and does a fantastic job of the dailies supported by the big vacuum on Fridays. There are also replacement rollers and such available for very little on Amazon. I do wish mine had the zone options and it would be great if it had memory so it would move in an orderly pattern through the room. I think I got the last Roomba made without these. Poop! I think memory is standard on the robot vacuum now.
Whatever you go with, I’m betting you’ll love it! Happy Hanukkah!
Congratulations, Laurel, on your sale. What a relief! You have so much to look forward to with your new home. I just love the idea that one door closes and another opens. You will feel a frisson of excitement when you finallly close the door on your old home. Bestest wishes for your new beginning.
As a former longtime fan of cooking with gas, I’ve been reformed. It’s no longer the gold standard. Induction does everything has gas does, only better. Heats faster, quicker response, and more precise temperature control. It’s a welcome change, not just for the carbon benefit. A good range hood that vents to the outside is still a must. Cannot image cooking without one. Regardless of the heat source, grease, steam and odors still need somewhere to go.
California wants to lead the way with zero-emission homes but it cannot since its utilities have taken to frequently cutting power whenever winds kick up or fire conditions persist. Unless you have a backup battery system, you’re living in the third world.
Before buying the Roomba brand, look at Roborock’s line. We’ve had both but appreciate the ability to create zones in the house with Roborock. If just one area needs to be cleaned, open the app and get it going in the appropriate zone. No need to have it run all over for just one room.
Sorry, I put this in the wrong location, I meant to put it under your comment to Karen.
Pray, Laurel, explain why Fortuny is so expensive?? Chairish has a lot of their pillows and they all start at $500, and I’ve even seen pairs for $2,000, yes, pillows. I don’t see any other brand selling so high on Chairish/Etsy. Is it the silk? Damask? I mean, others make nice silk too, like Jim Thompson, I purchased a few JT pillows decades ago on a trip to Thailand and they are still beautiful, held up nicely. A local lady who sells pretty things got in some gorgeous vintage Fortuny pillows, the soft blue on beige ones, and sells them for $600 each…So, I am very intrigued and would love to know.
It’s all made by hand. Hand-painted, but probably more like stenciled or a batik process, it looks like. I’m not sure. But, it feels like paint if you get your hands on a sample. Unfortunately, because the powers that be were more interested in wine than design, we did not get to the Fortuny factory in Venice when I was there in 2016. However, I did find this blog post which gives more info.
There are probably other sources that can explain more, as well.
Here’s also a page of their gorgeous damasks from the Fortuny website where you can see up close the subtle variations of color. Sorry, I’d do more research, but I’ve run out of spoons.
Laurel, you just saved me! The whiskey stone set is the perfect gift for my bourbon-loving husband. And it will arrive before Christmas!
We will drink a toast to you. Happy Holidays.
Congratulations on the sale of your apartment! Such great news. Doing the pre-move purge can be so stressful; I’m glad you had Done & Done help you not too long ago. BTW, I would like to try to clarify LK’s comment. I believe she meant that you did write “you will find two air purifiers that do NOT have superb reviews.” But the two of us think that is not what you meant! When I read what you wrote, I went “Huh? I don’t think Laurel meant what she wrote!” :]
Oh my! I see my booboo now. Thanks to both of you for clearing that up. I made the change.
Just wishing you all the best! 2021 should be so exciting !
Congratulations on your contract. I bet you are sleeping better.
I wish I could train my husband to use the exhaust hood when he cooks. He always forgets to turn it on. I guess it’s true…you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
San Francisco unanimously passed a bill that will ban all-natural gas in new buildings. SF plans on being all-electric. The restaurant owners had a fit, so there are exceptions for gas in restaurants for the time being. I have heard that induction cooking is very good, if not better than gas. There is the problem, however, of the Bay Area shutting down all electrical power during fire danger season. I wonder how that’s going to work for us?
Maybe we should all go back to cooking with a big cauldron over a huge open fireplace? lol
If you are going to have a gas cooktop, you absolutely must have a high-quality vent hood that vents to the outside – none of this recirculating crap – and you have to use the hood whenever you have the gas on. We did a full gut kitchen reno earlier this year and replaced a sad gas cooktop and even sadder vent hood with a Bosch 500 Series cooktop and an XO hood. It. Is. Glorious. No more weird smells and sticky film on the cabinets or on my un-kitchen shelves. My husband was a bit taken aback at the cost, but now he gets a kick out of standing 4-5 feet from the hood, lighting a match, and watching the vent hood suck the smoke up and away. (It’s the little things!)
Thanks for the gift list…you is a good shopper! Wishing you many wonderful new adventures in your new home and new city.
As a couple of others have said, induction is awesome! We decided to make the leap and put it in instead of gas in our house and we LOVE it. So easy to use, so quick to heat, and super energy efficient.
Did you mean to write “you will find two air purifiers that do not have superb reviews, but they’re nice looking too.” ?
I don’t think so. The reviews I read were overwhelmingly positive.
Sorry about that. Sheree cleared it up for me.
Laurel, My aunt was an interior designer and had boxes of samples. When she decided to purge we sold them on Ebay. She had several Fortuny and Boris Kroll samples which sold quickly and for a lot. She ended up with a few thousand dollars. I have purchase Scalamandre samples large enough to make pillows. Just a thought. Best of luck on your move what a great way to start 2021!
I promise you, if there was any Fortuny, it was the size of a cell phone. lol And, actually, the samples were incredibly musty. Those boxes haven’t been opened in over five years! In fact, one of them was stuck to the one underneath it. lol Of course, they could’ve been cleaned.
Most of the bigger samples do have grommets in them. Once I wanted a lumbar pillow out of this glorious verdure tapestry by Nobilis. Yeah, there was a grommet. So, I took the grommet out and stitched up the hole, and put an iron on thingy behind it for more support. Because of the leafy pattern, you never noticed the part that was stitched up. And no worries. I once did an entire sofa out of that fabric for a client. The fabric cost more than the sofa!!!
Thanks for the info on gas stoves. This confirms what I already thought. We just purchased a new house that came with a gas stove. I was having horrible problems with the smell every time we used it and people (professional plumber and handyman, too) told me I was wrong. Finally GE came out and said the altitude settings were wrong and the gas to oxygen ratios were off. Geez! As I said, it’s a brand new house, so lots of money spent furnishing it, but I can tell you, within the next 6 months, I’m getting that gas line capped and going back to an electric stove. The smell still bothers me but now I don’t always have to open the sliding glass door. After reading this, I will. Thank you!
Congratulations, Laurel! I love that your life is moving forward so beautifully in the midst of a pandemic. And as for cooktops–I had electric, then gas and now a Dacor induction cooktop. Induction is the way to go–super easy to clean, instant response, and water boils almost before I can get the tea bag in the cup.
Oh, I’m definitely going induction!
Woo hoo! So happy that you are all set with your NY place.
Where exactly are we putting these More Beautiful air purifiers?
In fact now I’m a grandmother I’m also wondering how to incorporate all these baby things into my decor.
The highchair in the dining room, the walker in the family room, the shelf dedicated to baby toys…
They’re not fitting into the color scheme 😉
You’s a very young granny, Susan! Decor d’enfant, eh? lol Well, the wall air purifier would work. Actually, if you go on the Rabbit Air website, you can find some with pictures, like the Frame Tv by Samsung. The only difference is there’s only one image choice.
I’m very glad that the article on gas stoves and how dangerous they are, have reached the media. Twenty years ago I bought my first gas stove, used it for one week and had to sell it. That was the beginning of my diagnosis of MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivities). As the canary in the tunnel, it had impacted my life severely. I could not tolerate cigarette smoke, perfumes, any body sprays, log fireplaces, etc. Electric stoves did not hinder me from preparing great meals or baking dozen of cookies for my friends. I’m doing much better with the use of air and water filters and a whole host of holistic approaches.
I’m so happy you have a signed contract. Things are moving very fast for you. The weather for NYS will be above temperatures for December, so hopefully no snow to Schlep thru during your move.
Merry Christmas to you. I know you will be very happy in your new place with your family. I hope 2021 will be a much better year for you and everyone else in this country. Get some needed rest. You deserve it!
Thanks so much, Pat. I know that “invisible” illnesses are tough to deal with. And, pretty soon there are going to be millions more with weird and chronic auto-immune, neurological, and autonomic nervous system dysfunctions due to Covid. Viruses are actually no joke. The body, eventually does catch on to the unknown [virus] threat. But then, since it got fooled once, it begins to treat EVERYTHING as a threat.
And then all sorts of unusual problems and symptoms will ensue. Well, that’s my theory. However, I predict that these health issues are going to be front and center in the months and years to come as millions of people strive to gain back their former good health prior to their bout with covid.
BTW, I have NO family anywhere near Boston. You guys are my family!
My older son normally lives 90 miles away in western Mass. Right now, he’s in Brooklyn, NY for another two months or so, doing a house swap with a friend of a friend. Oh, I know. But, what is a mother to do??? lol He says he’s definitely coming back to Mass. He did live in Boston for ten years and has ties there, and especially his old Akido Dojo. So, he has an incentive to come to Boston aside from me. The drive is about an hour and 40 minutes under normal conditions.
If I get a little console or spinet piano, he’ll definitely come visit. lol
CONGRATS LAUREL !! Onward to Boston !! ❤️❤️