Gift Guide 2020 #3 – Relaxation 101

Ever since this pandemic hit, I have not put any pressure on myself to publish articles. I’ve done a few here and there, but mostly, I’ve been doing mom-stuff, book selling, and long term projects. Magazine article writing has gotten more and more onerous over the years, with fewer places to publish, and more stress about deadlines. And with so many needs here at home, I didn’t have time for it anyway.

And I was supremely happy.

I have a couple things in the hopper right now – one high stress and one low stress. The high stress one might get ditched, because nobody is paying me enough money to be this stressed out. I write these articles for the GLORY, but after a while, you realize that GLORY is stupid.

So, now I’m going to give some gift and self-purchase ideas for just chilling out this winter. And we’re going to be doing a lot of that, until we all get vaccinated.

I’m into fuzzy clothes to lounge about on the sofa or to bundle up in for long walks in the snow. It’s all about comfort right now.

When I’m sitting on the sofa, doing my lounging thing, I plug in the electric kettle and make tea. I drink tea all afternoon actually, whether I’m lounging or stressing out about an article. In fact, I just plugged in the pot right now.

And when I’m snuggled up, I am binge-watching television shows, playing dumb games on my iPad, or reading silly books or the New Yorker.

Some people, I suppose, relax in the bathtub or do yoga, but I like tea and books and tv.

5 thoughts on “Gift Guide 2020 #3 – Relaxation 101

  1. Here’s some of what I’ve been looking at or getting: (in my cart) (got a thumbs up) (hand warmers, my kiddo loved these when skiing but also used them yesterday while sitting outside) (mug warmer — I’ve actually completed a couple of cups of coffee; it hasn’t burned the coffee
    ) (most recent kettle, playing with pour over coffee; it’s small, but that means I’m not reheating water (sherpa lined pants; boy likes them) (boy liked, and he looks great in it)

    I’m guessing this post will be unhappy because of the links, but will try anyway.


  2. I know it’s old-fashioned, but I like magazine subscriptions as an ongoing present.
    There’s something about the actual glossy photos and print which is way more satisfying than the online equivalent – and then there’s the fun of something (other than bills!) arriving through the mail.

    Sadly, no one ever gives me magazines or books (because I’m a librarian) – so I have to self-gift my own indulgences…..

    Also I re-gift them to various waiting rooms – when I’ve finished…. (perhaps not in the Covid climate anywhere else – but still OK here).

    Other gifts:
    Links from Amazon – though I don’t buy there – shipping costs….

    I have 2 books incoming for me (not sure if anyone else likes dark, gritty SF by British authors)
    “Lockdown tales” – Neal Asher (short stories)
    “Dead lies dreaming” – Charles Stross

    Elderly relatives still like print calendars – and I try to match them up with other interests – I’ve bought the 2021 Lowry one (British artist – Lowry – featured in the film Mrs Lowry & Son) – for my Mum, who really likes his work.

    And a cat calendar for my aunt (who’s obsessed….)

    Mr 13s Christmas present is a portable hard drive. I find that teens generally have a pretty solid idea of what they want – and nuggets of info get dropped casually into conversations…..

    Then there’s the latest David Walliams book “Codename Bananas” – I don’t know how popular he is in the States – but he’s massive here in NZ.
    Probably the last one for Mr 13 – he’s just about at the top of the age range – but a great gift for tweens – particularly boys. Though I think the earlier ones are better than the later ones (try Demon Dentist or Gansta Granny)

    Also a Mandalorian t-shirt (Baby Yoda is still a ‘thing’)

    Other than that I’m trying to buy local as much as possible (supporting local businesses) – so have cheese boards and wooden platters from the local Men’s Shed sale, local art prints (customized with ‘real’ street address) from a local graphic designer, shopping bags from various local makers (NZ has gone single-use plastic bag free – and you always need more shopping bags than you think!),
    And making food gifts (pâté, muesli, christmas cakes, speculaas, etc) – for locals.


  3. Oops, I was terrible, not saying what each thing was:
    1) Weighted hot/cold shoulder wrap
    2) Men’s flannel robe
    3) chemical hand warmers
    4) mug plate to keep coffee cup warm
    5) small electric kettle with small spout
    6) sherpa lined pants for men
    7) fleece shirt jacket for men


  4. I was at World Market today for an emergency purchase. I had gotten a German Advent calendar with chocolates for our 2nd grader, and then it turned out that the college freshman and the 10th grader wanted one, too. Here are some other things that jumped in my cart:

    –chocolate with orange peel
    –some other fancy chocolate (World Market has a very good range of unusual chocolate bars)
    –chocolate gold coins.

    There was probably some other stuff, too. World Market is a great place for small gifts. (I wait on their specifically Christmas stuff, though–it tastes better at 75% off after Christmas.)

    In our household, we also just buy fancy cheeses from the grocery store as gifts.


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