The best home decor and decorating holiday gift ideas for 2020

Home is where the heart is. Also, where your friends and family are. All the time.

Sending a gift to brighten their WFH space or add comfort to their bedroom oasis is both practical and thoughtful this year. We collected 10 never-fail holiday presents for the home, practically guaranteed to score you a dinner party invite…sometime in 2021.

[Photo: courtesy Goodee]

Baba Tree Banasco Basket
These vibrant, adorably bulbous baskets from Baba Tree will capture both clutter and their hearts this holiday. Pick from three bold designs handmade by renown hat master Apaliyum “D-4” Akologo in the Ghanaian town of Bolgatanga. They’re sold through the ethical housewares platform Goodee, which is full of gorgeous finds from under-the-radar brands from around the globe. Be sure to take a look around.

[Photo: courtesy Society 6]

Society6 Serving Trays 
We’re fans of indie art purveyor Society6 and its ability to quickly spruce up

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‘Cottagecore’ is 2020’s new holiday decorating trend

Along with bread-baking and closet reorganizing, another nesting trend on the home front is “cottagecore” style.

“The cottagecore aesthetic swarmed the internet this year with its revival of traditional ideals and the glorification of a simple yet charming cottage lifestyle,” says Amanda Brennan, trend expert for Tumblr.

Engagement on the social platform for cottagecore began spiking in early spring and hasn’t abated, she reports.

Now it’s flowing into the holiday season, she says, “with posts of farmhouse-inspired holiday decorations, homestyle seasonal recipes, warm winter décor, and knitting.” trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson agrees: “The nostalgia-inspired movement is all about bringing back pastoral aesthetics and activities.”

Handmade and natural themes are prominent in cottagecore decoration.

Handmade and natural themes are prominent in cottagecore decoration.
(Ashely Martin via AP)


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Christmas Activities for Families – Holiday Season Ideas

A Full Plate is a column about family life and the home by contributing writer Laura Fenton, who explores the intersection of sustainable living and home design through a mother’s eyes.

I have a confession: In years past, my family’s holiday celebrations often started with Christmas Eve and ended with Christmas Day. In the rush of juggling work, parenting, and housekeeping, I never had the time to make the holiday spirit last all week, leave alone all month (even present-wrapping was left for the eleventh hour, after everyone had gone to bed). There was a lot more room for joy on my holiday agenda.

This year, with so much time at home, I’ve decided to stretch the season out and sneak a little bit of magic into every single day. This feels especially important because we missed Thanksgiving with family this year. So, I’ve got my joy-making scheme turned towards

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This holiday season, everyone is shopping from home

The viral pandemic is accelerating a transformation of America’s holiday shopping season

NEW YORK — The viral pandemic is accelerating a transformation of America’s holiday shopping season.

Few people showed up at the mall this weekend, with millions of pandemic-wary shoppers staying home to shop online.

The result? Overall holiday sales are projected to rise a slight 0.9% in November and December — and even that modest gain will be due to an explosion in online shopping, according to the research firm eMarketer. It expects online sales to jump nearly 36%, while sales at physical stores fall 4.7%.

The online rush was on fully display Monday, known as Cyber Monday, a day of sales promoted by retailers back in 2005. Once the final numbers are tallied

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The Verge home tech holiday gift guide

Sugru Mouldable Glue

Sugru is Play-Doh for grownups. You mold it into whatever you want and then let it harden into things like a headphone holder, a curtain hook, or a cable organizer. I’ve also used it to repair a faucet handle. It’s the fixit solution for those of us who are normally not handy. Price: ~$10

Mueller Austria Ultra-Stick 500 hand blender

Being home more than usual has enabled a lot of people to cook more than they would usually, and having the right tools makes things even easier. This immersion hand blender has multiple uses — use it to whisk some eggs, or puree some veggies to make some salsa for Taco Tuesdays. Price: ~$35

Instant Pot

The Instant Pot could become one of the most-used items in your kitchen. It makes great soups and stews, can serve as a pressure cooker for tasty

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DIY Holiday Decor: Don’t feel like shopping? Make your own decorations this year | Life

Eye-catching, mood-enhancing centerpieces for events and just-the-right decorations for your dining room table or mantle can sometimes be difficult to find.

And, finding something custom-made with the colors you need can also be tricky. This is how I ended up making ribbon topiaries many years ago.

As the marketing director at my place of employment, I was responsible for our community events and activities. We always looked for ways to decorate that were unique.

Having seen ribbon topiaries online and on Pinterest, I decided to try to make some for the event. They were so popular, I had friends asking me to make them for other events and their homes.

Then I started making ribbon ornaments, trees and then badge reels and jewelry, which were items I loved to make when I was younger.

Eventually, I did what thousands of crafters before me have done: I became a part of

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Fire safety tips for holiday decorating

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – With Thanksgiving now behind us, many people will be putting up holiday decorations this weekend.

text, whiteboard: Tips from Henrico Fire Department when you're decorating for the holidays

© Provided by Richmond-Petersburg WWBT
Tips from Henrico Fire Department when you’re decorating for the holidays

Doug Reynolds, a Battalion Chief for the Henrico Fire Department, says keeping your house safe starts with a safe tree.

“Make sure that you get a nice green tree, grab those needles and pull on it, because if you end up with a big handful of needles that is not a fresh tree and it’s already starting to dry out, and it’s going to be a problem in your house,” he said.

Reynolds also says if you’re using a real Christmas tree, you want to keep any heat source 36 inches, or the length of a yardstick away.

When you grab last year’s lights, he says to make sure they don’t have any broken

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Netflix’s Jeremiah Brent Shares His Best Holiday Decorating Tips

A good cup of coffee can be hard to come by, especially with so many making their java at home nowadays. The thing is, even the fanciest at-home coffee makers have limitations and let’s face it, they’re not always the most aesthetically pleasing.

Finally, thanks to the functional and fashionable Saeco Xelsis machine, coffee lovers can invest in a beautifully designed product that’s able to meet all their beverage needs. Don’t just take our word for it, Netflix’s Say I Do star Jeremiah Brent stands behind the machine and uses it on a daily basis with his family. From bringing his husband, interior designer Nate Berkus, coffee in bed every morning to giving his daughter warm milk or hot chocolate with the machine’s variety of settings, to say the device is versatile would be

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‘COVID chat’: Officials urge Americans to stay home over holiday

(Reuters) – U.S. health officials and politicians pleaded with Americans on Tuesday to stay at home over the Thanksgiving holiday and abide by constraints placed on social and economic life as record coronavirus caseloads pushed hospitals to their limits.

The chorus of public appeals intensified heading into a holiday weekend expected to further fuel an alarming surge of infections nationwide, while the daily U.S. death toll climbed above 2,000 – at least four deaths every three minutes. It marked the highest 24-hour loss of life from the pandemic since early May.

“We are on fire with COVID,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said on CNN, defending unpopular restrictions he ordered last week that included new limits on retail activity and school closures. “We’re just trying to do the right thing.”

More than half the nation’s governors have imposed – or reimposed – statewide measures this month

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Missing ‘The Nutcracker’? How to Get Your Holiday Fix at Home

We all have our holiday traditions. Maybe yours is seeing the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall and gazing at the Rockefeller Center tree, all done up in lights. Well, this year “The Christmas Spectacular” is canceled, and that Norway spruce is just sorry looking (though organizers swear the tree will be beautiful by the time of its lighting on Dec. 2).

Still, many rituals endure this season, repurposed for online viewing. Below is a selection of offerings — some beloved mainstays, a few cheeky upstarts — which you can indulge in watching from home.


The company that presented America’s first full-length “Nutcracker,” in 1944, is now offering what it calls the first “virtual Nutcracker experience.” Don’t expect cutting-edge VR. It’s a point-and-click tour of San Francisco’s War Memorial Opera House with extras embedded: a video class about pantomime, a printout activity book. Click on

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