“Home for the holidays” bears new meaning this year because we literally are at home. As 2020 draws to an end, I think back to past holiday seasons and the jovial days and nights of slipping into party dresses and celebrating with friends and colleagues. We are all sad to forgo those occasions that once seemed too much for our activity-filled calendars. This year the season will be much quieter, but we are prepared. We will be shopping early and rethinking the holiday prep, and it will be done mostly at home.

Gift-giving might look a little different, too. It’s likely that we will only get to watch our loved ones open the special gestures that we’ve chosen for them over a screen. That in-person witness of our sentiment peeking out of good-looking papers (I have a post coming on giftwrap next week) and being thanked by the recipients of them might be traded for phone calls and FaceTime.

A large portion of shopping will come from the comfort of the family room sofa as I sit with my laptop and fill online carts. While I’d love to peruse nostalgic Christmas markets, it will be safer and easier to choose gifts online.

Whether you are thinking of buying practical or chic-and-someday, just remember that if your gift has the edge of good design, it will be embraced. As we stay at home for safety reasons, gifts that support self-care are ideal. Think fuzzy slippers and throw blankets that will accent cozy loungewear. Things for the kitchen to enhance the experience of all of the cooking and baking we’ve delivered this year. Boots for crisp winter walks and games of all kinds will keep the family entertained.

Later on, when it’s safe for us to venture to another location (preferably somewhere warm), stylish accessories from oversized sunglasses, monogrammed travel gear, and dazzling jewelry will remind that quarantine life didn’t impact our style quotient.

Here are some of my favorites from this year’s massive inventory of options. While 2020 hasn’t provide us with a whole lot of joy, it’s flooded us with good design and heaps of creativity.