Our homes are our refuge. It’s where we gather with family and friends, enjoying the things that bring us comfort and smiles. Home is where the heart is, and to equate that with objects sometimes feels shallow during trying times. While things are simply things, most often they speak to our souls and let that voice whisper softly to those who walk across the threshold of our front doors. A wool throw with soft, chunky tassels can feel like our first blanket we clung to as a child finding their way in the world. The cozy corner of a couch can take us back to the happiness of curling up with a pet in their stuffed bed on the living room floor. For me, having four plush pillows on the twin bed I still sleep in makes me feel protected.
As the holidays inch closer, many of us will put stress on ourselves to either find the perfect gift for someone we love or to knock out our gift and to-do lists as quickly as possible. I do both every year. This year, I’ve pledged to take it slow and to be gentle on myself. In the past, I’ve gotten down because I’ve scrolled through endless web pages, feeling guilty for not making or choosing handmade gifts. I refuse to fall into that trap this year. It’s okay to make some gifts, buy some gifts and sometimes, just give extra love and hugs.
Amazon reached out to us and asked us for some gift ideas for home décor this year. We’re a design site and this was an appreciated request. We’re also thoughtful humans who know that buying gifts is not an option for everyone. This is a call for all of us to do what feels right and is possible for each of us when gifting. It is also a call for us to share gifts beyond our circle of family and friends. I’ve cut my list in half this year and I’m selecting gifts (bought, handmade and self-created) that connect me to feeling of ease, comfort and security, in hopes that I can share some of those feelings with those who receive the gifts. I’m also sharing some special gifts with families that have settled into their new homes built by my local Habitat for Humanity where I volunteer.
Wherever you find your gifts this year, please also find some time to spend volunteering or donating your time or resources. You can find some of Grace’s favorite stylish store-bought gifts available on Amazon here. They’ve put together a helpful section of gift ideas for people who love their homes, including crafters, bakers, home improvers and beyond. Grace contributed to the Home Decorators section and has included some beautiful, affordable pieces — including a comfy striped pet bed, basics that always help create a happy home, and books that inspire and elevate the spirit. You can see all of her picks in the section by scrolling down until you see her smiling face in a photo taken by Sasha Israel, who photographed many of the women featured in In the Company of Women. If you’re stumped on a special gift for a certain someone on your list or need some volunteering/donation recommendations, leave us a comment and we’ll do our best to help! –Caitlin