Trump claimed that he ‘made Juneteenth very famous,’ new book says

Trump Tulsa
Trump’s campaign planned to hold a rally on Juneteenth in 2020, but cancelled it after criticism.

  • Trump said he “made Juneteenth very famous” and “nobody had heard of it” before him, writes reporter Michael Bender.
  • The Trump campaign sparked backlash by initially planning to hold a rally that day in Tulsa.
  • Juneteenth marks the anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved Black Americans in 1865.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Trump boasted that he “made Juneteenth very famous” by the backlash his campaign sparked by inadvertently scheduling a rally on the day in Tulsa, according to a forthcoming book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender.

The episode and internal drama surrounding was recounted in an excerpt of the book, “Frankly We Did Win This Election’: The Inside Story of How Donald Trump Lost” published in Politico Magazine on Friday.

The Trump campaign didn’t know Juneteenth existed

Trump’s former campaign manager Brad Parscale, who selected the date and location for Trump’s first rally in months, was apparently unaware of the date’s significance in America.

Trump’s announcing the rally’s date to reporters caused massive publish backlash, adding to the mounting criticism Trump had received for his response to the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Trump didn’t know about Juneteenth history until the blowback to his rally either and, according to Bender, was unaware that the White House had released public statements commemorating the day in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

Bender reported that when Trump queried a Black Secret Service agent about whether he’d heard of the day, the agent told Trump it was “very offensive” to him that he’d decided to hold a rally that day. Ultimately, the rally was moved to the next day, June 20.

But in a 2020 interview with Bender, Trump claimed “nobody had heard of it” before his rally and that “I made Juneteenth very famous.”

Read more: Meet the young entrepreneurs rebuilding Tulsa’s booming ‘Black Wall Street’ 100 years after a white mob burned it down

Juneteenth has been celebrated for generations

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers went to Galveston, Texas to tell the last remaining enslaved Black Americans that they were free. While former President Lincoln Abraham signed the Emancipation proclamation in 1863, it went ignored in many southern states for the next two years.

The holiday has been celebrated for over a century, particularly in Texas, but Juneteenth and the history it represents gained new national prominence in 2020.

Many major corporations made Juneteenth a company holiday in 2020, and on Thursday, President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by both chambers of Congress to make Juneteenth a federal holiday starting in 2021.

Additionally, the location that Parscale selected for the rally, Tulsa, is also the site of one of the deadliest outbreaks of racial violence in United States history.

In the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, a mob made up of white residents, with support from city officials, killed and injured hundreds of Black Tulsans and looted and destroyed countless businesses, eviscerating a vibrant business community – including a neighborhood called Black Wall Street.

In all, the mob is estimated to have killed as many as 300 Black residents of Tulsa and burned down huge swaths of the Greenwood business district. The riot also displaced thousands of Black Tulsans, with the Red Cross estimating that over 1,200 homes in the area were burned down and hundreds more looted.

Read the original article on Business Insider

35 tactful gifts for your in-laws, whether you’re meeting them for the first time or have known them for years

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

  • Gifts for in-laws can be tricky, whether it’s your first meeting or you’ve known them for years.
  • We rounded up 35 of the best gift ideas for your in-laws, from small thank yous to grander gestures.
  • For more gift ideas, check out all of our gift guides here.

best gifts for in-laws

Depending on your relationship, their tastes, and a host of other factors, getting a thoughtful gift for in-laws can be pretty high pressure. Whether you’re meeting them for the first time or have known them for years and just want to show some appreciation, the right gift can go a long way.

You don’t have to go overboard, and there are plenty of unique gift ideas for in-laws that show you care about them. To ease your mind, we curated some great gifts that are sure to please any mother-in-law and father-in-law. We picked gifts that cover a wide range of prices, tastes and functions. Whether it’s a small gift like a bottle of bath salts or a bigger one like a tech gadget, what these all have in common is that your in-laws will love them.

Here are 35 of the best gifts for in-laws:

This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Gravity Blankets. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*

A box of chocolates that features bold, global flavors

Vosges Haut-Chocolat Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection; gift for in-laws; chocolate gift

Vosges Haut-Chocolat Dark Chocolate Truffle Collection, $49, available at Goldbelly

If you’re unsure of where to start, you can always count on chocolate. But these truffles are special in that the unique flavors take inspiration from places all around the world. They’re in for a seriously sweet adventure with this exciting box of chocolates. 

Read our full review of Goldbelly here

A digital picture frame for all their favorite memories

Aura Carver Digital Picture Frame; gift for mom; gift for in-laws

Aura Carver Digital Picture Frame, $169, available at Aura

In-laws can be sentinmental people, so there’s no better personal gift than a digital photo frame. They can view loads of family memories from a single device. As long as the frame is hooked up to WiFi, your in-laws can enjoy the photos you’ve carefully curated, all day long. You can hear about our experience with another Aura frame, here.

A last-minute bouquet of flowers

FTD Hello Sunshine Bouquet; gift for in-laws; flower gift; last-minute gift

FTD Hello Sunshine Bouquet, from $58, available at FTD

Sometimes, you might only have a day to put together a gift. FTD can help make your life easier since it offers same-day delivery for most of its arrangements. Your in-laws will appreciate a fresh, beautiful bouquet of flowers to display in their home. For more on our experience using FTD, check out our guide to the best online flower delivery services

An e-reader for their love of books

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, $129.99, available at Amazon

E-readers make flipping pages easier than ever. If your in-laws inhabit the library and bookstore pretty much all the time, get them this Kindle. It’s water-resistant, can be read in the sunlight, and has a long battery life. 

Read our full review of the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite here

A coffee subscription box for trying new beans

Coffee Under $25 (6)

Whole Bean Subscription, from $22/month, available at Blue Bottle Coffee

If they love coffee, they’ll love getting the chance to try a bunch of new brews every month. Blue Bottle’s beans are high quality, packaged at peak flavor, and come in a range of unique blends.

An elevated serving board for your in-laws next dinner party

gifts for in laws serving tray

Bamboo Lotus Serving Board, $48, available at Uncommon Goods

If your in-laws like to do a lot of hosting, this lotus-shaped serving tray will elevate their next dinner party. It has built-in spots for dips, crackers, cheese, veggies, and more.

A chic succulent

best gifts for in laws succulent

The Winona, $55, available at Urban Stems

Add some greenery to your in-laws’ home with this elegant succulent that’s easy to care for and comes in a chic, gold-beaded vase. If you plan to see your in-laws in person you can send it to yourself and bring it along with you, or you can have it sent directly to your in-laws’ address for a sweet gift from afar. 

A bento box of floral candies for their sweet tooth

best gifts for in laws sugarfina floral bento box

Sugarfina Floral Bento Box, $28, available at Bloomingdale’s

A box of chocolates is well and good, but this candy bento box is much more unique. Anyone with a sweet tooth will love these fun flavors, which include gummies infused with rosé, dark chocolate sea salt caramels, and peach bellini gummies. The presentation will win you points too thanks to the beautiful blooms on the box.

A modern vase to brighten up any space

best gifts for in laws west elm vase

Barro Vases, $35-$45, available at West Elm

These cute vases look great in any space and come in subtle but fun yellows and blues to add a pop of color.  If you want to go that extra mile, you could put some florals or dried plants in it too.

A cozy weighted blanket

Gravity Blanket

Gravity Blanket, from $195, available at Gravity Blankets

Weighted blankets have been widely praised for their calming effects, and after this year, we could all use some extra tranquility. This cozy blanket is great for curling up with at night in bed or by the fire. We’ve even mentioned this product in our guide to the best weighted blankets.

*Sponsored by Gravity Blankets

A photo book of fond memories with your in-laws

Timeless gifts Artifact Uprising

Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $15

If you’ve spent holidays or vacations in the past with your in-laws, a sweet photo book to bring back good memories can be a great gift and way to show you appreciate family time with them. Artifact Uprising makes it easy with custom options at affordable prices. Or you can customize thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per card. You can also create a set of prints for $9.

An indoor garden for urban dwellers and herb lovers

click and grow

Click & Grow Smart Garden, $98, available at Amazon

Anyone who spends time in the kitchen or garden knows how much fresh herbs can upgrade a dish. While not all climates or spaces can sustain a full herb garden, this little indoor gardening kit can, so they can top every last dish with their favorite fresh herbs.

Playing cards with pups

Under $25 dog cards

Megan Carn Dog Playing Cards, $21, available at Megan Carn

Everything is better arguably with a dog, and such is the case with these playing cards. They’re not only a fun conversation starter, but they encourage getting to know each other through a game night. 

A gift for the father-in-law who’s a major baseball fan

baseball blueprint, $185

Baseball Stadium Blueprints, $185, available at Uncommon Goods

A little bit of history, a little bit of architecture, and a whole lot of team spirit — whether you support their favorite team or not, they’ll appreciate this thoughtful print that’ll quickly find a home on one of their walls.

A painting of the only thing your in-laws love as much as their children

pet portrait, $180+

Custom Painterly Pet Portraits, from $250, available at Uncommon Goods

The only thing they might love as much as your partner is their pet. Show them you, too, appreciate their furry friend with a custom portrait of it. 

A cozy gift for your mother-in-law to keep her feet warm

gifts for mother in law slippers

Ballerina Herbal Warming Slippers, $48, available at Uncommon Goods

Pamper your mother-in-law with these fuzzy slippers featuring removable insoles filled with aromatic lavender buds and thermally conductive flax seeds. In the winter she can heat them up in the microwave for extra warmth, and in the summer she can throw them in the fridge for a refreshing cool down.

A cocktail bitters set mixologists will love

bitters, $34.99

Cocktail Bitters Set, $35, available at Uncommon Goods

Turn their living room into a cocktail bar with this set of bitters. With flavors like smoked chili and ginger lemon, they can get creative with some new drinks or spice up the classics.

A pizza maker for home cooks and pizza aficionados

breville, $149.95

Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker, $149.95, available at Williams Sonoma

Some might call this one life-changing. If they love cooking together, gift them a countertop pizza maker so they can enjoy homemade pies with the toppings of their choice in less than 10 minutes. 

A cozy and chic blanket

gifts for in-laws overland throw

Striped Alpaca Wool-Blend Throw Blanket, $159, available at Overland

Not only does is this blanket a lovely piece of home decor since it looks elegant draped over a couch or at the foot of the bed, but it’s also soft and warm. Your in-laws will surely appreciate you when they snuggle up in this wide throw during their next at-home movie night.

A touch lamp for in-laws who live far away

friendship lamp, $170

Long Distance Touch Lamp, from $85, available at Uncommon Goods

If your in-laws live far away, they’ll really appreciate this touch lamp. Keep one in your home and one in theirs, and whenever you tap it, their lamp will light up too. It’s a cute way to communicate and let them know you’re thinking of them every now and then.

Read our full review of the Long Distance Touch Lamp here

A decanter and matching glasses with a personal touch

etched windowpane decanter and dof set set of 4 o

Etched Windowpane Decanter and Glasses, $139, available at Mark and Graham

Show them you mean business with this sophisticated decanter and set of four double old fashioned glasses. You can even add a monogram if you’re looking for a more personal touch.

A fun way to show off their cork collection

Gifts for in laws wine cork map

State Map Wine Cork Trap, $35, available at Uncommon Goods

For the bunch with a bunch of state pride, give them a fun way to use their leftover wine corks and show off their favorite place. This birch-wood display makes a nice piece of wall art that’s sure to start a conversation. 

A monthly sampling of some of the tastiest products from around the country

mouth, $54+

Best of Mouth Subscription, starting at $54/month, available at Mouth

Foodies will love the chance to test small-batch, locally made products from around the country. Mouth sources and curates subscription boxes of their favorites, which they’ll receive each month.

A wool throw they’ll want to wrap up in on chilly days

L.L. Bean, $109

Washable Wool Throw, from $209, available at L.L. Bean

Winter days spent with family call for cozy blankets made for snuggling. This one is just right and easily washable — just in case there are any unexpected eggnog spills.

An undeniably classy marble salt cellar

RSVP Marble Swivel Salt Cellar, $29.95, available at Amazon

RSVP Marble Swivel Salt Cellar, from $33.25, available at Amazon

If you want to make a statement with something small, go for this elegant salt cellar. It makes seasoning dishes easier, and the dual compartments provide a place for both fine and coarsely ground salt. Our editor swears by this one for her own kitchen.

A set of products to help them get some much-needed rest

gifts for in laws calm bath salts

Calm Bath Salts, $18, available at Herbivore Botanicals

Parents always deserve some R&R. Bring them one step closer with this set of bath salts infused with ylang-ylang and vanilla.

A salt block that’ll up their grilling game

Gifts for in laws Himalayan Salt Plate

Himalayan Salt Plate, $7.24, available at Wayfair

This is more than just a pretty pink plate, it’s actually a block of Himalayan salt. Not only can it be used to serve food, but it can actually be used to cook food too. Cooking and serving with a salt slab will up the ante on plenty of their family-favorite meals.

A trio of unique condiments to spice up their meals

Bushwick Kitchen

Bushwick Kitchen Threes Knees Trio, $34.99, available at Bushwick Kitchen

Adventurous eaters and hot sauce lovers will definitely enjoy using this trio of spicy condiments. A spicy honey, spicy maple, and gochujang sriracha give them all sorts of new ways to spice up their favorite foods. 

A smart speaker to help them get started on a smart home

Nest Mini

Google Nest Mini, $34.99, available at Best Buy

If your in-laws are not really the techie types, start them out with this small smart speaker. Nest Mini is a subtle introduction to smart technology — plus they’ll get a kick out of communicating with Google Assistant. 

Read our full review of the Google Nest Mini here.

A charging hub so they don’t have to fight for the open outlet

elago

elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub, from $25.99, available at Amazon

If they’re always fighting for the last free outlet to charge their Apple products, or if they’re both big Apple fans, this hub will charge all their devices at once.

A new cookbook to add to their repertoire

ina garten, $20.99

“Cook Like a Pro” by Ina Garten, $17.20, available at Amazon

Ina Garten’s latest release is a great addition to any home chef’s cookbook collection. They’ll learn plenty of new recipes and cooking techniques — and you might even get to taste the fruits of their labor one day. 

A nice candle with a reusable vessel

Lafco, $65

Lafco Library Candle, $65, available at Bluemercury

A nice candle is always a welcomed gift. These ones are made to embody the scents of common places, including rooms in the house. The best part of these candles, though, is that they’ll be able to reuse the hand-blown glass vessel once the candle has burned down. All they have to do is put it in the freezer when the wax runs down, pop it out with a knife, and run it through the dishwasher. Our editor uses hers for everything from cotton swabs to serving snacks.

An Airbnb gift card for in-laws who love to travel

airbnb, $100+

Airbnb Gift Card, $100 – $500, available at Zola

A tangible gift is great, but so is the gift of an unforgettable experience. For the jet-setting duo, bring them one step closer to their next vacation (as soon as vacations are safe again) with an Airbnb gift card so they can explore someplace new together. You can find more hotel and Airbnb gift card options here.

A leather catchall for their keys

gifts for in laws catchall tray

Rustic Leather Catchall Tray, from $34.99, available at Mark & Graham

Your in-laws will love this chic catchall tray for staying organized. Place on a desk, nightstand, or entryway table to hold keys, wallets, headphones, and more. You can even get it monogrammed for an extra personal touch. Choose from small, medium, large, or opt for a set of all three.

A coffee table book for book lovers

Bibliophile Under $25

“Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany,” available at Amazon, $15.99

If your in-laws love to read, they’ll enjoy this book from illustrator Jane Mount, who is known for the colorful book spines of notable works. Inside, they’ll find tours of the world’s best bookstores, quizzes to test book knowledge, and samplings of famous fictional meals — all illustrated in Mount’s fun and whimsical style. You can find more coffee table books for gifting here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

33 tactful gifts for your in-laws, whether you’re meeting them for the first time or have known them for years

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

best gifts for in-laws

  • Finding a gift for your in-laws can be tricky, whether it’s your first meeting or you’ve known them for years.
  • We rounded up some of the best gift ideas for your in-laws, from small thank yous to grander gestures. 
  • For more gift ideas, check out all of our gift guides here

Depending on your relationship, their tastes, and a host of other factors, getting a thoughtful gift for in-laws can be pretty high pressure. Whether you’re meeting them for the first time or have known them for years and just want to show some appreciation, the right gift can go a long way. 

You don’t have to go overboard, and there are plenty of unique gift ideas for in-laws that show you care about them. To ease your mind, we curated some great gifts sure to please any mother-in-law and father-in-law that cover a wide range of prices and tastes. Whether they’re small gifts like a bath salts or bigger ones like kitchen appliances, what these all have in common is that your in-laws will love them.

Here are 33 of the best gifts for in-laws:

This list includes a Sponsored Product that has been suggested by Gravity Blankets. It also meets our editorial criteria in terms of quality and value.*

A coffee subscription box for trying new beans

Coffee Under $25 (6)

Whole Bean Subscription, from $22/month, available at Blue Bottle Coffee

If they love coffee, they’ll love getting the chance to try a bunch of new brews every month. Blue Bottle’s beans are high quality, packaged at peak flavor, and come in a range of unique blends.

An elevated serving board for your in-laws next dinner party

gifts for in laws serving tray

Bamboo Lotus Serving Board, $48, available at Uncommon Goods

If your in-laws like to do a lot of hosting, this lotus-shaped serving tray will elevate their next dinner party. It has built-in spots for dips, crackers, cheese, veggies, and more.

A chic succulent

best gifts for in laws succulent

The Winona, $55, available at Urban Stems

Add some greenery to your in-laws’ home with this elegant succulent that’s easy to care for and comes in a chic, gold-beaded vase. If you plan to see your in-laws in person you can send it to yourself and bring it along with you, or you can have it sent directly to your in-laws’ address for a sweet gift from afar. 

A bento box of floral candies for their sweet tooth

best gifts for in laws sugarfina floral bento box

Sugarfina Floral Bento Box, $26, available at Bloomingdale’s

A box of chocolates is well and good, but this candy bento box is much more unique. Anyone with a sweet tooth will love these fun flavors, which include gummies infused with rosé, dark chocolate sea salt caramels, and peach bellini gummies. The presentation will win you points too thanks to the beautiful blooms on the box.

A modern vase to brighten up any space

best gifts for in laws west elm vase

Barro Vases, $35-$45, available at West Elm

These cute vases look great in any space and come in subtle but fun yellows and blues to add a pop of color.  If you want to go that extra mile, you could put some florals or dried plants in it too.

A cozy weighted blanket

Gravity Blanket

Gravity Blanket, $189, available at Gravity Blankets

Weighted blankets have been widely praised for their calming effects, and after this year, we could all use some extra tranquility. This cozy blanket is great for curling up with at night in bed or by the fire. 

*Sponsored by Gravity Blankets

A photo book of fond memories with your in-laws

Timeless gifts Artifact Uprising

Large Format Prints, available at Artifact Uprising, from $15

If you’ve spent holidays or vacations in the past with your in-laws, a sweet photo book to bring back good memories can be a great gift and way to show you appreciate family time with them. Artifact Uprising makes it easy with custom options at affordable prices. Or you can customize thoughtful cards for as little as $1 per card. You can also create a set of prints for $9.

An indoor garden for urban dwellers and herb lovers

click and grow

Click & Grow Smart Garden, $99.95, available at Amazon

Anyone who spends time in the kitchen or garden knows how much fresh herbs can upgrade a dish. While not all climates or spaces can sustain a full herb garden, this little indoor gardening kit can, so they can top every last dish with their favorite fresh herbs.

A tin of delicious treats

gifts for in laws cheryls cookie tin

Devils Food Chocolate Frosted Cookie Sampler, $29.99, available at Cheryl’s Cookies 

Who doesn’t love receiving a delicious cookie tin? This one from Cheryl’s Cookies features indulgent chocolate cookies topped with fudge buttercream frosting and chocolate chips.

Playing cards with pups

Under $25 dog cards

Megan Carn Dog Playing Cards, $21.00, available at Megan Carn

Everything is better arguably with a dog, and such is the case with these playing cards. They’re not only a fun conversation starter, but they encourage getting to know each other through a game night. 

A gift for the father-in-law who’s a major baseball fan

baseball blueprint, $185

Baseball Stadium Blueprints, $185, available at Uncommon Goods

A little bit of history, a little bit of architecture, and a whole lot of team spirit — whether you support their favorite team or not, they’ll appreciate this thoughtful print that’ll quickly find a home on one of their walls.

A painting of the only thing your in-laws love as much as their children

pet portrait, $180+

Custom Painterly Pet Portraits, from $250, available at Uncommon Goods

The only thing they might love as much as your partner is their pet. Show them you, too, appreciate their furry friend with a custom portrait of it. 

A cozy gift for your mother-in-law to keep her feet warm

gifts for mother in law slippers

Ballerina Herbal Warming Slippers, $48, available at Uncommon Goods

Pamper your mother-in-law with these fuzzy slippers featuring removable insoles filled with aromatic lavender buds and thermally conductive flax seeds. In the winter she can heat them up in the microwave for extra warmth, and in the summer she can throw them in the fridge for a refreshing cool down.

A cocktail bitters set mixologists will love

bitters, $34.99

Cocktail Bitters Set, $35, available at Uncommon Goods

Turn their living room into a cocktail bar with this set of bitters. With flavors like smoked chili and ginger lemon, they can get creative with some new drinks or spice up the classics.

A pizza maker for home cooks and pizza aficionados

breville, $149.95

Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker, $149.95, available at Williams Sonoma

Some might call this one life-changing. If they love cooking together, gift them a countertop pizza maker so they can enjoy homemade pies with the toppings of their choice in less than 10 minutes. 

A cozy and chic blanket

gifts for in-laws overland throw

Striped Alpaca Wool-Blend Throw Blanket, $159, available at Overland

Not only does is this blanket a lovely piece of home decor since it looks elegant draped over a couch or at the foot of the bed, but it’s also soft and warm. Your in-laws will surely appreciate you when they snuggle up in this wide throw during their next at-home movie night.

A touch lamp for in-laws who live far away

friendship lamp, $170

Long Distance Touch Lamp, from $85, available at Uncommon Goods

If your in-laws live far away, they’ll really appreciate this touch lamp. Keep one in your home and one in theirs, and whenever you tap it, their lamp will light up too. It’s a cute way to communicate and let them know you’re thinking of them every now and then.

A decanter and matching glasses with a personal touch

etched windowpane decanter and dof set set of 4 o

Etched Windowpane Decanter and Glasses, $139, available at Mark and Graham

Show them you mean business with this sophisticated decanter and set of four double old fashioned glasses. You can even add a monogram if you’re looking for a more personal touch.

A fun way to show off their cork collection

Gifts for in laws wine cork map

State Map Wine Cork Trap, $35, available at Uncommon Goods

For the bunch with a bunch of state pride, give them a fun way to use their leftover wine corks and show off their favorite place. This birch-wood display makes a nice piece of wall art that’s sure to start a conversation. 

A monthly sampling of some of the tastiest products from around the country

mouth, $54+

Best of Mouth Subscription, starting at $54/month, available at Mouth

Foodies will love the chance to test small-batch, locally made products from around the country. Mouth sources and curates subscription boxes of their favorites, which they’ll receive each month.

A set of passport holders for globetrotters

passports, $34.99

Personalized Passport Cover, $29.74 (for two), available at Etsy

Frequent travelers should have a durable passport cover. This one also has extra pockets for money, ID cards, and credit cards. The matching styles, names, and cute quote are an added bonus. If you don’t like the style of this one, there are plenty more to choose from.

A wool throw they’ll want to wrap up in on chilly days

L.L. Bean, $109

Washable Wool Throw, $169, available at L.L. Bean

Winter days spent with family call for cozy blankets made for snuggling. This one is just right and easily washable — just in case there are any unexpected eggnog spills.

An undeniably classy marble salt cellar

RSVP Marble Swivel Salt Cellar, $29.95, available at Amazon

RSVP Marble Swivel Salt Cellar, from $30.93, available at Amazon

If you want to make a statement with something small, go for this elegant salt cellar. It makes seasoning dishes easier, and the dual compartments provide a place for both fine and coarsely ground salt. Our editor swears by this one for her own kitchen.

A set of products to help them get some much-needed rest

gifts for in laws calm bath salts

CALM Bath Salts, $18, available at Herbivore

Parents always deserve some R&R. Bring them one step closer with this set of bath salts infused with ylang-ylang and vanilla.

A salt block that’ll up their grilling game

Gifts for in laws Himalayan Salt Plate

Himalayan Salt Plate, $9.83, available at Wayfair

This is more than just a pretty pink plate, it’s actually a block of Himalayan salt. Not only can it be used to serve food, but it can actually be used to cook food too. Cooking and serving with a salt slab will up the ante on plenty of their family-favorite meals.

A trio of unique condiments to spice up their meals

Bushwick Kitchen

Bushwick Kitchen Threes Knees Trio, $34.99, available at Bushwick Kitchen

Adventurous eaters and hot sauce lovers will definitely enjoy using this trio of spicy condiments. A spicy honey, spicy maple, and gochujang sriracha give them all sorts of new ways to spice up their favorite foods. 

A smart speaker to help them get started on a smart home

Nest Mini

Google Nest Mini, $49.99, available at Best Buy

If your in-laws are not really the techie types, start them out with this small smart speaker. Nest Mini is a subtle introduction to smart technology — plus they’ll get a kick out of communicating with Google Assistant. 

A charging hub so they don’t have to fight for the open outlet

elago

elago 3-in-1 Charging Hub, from $25.99, available at Amazon

If they’re always fighting for the last free outlet to charge their Apple products, or if they’re both big Apple fans, this hub will charge all their devices at once.

A new cookbook to add to their repertoire

ina garten, $20.99

“Cook Like a Pro” by Ina Garten, $17.46, available at Amazon

Ina Garten’s latest release is a great addition to any home chef’s cookbook collection. They’ll learn plenty of new recipes and cooking techniques — and you might even get to taste the fruits of their labor one day. 

A nice candle with a reusable vessel

Lafco, $65

Lafco Library Candle, $65, available at Bluemercury

A nice candle is always a welcomed gift. These ones are made to embody the scents of common places, including rooms in the house. The best part of these candles, though, is that they’ll be able to reuse the hand-blown glass vessel once the candle has burned down. All they have to do is put it in the freezer when the wax runs down, pop it out with a knife, and run it through the dishwasher. Our editor uses hers for everything from cotton swabs to serving snacks.

An Airbnb gift card for in-laws who love to travel

airbnb, $100+

Airbnb Gift Card, $100 – $500, available at Zola

A tangible gift is great, but so is the gift of an unforgettable experience. For the jet-setting duo, bring them one step closer to their next vacation (as soon as vacations are safe again) with an Airbnb gift card so they can explore someplace new together. You can find more hotel and Airbnb gift card options here.

A leather catchall for their keys

gifts for in laws catchall tray

Rustic Leather Catchall Tray, from $34.99, available at Mark & Graham

Your in-laws will love this chic catchall tray for staying organized. Place on a desk, nightstand, or entryway table to hold keys, wallets, headphones, and more. You can even get it monogrammed for an extra personal touch. Choose from small, medium, large, or opt for a set of all three.

A coffee table book for book lovers

Bibliophile Under $25

“Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany,” available at Amazon, $18.97

If your in-laws love to read, they’ll enjoy this book from illustrator Jane Mount, who is known for the colorful book spines of notable works. Inside, they’ll find tours of the world’s best bookstores, quizzes to test book knowledge, and samplings of famous fictional meals — all illustrated in Mount’s fun and whimsical style. You can find more coffee table books for gifting here.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I’m a doctor who tried to plan an extremely safe Thanksgiving for 3 people. My son got COVID-19 anyway – it wasn’t worth the scare it put us through.

thanksgiving turkey
The pandemic has changed a lot of families’ in-person holiday plans.

  • Dr. Robin Schoenthaler has been a long-time radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
  • She and her two sons recently got together for what they hoped was a quick, science-based, “as-safe-as-we-can-make-it” Thanksgiving dinner.
  • A couple of days later, one of her sons tested positive for COVID-19.
  • “Was it worth all the 4 a.m. wake-ups, the test-result anxiety, the constant texting each other to check on symptoms while living through that first week of absolute uncertainty?” she writes.
  • She wants others to learn from her family’s experience and cancel their holiday plans.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

I’m a physician in Boston, and I’ve been obsessed with the coronavirus pandemic since the first stories trickled out of China into my consciousness. Every day I listen to podcasts and medical lectures by a long line of virologists, epidemiologists, and infectious disease doctors. Every week, I write an essay for my friends and family in my area about what we’ve learned about COVID-19 and how to protect ourselves.

My sons – Mackenzie, 24, and Cooper, 21 – live nearby and have been what I call “COVID-conscious” since the start. Both kids work and study from their apartments, have small friend pods, have excellent COVID hygiene, particularly with me and anyone who falls into a high-risk group, and both had stayed mostly bubbled at home the previous two weeks.

Because of this, we agreed to have a science-based “as-safe-as-we-can-make-it” Thanksgiving following all the techniques I had researched.

We kept it small (just the three of us), we kept it short (two hours), and we kept the kitchen-cooking time to a minimum. We ate with the windows and doors open and the fans on, and the boys sat far apart in the dining room while I ate in the adjacent kitchen. We gathered together only once, for a couple of two-second photos, smiling behind our masks and instinctively inhaling.

Robin Schoenthaler
Mackenzie Schoenthaler (left) and his brother Cooper Schoenthaler during Thanksgiving dinner.

In fact, we masked except when actively putting food in our mouths, pulling our masks back up into place between servings and when chatting during the meal.

It all went perfectly.

But then, on Saturday morning while I was walking with a friend, Kenzie texted me saying, “Sooooo, I have bad news.” Half a minute later he sent a second text that read, “I feel horrible.”

I knew instantly what it was – he was sick with COVID-19. Which meant he had been contagious on Thanksgiving.

Every parent has their lowest parenting moment. This was mine. I bent over on the walkway and I just could not stand up.

Read more: COVID-19 threatens to create a ‘lockdown generation’ in Europe: Here’s why young people could be the ones paying for yet another crisis

All I could think was, “Why, why, why didn’t we just skip Thanksgiving this year? And now it’s too late to stop whatever tsunami is coming our way.”

The rest of Kenzie’s texts confirmed my fears: He was sick with a fever, body aches, headache. He had lost his sense of smell and taste. He tested positive for COVID later that day.

This is exactly how COVID-19 spreads: A person, like my beloved son, can have it, be contagious, but have no symptoms at all, not a single clue, for several days before getting sick.

This is exactly why we were so meticulously careful about our Thanksgiving. We knew it was possible one of us could be that asymptomatic contagious person. Not likely, not even probable. Kenzie has five friends in his bubble. All had been tested the week before for travel and were negative. All have been tested since and stayed negative, and all were asymptomatic. He had only shopped, carefully, at a couple of large stores.

Dr. Robin Schoenthaler has been a long-time radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Robin Schoenthaler is a radiation oncologist based in Boston.

We had no reason at all to think any of us had COVID-19 that Thanksgiving Day, but we couldn’t be sure. So we followed the science and opened the windows, turned on the fans, sat far from each other, and masked up nearly every moment we didn’t have a fork in our mouths.

But a “small friend pod,” it turns out, is an oxymoron. And “mostly bubbled” isn’t good enough. There are no shortcuts, no bending of the coronavirus rules.

And as it turned out, the precautions we did have in place worked. Cooper and I are COVID-19 negative. And Kenzie had a rough week but is getting better. We’re all getting better.

Read more: After a Boston architecture firm reopened its office, workers came back voluntarily – and every employee said they felt safe. Here’s what worked, and the problems it’s still trying to fix.

But was gathering my little family together for some pumpkin pie worth it? 

Was it worth it to have Kenzie feel immense guilt about potentially exposing us? Was it worth the discomfort of having to tell his contacts they needed to be tested and then go into 10 days of quarantine?

Was it worth all the 4 a.m. wake-ups, the test-result anxiety, the constant texting each other to check on symptoms while living through that first week of absolute uncertainty about how things would turn out?

Am I ever going to hold another Thanksgiving in the middle of a pandemic? Absolutely not.

And Christmas in 2020?

No possible way. Not a bit. Not a chance.

Dr. Robin Schoenthaler has been a long-time radiation oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital. She’s also a writer, story-teller, and an obsessed student of epidemics. 

This story originally appeared on Schoenthaler’s Facebook page and on The Boston Globe website. It has been republished with permission. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Holiday music may be bad for your mental health, according to science

mariah carey santa holiday music
Santa and Mariah Carey.

  • Incessant repetition of holiday music can have a psychological impact.
  • At first, holiday music can be uplifting, but after a certain period of time, it can cause boredom — and even distress.
  • It can remind listeners of the other stressors of the holiday season, like finances and family.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The sights and sounds of the holidays are here – and they’re completely inescapable. No matter where you go, it seems like the same classic songs are played on repeat. 

This perception is spot on: Spotify reports that listening spikes during the last two months of the year. Michael Bublé’s “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” top the list of most streamed tunes

But the incessant repetition can have a psychological impact. There’s a U-shaped relationship between how often we hear a song and how much we like it, what’s known as the mere exposure effect

At first, holiday music may spark nostalgia and get you in the holiday spirit. But hearing “Jingle Bells” for the millionth time can lead to annoyance, boredom, and even distress, researchers say.

That’s because the brain becomes oversaturated, triggering a negative response. If you’re already worried about moneywork, or seeing family during the holidays, the constant inundation of cheerful tunes may reinforce your stress instead of relieving it. 

It can also be downright distracting, affecting employee productivity and irritating consumers. In fact, a 2011 Consumer Reports survey found that 23% of Americans dread holiday music.

Clinical psychologist Linda Blair says Christmas music can be mentally draining:

“People working in the shops [have to tune out] Christmas music, because if they don’t, it really does stop you from being able to focus on anything else… You’re simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”

How can you strike the right balance of good cheer that doesn’t drive you crazy?

Switch up your music so people’s brains don’t get bored. Playing the same Christmas songs all season long produces cognitive fatigue. Practice good sound management by varying your playlists and keeping the volume in check.

Studies also show that wintry scents like pine and cinnamon help conjure happy emotions, so recruit other senses when celebrating. 

If all else fails, a set of ear plugs makes a nice stocking stuffer.

This Inc story was originally published on Business Insider December 24, 2018.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best holiday lights

  • Holiday lights bring feelings of warmth and cheer even in the darkest and coldest days of the year. 
  • The KooPower Waterproof Battery Fairy Lights are a great choice if you prefer white lights because they are controlled by a remote and powered by batteries.
  • If you prefer colorful lights, go with the Brizled LED Mini String Lights, which come in 66-foot strands so you can decorate large areas with ease. 

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

I’m someone who likes their holiday lights and decorations. I spend hours and hours every November climbing up and down ladders and scrambling around on the roof stringing up dozens of feet of lights on every peak and roofline of the house.

With all those hours spent decorating come a fair share of frustrations, though, from blown bulbs to overloaded circuits and even the occasional ladder-related mishap. With those unhappy memories in mind, I’ve worked to assemble a buying guide filled with holiday lights that not only look great, but that also make your life easier.

Included with a couple of classic plug-in options, this guide features lights that are both solar- and battery-powered. We have lights controlled via a handheld remote or app and those that are beamed out of a projector.

Sure, those old strands of tiny incandescent bulbs you have tangled up in boxes on the garage shelves are probably fine, but these lights are definitely better. Upgrade your light game this season with these shining examples of great holiday lights.

Here are the best holiday lights:

Prices and links are current as of 12/10/20. We added a set of smart lights based on testing. 

The best classic lights

brizled LED lights

One 66-foot strand of Brizled LED Mini String Lights features 200 LEDs and should provide enough colorful bulbs to decorate an entire tree.

Pros: Warm and bright light quality, durable lights last for years, spare bulbs and fuse included

Cons: No built-in timer

Just one 66-foot strand of these bright, colorful Brizled LED Lights, you should be able to decorate even an 8- or 9-foot tree. Each strand holds 200 individual bulbs in the classic blue, red, yellow, green, and orange assortment.

The Brizled LED Mini String Lights are rated to last for 25,000 hours, so you probably won’t have to replace the strand — possibly ever. Even if you leave your lights illuminated for a month straight every year, you can still expect about 35 years out of them.

The best thing about the Brizled LED Mini String Lights isn’t their longevity, though, it’s their looks. These bulbs approximate the same look as those beloved incandescent mini bulbs you’ll remember from holiday seasons past, yet they use about 88% less power than traditional lights and never get hot enough to pose a risk of injury or fire. Plus, they’re much brighter than incandescent bulbs, so you’ll get much more pop from just one strand.

If colorful lights don’t match the look you’re going for, Brizled also makes them in both warm and cool white. And should you want to go full Griswold on your holiday decorations, you can safely connect up to 10 strands of these things.

These lights are perfect for indoor use thanks to their cool physical temperature and warm light quality. They are perfectly safe for outdoor use in all sorts of weather conditions.

The best battery-powered lights

lights

The KooPower Waterproof Battery Fairy Lights are battery powered and operated via remote control, so once they’re in place, you can look forward to weeks of effortless enjoyment.

Pros: Battery power lasts many days, controlled by remote, tiny but bright bulbs, great price

Cons: 36-foot strand too short for some applications, only come in warm white, batteries must be changed after 60 hours of use

One of the worst things about holiday lights is the fact that you have to plug them in every time you want them to light up and unplug them when you want them to go dark — unless you have a timer. But even with a timer, you still need the lights to end up near an outlet, or at least be close enough to the outlet that an extension cord can connect the two. With the KooPower Waterproof Battery Fairy Lights with Remote and Timer, both of those situations are things of the past.

The KooPower lights are powered by three AA batteries, and when only lit for a few hours each night, these three batteries will keep the lights aglow for days. With good quality batteries, the lights will shine for 60 hours before needing a change, so even if you left the lights on for four hours every night, that’s more than two weeks per set, or likely only one battery change per holiday season. And what’s more, you could set these lights up miles from the nearest power outlet if you really wanted to.

The remote control eliminates the need for ready access to the lights and for use of an external timer. With the remote, the lights can be programmed for an on/off cycle, set to twinkle, fade in and out, do a chasing flash pattern, and more. The lights stay cool, thus are safe for use on an indoor tree, and are water-resistant, thus suitable for outdoor hanging.

The best large-bulb lights

classic lights

The large, softly glowing colorful bulbs of the Good Tidings Ceramic Multi-Colored Holiday Lights look just like something out of a classic film.

Pros: Classic vintage charm, bright lights visible from a distance, easy bulb changes

Cons: Short strand length, glow much warmer than LEDs

Sure, LED bulbs are bright, energy-efficient, cool to the touch, and last for years. But you have to admit, there’s something so warm and comforting about classic incandescent bulb holiday lights — especially those oversized bulbs known “in the business” as C9 bulbs.

The Good Tidings Ceramic Multi-Colored Holiday Light Set comes with 25 big, colorful bulbs that shine with a light both bright and soft at once. They will light up your tree, they look great framing a window or doorway, and they’re hard to beat when strung across the roofline of the home, especially when a blanket of snow rests around them.

The strand measures 24 feet long, a great length for an indoor tree though a bit short for use outdoors unless you’re willing to buy a few strands. They will last for years, though, albeit with an occasional bulb swap needed. Doing so is easy, though. It’s just like changing a standard light bulb.

The Good Tidings Ceramic Multi-Colored Holiday Lights are UL listed for indoor and outdoor use and they connect to any standard socket or extension cord. If the soft frosted bulb look isn’t to your liking, they also come in a transparent variation. 

The best smart lights

Twinkly smart string lights

Twinkly’s smart LED string lights connect with an app so you can control the color scheme and turn them on and off with your phone or your voice.

Pros: Easy to set up and use, well-designed app, voice control supported by Alexa and Google Assistant, programmable lights, fun to make your own designs

Cons: Significantly more expensive than regular LED string lights

Twinkly’s LED string lights are fully customizable, thanks to an easy-to-use app that lets you program your lights. You can choose between a wide range of pre-made light effects so your tree will twinkle like stars, display a heart, look like a glittery candy cane, or show off a pulsing rainbow. There’s even a dongle you can add to synchronize your lights to music.

You can also go simple and choose solid colors or make your own mix in the app. The options are basically endless with more than 16 million colors to choose from. The LED lights are bright and vibrant, too, making any color combination look gorgeous.

The lights were easy to set up in our tests. It’s as easy as plugging the lights in, downloading the app, and following the on-screen directions to connect your lights via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

I set the lights up with my home’s Wi-Fi network so that I can control them remotely and with my voice. To enable voice control, I followed the instructions in the Alexa app to connect the lights to my Echo in just a few minutes. Now I can turn them on or off in the app or with my voice. Overall, the smart lights are easy to use, mainly because the app is so user friendly. 

In terms of length, the 250-light strand perfectly covered my 7.5-foot tree, but depending on how densely packed you want the lights to be, you may need more lights. Twinkly sells several different smart light strands, so you can choose whichever ones are best for your needs.

The 100-light strand linked here is also on sale, making it a good deal. Under normal circumstances, and even when on sale, these lights are more expensive than ordinary lights, but if you want full customizability, voice control, and all the smart features included here, it’ll be worth it. If not, grab a strand of normal lights and a smart outlet, like this one from Belkin— Malarie Gokey

The best solar-powered holiday lights

VMANOO solar christmas lights

Once you have your VMANOO Solar Powered String Lights set up where you want them, they are 100% hands-off until it’s time to take the lights down again at the end of the holiday season.

Pros: No outlet or batteries needed, sensor turns lights on or off, available in multiple colors

Cons: Limited shine duration per charge

Once you have the VMANOO Solar Powered String Lights where you want them, you don’t have to think about these lights again until it’s time to put them away after the holidays. That is, except when you admire them or get compliments from others. 

The lights are 100% solar-powered, requiring no proximity to an outlet, no battery swaps, and no programming with a timer or searching for a remote control, either. The lights have a sensor that automatically turns them on once the ambient light is low enough and that will switch them back off once the sun is again filling the sky.

Though to be honest, they will probably have dimmed or switched off entirely before that happens, as they have an approximate eight-hour run-time per charge. Don’t worry, though, that’s plenty long enough. Even with a dead of winter 4:30 p.m. sunset, the lights will still be aglow well after midnight. 

The VMANOO Solar Powered String Lights come in a 72-foot strand, so you will be able to decorate a smaller tree or bush, an entire roofline, or to frame a number of windows and/or doors with a single strand. As they come in pale white, warm white, multicolored, and blue, you can choose the exact look you want for your holiday illumination.

The one major drawback to these lights is that they’re hardly suitable for indoor use, as they need access to the sun to power up and need it to be dark in order to power on. 

The best holiday light projector

yinuo christmas light projector

The remote-controlled Yinuo Christmas Laser Lights Outdoor Projector shines a swirling pattern of red and green stars or other holiday patterns on your home with a simple point and click. It’s currently out of stock.

Pros: Amazingly easy setup, remote control operation, good price point

Cons: Lacks charm of actual strands of lights

Holiday laser light decorations aren’t for everyone, I get that. But falling off of ladders, searching for that one burnt out bulb, and realizing you don’t have a long enough extension cord to connect the light strands to the outlet? That stuff isn’t for everyone, either. A gently swirling, twinkling display of red and green stars, Christmas trees, Santas, and snowflakes is quite the attractive alternative. 

The Yinuo Christmas Laser Lights Outdoor Projector makes decorating your house for the holidays easier than ever. You simply plant the projector in the ground using its included stake and aim it at your house. It was out of stock at the time of writing.

Plug it in, and then turn it on, that’s all there is to it. More or less, anyway. You might need to move the projector closer to or farther from the walls a few times as you work to find the perfect coverage. But it’s easy stuff overall.

The projector creates rotating or flashing patterns of light, which can be set to green, red, or green and red. You can opt for a pinpoint starfield or choose images including snowflakes, bells, trees, or Santas. Project one, combine them, have them rotate, or leave them static — you can achieve whatever combination you prefer. The lights cover up to 3500 square feet of surface, and the projector can be controlled by a remote that is reliable within 40 feet.

Don’t worry about rain, snow, or freezing temperatures, either — this little guy is waterproof and rated to work even when the mercury hits 4 degrees below zero. Also, it’s safe to use in temperatures up to 104ºF, in case you happen to be in warmer climes this holiday season.

Check out our other great holiday decorating guides

garland

The best holiday decorations 

A beautifully decorated home is part of the wonder of the holiday season. We’ve rounded up the best decorating essentials for your home to make it easier for you.


The best tree skirts

Tree skirts add a dash of color and style to your holiday decor while hiding away that unsightly tree stand and all the holiday light cords. Here are our top picks.


The best artificial Christmas trees

Artificial Christmas trees have come a long way. They have a more realistic and festive look during the holiday season than their predecessors. Even better, quality artificial trees are available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles. These are the best artificial Christmas trees.


The best Christmas stockings

Whether you’re young or old, there’s something magical about the sight of an overflowing stocking awaiting you on Christmas morning. No matter the style you prefer, we have a wide variety of wonderful Christmas stockings.

Read the original article on Business Insider