2020 gift guide: Exercise gear to help them stay physically active inside

There’s one thing that experts are always saying can help improve your mood, your attitude and your overall health — exercise.

Of course, in the dark winter of a global pandemic, it’s going to be hard to get that magical cure. So this holiday season, give the gift of working up a good sweat.

Affordable exercise bike

This simple exercise bike from Sunny Health and Fitness is a great gift for anyone who wants to get some cardio without the pressure of a fancy bike with a screen and someone yelling at you to push it harder. Your giftee can use a tablet and watch whatever they want on it. Or use their TV, even. Or, if they would rather have the yelling, they can pay for the Peloton app. $299.99, Amazon

Yoga mat

Jade Harmony Mat

Jade Harmony Mat

A yoga mat isn’t just for yoga. It’s for stretching, napping, doing HIIT classes from YouTube, really anything. Get one with some cushion. You can’t go wrong. $79.95, Jade Yoga


Truly what is more fun than jumping up and down on a trampoline? Also, it’s apparently exercise! The Stamina 36-inch Folding Trampoline is $69.99, Amazon

Water bottle

Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask 21 oz Standard Mouth Sport Cap

Staying hydrated is just as important inside as it is outside. Give the gift of an Oregon-based water bottle. $39.95, Hydroflask



Dumbbell from Target

A pair of five-pound weights is the perfect gift for the at-home exerciser who is trying to stay fit but not necessarily enter a bodybuilding contest. $8.49, Target

Jump rope

A jump rope is a great gift for a kid or adult who needs to get their energy out. Just make sure they use it somewhere other than the living room. $12.99 for two, Amazon

Pull-up bar

A pull-up bar is an easy, super affordable gift that can go in almost any doorway. $20.06, Amazon

Ring Fit Adventure

Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure isn’t just for kids — it’s for anyone who wants to make working out a little more magical. And has a Switch. $79.99, Amazon

Cute workout gear

If you love someone, get them workout gear that makes them feel cute while sweating. Girlfriend Collective is a good place to start. $68 for leggings, Girlfriend Collective

Resistance bands

Looking for a stocking stuffer for your home gym aficionado? You can never have too many resistance bands! $14.95, REI

Apple watch

Apple Watch SE

Apple Watch SE

If you are trying to be Santa Claus and you have a lot of money to spare, no one will ever be disappointed with an Apple watch. The SE model is at least a little “affordable.” $279, Apple

— Lizzy Acker

503-221-8052, [email protected], @lizzzyacker

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With jump in holiday online shopping, cybercriminals get active

With consumer online spending surging this holiday season, criminals are after a piece of the pie.

U.S. consumers will spend a total of $189 billion online from Nov. 1st through Dec. 31st, a jump of 33% from 2019, according to a projection from Adobe Analytics, leaving more opportunity for cybercriminals.

Black Friday, in particular, is a prime time for seasonal scammers. When cybersecurity firm Tessian surveyed I.T. decision-makers in the U.K. and U.S., the majority told them that they receive more phishing attacks in the last three months of the year – in the lead-up to the holidays – compared to the rest of the year.


Already this year, e-skimmer criminals are active, according to research from RiskIQ, which recently posted research on a wave of attacks on e-commerce sites.


Injecting e-skimmers, or credit card skimmers, on shopping websites to steal credit card details is a popular tactic for Magecart, a consortium of different hacker groups who target online shopping cart systems, as The Hacker News points out.

“This group has carried out a large number of diverse Magecart attacks that often compromise large numbers of websites at once,” according to RiskIQ.

To avoid this, consumers should not save credit card information on retail sites and, instead, use payment methods like PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Wallet.


Another tactic for criminals is to leverage popular brands in email phishing attacks.

In 2020, cybercriminals are ramping up and perfecting brand forgery, Dave Baggett, co-founder and CEO of anti-phishing startup Inky, said in a statement sent to FOX Business.

Cybercriminals steal source code from retail brands’ e-commerce sites to create “identical and perfect brand forgery sites,” according to Inky.

The more authentic the phishing email, the more likely that consumers will click on malicious links in the email.

The upshot: consumers should expect to see more fraudulent emails claiming to be from Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, among other major retailers, in the coming days and weeks.


Another scam that has been making the rounds is the so-called “Secret Santa” or “Secret Sister,” according to the Better Business Bureau.

This gift exchange campaign quickly became popular on Facebook in 2015 with posts promising participants would receive up to 36 gifts, in exchange for sending one gift.

“Each holiday season the scheme pops back up,” the BBB said. Newer versions of the scam include exchanging bottles of wine or purchasing $10 gifts online or references to “happy mail” or doing the exchange “for the good of the sisterhood,” according to the BBB.

This is a pyramid scheme so “ignore it,” the BBB said.


Gift card abuse

This a perennial threat due to the widespread use of gift cards, according to the Retail Gift Card Association (RGCA).

Gift cards

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How to Give Guests an Active Role in Your Virtual Wedding

As couples continue to look for ways to move forward with their wedding plans during the coronavirus pandemic, guests are also looking for ways to feel more involved, connected and present.

“Guests want a deeper experience, especially because many can’t be there,” said Jason Mitchell Kahn, the owner of Jason Mitchell Kahn and Company, an event planning company in New York. “They want to offer something of themselves rather then just witnessing something online.”

Couples are missing that bond as well. “They’re looking for a deeper way to include everyone, whom they want to feel special and remembered,” he added.

Event planners, wedding party members, and couples are coming up with creative ways for guests to have a more integrated and elevated role. Here are a few ideas.

On Sept. 5, Daliya Karnofsky, 36, an independent dating coach, married Matt Lutsky, 32, a creator and writer of the Showtime comedy series “On Becoming a God in Central Florida,” at a lakeside Airbnb in Malibu, Calif. Sixteen family members and friends attended, while another 200 watched via Zoom. When the couple stood under the huppah, they were embraced by more than 120 paper flowers, each as distinctive as the guest who sent it to the floral designer beforehand. The paper art was then woven into the canopy along with real flowers.

“It was Matt’s idea, we wanted to feel everyone’s personal touch, and for everyone to feel like they were there,” said Ms. Karnofsky, who lives with her husband in Los Angeles. Standout materials included chocolate wrappers, a baseball with the couple’s names stitched on it, seashells, macaroni, even a bag of flour.

“We planned this during early pandemic when everyone was into crafting,” she added. “We have so many creative friends. It was fun and connective for people to see their flowers when they Zoomed. It was beautiful and special.”

Mr. Kahn, who was the couple’s wedding planner, noted that many of these experiential projects, can double as keepsakes. “They can be turned into pieces of art, framed into shadow displays, or put in a book that they’ll have forever,” he said.

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Ben Baur, 34, an actor, and Craig Gates, 30, an equity derivative salesman for J.P. Morgan, were married Sept. 12, on a friend’s rooftop in New York’s TriBeCa neighborhood. To improve the feeling of guest inclusion, they sent “raise a drink” gift boxes to guests that included a monogrammed shot glass, cozy, wine stopper and a self-addressed stamped envelope and card. The New York couple collected the 70-plus notes from guests and read them together for the first time before their ceremony.

“It was a very intimate moment to have, and an opportunity for our guests to feel like part of the day,” Mr. Baur said. “That was really important to us.”

The cards were wrapped in a ribbon

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