Ad Age Amp Holiday Gift Guide 2020

If you’re asking yourself, “What’s the perfect gift for my favorite co-worker?” Or, “What should I get that manager who sends me too many one-word responses for my comfort?” And even, “What to gift my entire team to inspire jealousy across the rest of the company?” This is the list for you. We polled agency folks across the country to come up with a wide variety of gifts that covers everything from outdoor pizza ovens to custom skincare consultations, and spans from sarcastic in spirit to the sincerest efforts to foster togetherness. The most 2020 criteria of all—not a single item on this list requires you to leave the comfort of your home. Happy online shopping, and happy holidays from everyone at Ad Age. Stay safe.

Special thanks to all the Amp members who contributed: Mary Jane Cleage and Luke Williams of Big Communications; Katie Lucius of Conquer; Elizabeth Baggan, Irene Kim, Lucy Rogers and Alexandra Stamp of Croud; Carla Guy, Adam Greenwald and Christofer Peterson of Dagger; Krysta Ayers, Lizzie Burton, Ross Clark, Alex McFarland and Travis Peters of EightPM; Rich Bloom, Mick Champayne, Irina Kondrashova, Irina Lee and Sean Lynch of Huge; Kate Boccio and Jacob Budin of Kettle; Gian Carlo Lanfranco of Lanfranco & Cordova; Erika Hofsegang, Rebecca Lysen and Ashley Purdum of Night After Night; Linda Chau of PAAPR; Carolyn Walker of Response Agency; Romeo Cervas and Ethan Hulbert of RPA; Kenny Nguyen of ThreeSixtyEight; Sean Ahearn, Lori Carlo, Ashley Crane, Anthony Hello and Kallana Warner of UM

Ashley Joseph – Writer
Corey Holmes – Web Producer
Brian Moran – Copy Editor

For more information about Studio 30:
James Palma
General Manager, Revenue and Client Partnerships
[email protected]

John Dioso
Editor, Studio 30
[email protected]

For more information about Ad Age Amp:
Yael Gamson
Associate Digital Producer
[email protected]

Kevin Skaggs
GM, Digital
[email protected]

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How to destress after holiday shopping in the age of COVID-19


Angela Lang/CNET

There’s just something special about the holidays: People seem happier and more generous, the weather feels nicer and everything looks a little brighter. But with all the holiday cheer comes loads of holiday shopping, which can seriously take a toll on mind and body.

And in 2020, more stress is the last thing anyone needs. I mean, we’ve all battled the very real shock of a viral pandemic, extended lockdowns and self-quarantines, an insane presidential election, raging wildfires, a record-breaking hurricane season, and so much more. Need I go on, though? 

I probably don’t need to convince anyone that braving the mall isn’t the best idea (for your stress levels or for COVID-19 prevention efforts), but even shopping online can take its toll on us mentally. Seriously. It’s so hard to navigate the endless sales, special deals, door-busters and new product announcements — unless you have CNET on your side, that is. 

Next time you log out of Amazon feeling drained from virtual holiday shopping or return from a hectic shopping trip at the mall, indulge yourself in one of these relaxing, oh-so-soothing self-care activities. And here’s our complete guide to celebrating Thanksgiving in 2020, given all the challenges from the coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: How to feel less lonely if you can’t visit family for the holidays

1. Take a bath or hot shower

Go ahead. Run a bath and make it all pretty for Instagram. You deserve to take the bath and show off the meticulously placed rose petals, bubbles and glass of wine you won’t touch until you get the photo. Add a face mask (no, not the pandemic kind) or your favorite book for extra self-care points. 

2. Go for a run or lift weights

There’s no shortage of proof that exercise makes us happier. Moving your body releases all sorts of feel-good endorphins that improve your mood, and the act itself makes you feel strong, fit and productive. Some experts even say exercise can make us smarter, so head out on that next sweat sesh knowing that you might just come away with a better plan for your next bout of online holiday shopping.

3. Get outside

If hitting the gym is the last thing you want to do (or if your gym is still closed due to the novel coronavirus), consider getting outside for an easy hike or walk. Spending some time in nature can chill you out and help you decompress. Really — forest bathing is a thing, and you should try it.


Doesn’t this look serene? Getting outside to a quiet, green space can help you wind down after a long bout of holiday shopping.

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4. Take a nap

Sometimes, all you need (or want) is

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Women who work have slower memory loss as they age, study finds

Working for a paycheck may come with an extra benefit when it comes to women’s brain health.

Women who have spent time in the paid workforce during their adult lives — regardless of whether they were married or single, with or without children — have slower rates of memory decline after age 60 than women who did not work for pay, a new study has found.

Women who had children, in particular, saw these benefits even when they stopped working for years to raise kids and then returned to their paid jobs.

Since memory decline can be an early sign of Alzheimer’s dementia and almost two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease are women, the findings — published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology — offer insight into factors that might lower the risk.

In general, working is better than not working for cognitive health, said Erika Sabbath, study co-author and an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Boston College.

“Often when we think about work, we think about the hazards of work so things like stress and physical strain. But there are also a lot of real benefits to be derived from working,” Sabbath told TODAY.

“While there’s no debate that managing a home and a family can be a complex and full-time job,” it’s paid work that seems to protect from memory loss, added lead author Elizabeth Rose Mayeda, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in a statement.


The potential benefits of a job include social engagement and intellectual stimulation, which are known to be protective against cognitive decline, Sabbath noted.

Another aspect is financial security, which provides both peace of mind and access to “all of the things that money can buy that help make life better and less stressful” like health care, a good diet and a gym membership, she added.

The findings are based on data from 6,189 women who were 57 years old on average at the start of the study. They were divided into groups based on whether they were married or single; with or without children; and whether they worked continuously, took a break or never had a paid job at all between the ages of 16 and 50.

As they were followed for about 12 years, the women were regularly given memory tests.

The researchers found that those who worked for pay experienced slower rates of memory decline, regardless of marital and parenthood status, than their non-working peers. Strikingly, the average rate of memory decline was 50% greater among women who didn’t work for pay after having children compared with those who were working mothers.

The study found an association, not a cause and effect.

Some challenge and stress can be helpful

There seem to be benefits of working for any kind of “significant chunk of time” during adult life, though the study didn’t specify how long is long enough to get the

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Big Gains in India Seen From Higher Legal Marriage Age of Women

(Bloomberg) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to raise the legal age for marriage of women carry “enormous” economic and social gains for the world’s second-most populous nation, according to the State Bank of India.


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The benefits range from lowering maternal deaths and improving nutrition levels in the near term to putting more girls in college and enabling women to achieve greater financial independence in the long-term, Soumya Kanti Ghosh, an economist with SBI, wrote in a report to clients Thursday.

“This is clear from the data,” Ghosh said. “The working age population increases with high marriage age.”

While the mean female marriage age in India is already above 21 years, about 35% of are married before then, with the current legal limit at 18 years, according to SBI. India is home to every third child bride in the world, with more than 100 million getting married even before turning 15, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Marriage at a young age means not even a quarter of women in India get into the labor force despite accounting for almost half of the 1.3 billion population. Women earn 35% less on average than men, compared to the global average of a 16% gap.

A government panel is looking at the right marriageable age for women in India, with Modi saying a decision would be taken soon. This would be the first revision in more than four decades and put India in the league of Asian peers such as China, Japan and Singapore.

The marriage age for women in India might be raised to 21 years, the same as for men, according to Ghosh, who sees the number of women graduates rising as much as 7 percentage points from 9.8% at present.

“The move will have other legal and psychological benefits also,” Ghosh said. “Any ground-level change will only happen when the psyche of people alter.”

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Wedding Etiquette in the Electronic Age

These days, computers, cell phones, and PDAs are a part of our daily lives. When it comes to planning your wedding, they can certainly come in very handy. With new technology, though, comes new etiquette, and there a few things to keep in mind when it comes to combining electronics and your wedding.

The first thing to know is that quicker isn’t always better. This may sound like it goes against how we live today, but it really does not. After all, if all you cared about was getting married as expeditiously as possible, then you would pop into City Hall on your lunch break, not plan a full ceremony and reception. So although it is great to be efficient, forget the idea that speed and convenience are all that matter, because that simply isn’t the case in society.

There are many ways that you can use your computer and other electronics to great advantage when planning your wedding. It is great to be able to peruse venues online, pick out your handmade wedding jewelry from a Internet retailer, and be able to text your fiance with questions during the day. But it is still true that the personal touch is best in some instances. That is why it feels more special when your wedding jewelry, for example, is handmade especially for you.

The personal touch brings us to one of the biggest etiquette questions: is it okay to send wedding invitations via email or evite? The answer is unequivocally NO! Do you really want the invitation to your special day to be mixed in with a bunch of offers for Viagra and credit scores? Sending a proper invitation in the mail on a good quality stationary sets the right tone for a wedding.

When it comes to the responses for your wedding, you can consider setting up a website where guests can R.S.V.P. Online. There is nothing wrong with this from a manners perspective, but you do run the risk that some of your older, less computer savvy guests may not respond. Base your decision on your guests list. Another option is to include a response card with the invitation, but to note on it that the reply can either be mailed in, or logged on your wedding website. This is probably the safest bet.

A great use of technology for planning your wedding is to set up the aforementioned wedding website. It is perfectly acceptable to direct guests there to find out about hotel and travel information, rather than sending out a huge packet of information. You will probably also save a lot of money on the printing and postage this way.

Wedding guests have certain obligations when it comes to electronic manners, as well. First and foremost: turn off all media during the ceremony. To allow your phone to ring as the bride and groom recite their vows would be incredibly rude and disrespectful. To answer the call would be unspeakable!

This is not to say that …

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The Middle Age Women of Today

Up until this point, life has probably been about taking caring of and making everyone else happy. You have been putting everything into making your marriage successful, and you have poured your energies into making a happy home for your children.

At some point, you've put your career on hold for the benefit of others, and you have had to make decisions that you did serve your happiness. It is part and parcel of your existence, and that's just the way it is for many women.

There's no better time than now to take control of life and start doing more for yourself than now.

Doing More for Yourself

You're at midlife, enthusiastic, flourishing, and ready to tackle life. It's time to kiss guilt goodbye, and embrace what you love. It's time to do something new, whether you want to learn a new language, how to play the piano, or you have always wanted to learn how to dance the waltz.

Your midyears are the perfect time to step outside your comfort zone and throw yourself into something new.

It's time to embrace your confidence!

There's nothing sexier than the confidence that life experience brings. While aging might sound scary, living in fear will hold you back from living a full life. So, keep moving forward, learn every day, and listen to your heart.

Don't be afraid to be bold, present, brave, and fearless.

"Once you become fearless life becomes limitless."

Hobbies Make the Woman

Whether your interests are in arts, sports, in the home, on the water, or in the gym, you should feel free to dive in headfirst. You can take up a hobby that allows you to socialize with others, or to enjoy time on your own. They can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be, and they will help shape your lifestyle, and connect you with likeminded people, and energize you.

When it comes to hobbies for women in midlife, there is no limit. From book clubs, painting, gardening, golfing, and sewing to swimming, dancing, or jazzercise, playing an instrument, and calligraphy, whatever your point of interest, there is a hobby that will bring out the best in you and give you new meaning .

Finding a hobby that you love and that provides you with social engagement is vital to your mental health and overall happiness, especially if you don't get to experience a lot of socializing with your family and friends.

Letting Go of What Matters Less

Saying Goodbye to Judgements

Remember when you were young and you would get dressed thinking about what others may think of your outfit? Versus now, when chances are you aren't too worried about what other people think of how you are dressed or what you are wearing, you're concerned much more with whether you like it or how you feel in it. This is so liberating, a new mindset where you dress and how you look aims to satisfy you and promotes …

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