Holiday 2020: Feel-good gifts

Melissa Starker, Creative Content & PR Manager

Nov 25, 2020

A selection of books, movies, and gift items from the Wexner Center Store

These are contentious times, but there's one point on which there's no argument: 2020 has been a hard year. With that in mind, we've put together a guide for holiday giving featuring items from the Wexner Center Store that can offer comfort, peace, or a good laugh to the people on your list. Virtually every item selected is currently priced at less than $50 and many are under $20.

Although the center is closed due to COVID-19 levels in Franklin County, the Store's on the web whenever you want to shop and orders are being mailed out every weekday. Hundreds of books and other items have been added online in recent days, so there's more of what you love about our Store at your fingertips. Plus, through the end of the year, you can get 10% off all items and free shipping for orders of $75 or more, and members can save an extra 10% by entering the code WCAMEM10 at checkout.

Everything below has been collected in one shop here.

Take Care of Your Self: The Art and Cultures of Care and Liberation

Cover of the book Take Care of Your Self: The Art and Cultures of Care and Liberation by Sundus Abdul Hadi

Common Notions, $14.40; order here

“Take care of yourself. How many times a week do we hear or say these words?," asks Iraqi-Canadian artist and author Sundus Abdul Hadi in an essay that argues that self-care isn't just an act to preserve the individual; it can strengthen community and ultimately build to a more just society. More than two dozen artists of color contribute images to illustrate Hadi's point.


Peanuts Every Sunday 1981-1985

Cover of the hardcover book Peanuts Every Sunday 1981-1985

Fantagraphics, $44.99; order here

Although it's been 20 years since a new strip from Charles Schulz graced newspapers, Peanuts might be the perfect comic for our time. Between its insightful blend of goofiness and profundity and the childhood memories it raises, Schulz's creation feels like a grounding force amid the chaos. This hardcover collection of full-color Sunday strips is the tip of the iceberg for our comic and graphic novel selection, curated through a partnership with Cartoon Crossroads Columbus.


The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie

Cover for the book The Adventures of Chupacabra Charlie by Frederick Luis Aldama

Mad Creek Books, $8.96; order here

Ohio State's own Frederick Luis Aldama collaborated with Chris Escobar on this picture book about a tall, polite folkloric creature and his magical realist adventures with a young human named Lupe. Recommended for ages 8–12.


Brush Roll x Louise Bourgeois

A canvas paintbrush roll bearing a quote from Louise Bourgeois, pictured with the three brushes that come with the roll and the box it all comes in, which bears a spiral design by the artist

Third Drawer Down, $45; order here

Appropriate for both hobbyists and practicing artists who like to keep things portable, this canvas roll is adorned with Louise Bourgeois' iconic visual representation of life's continuum. It comes with three brushes—each bearing a quote from the artist, like the roll itself—and has room to hold many more.


Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change

Cover of the poetry collection Keep Moving by Maggie Smith

Atria/One Signal Publishers, $21.60; order here

This new collection of writings from local treasure/national sensation Maggie Smith centers on the process of getting past grief through hope and kindness. As the Boston Globe noted, "Keep Moving is a shining reminder to learn all we can from this moment, rebuilding ourselves in the darkness so that we may come out wiser, kinder, and stronger on the other side." The Store still has a few autographed copies, btw.


Drink Coffee/Drink Whiskey Mug

Side by side images of the same white ceramic mug, one showing a side with script text that reads "drink coffee," the other side with same style text that reads "drink whiskey"

Will Bryant, $12.15; order here

It's never a bad idea to give your giftee options, which this sturdy ceramic mug provides with a simple turn from the "drink coffee" side to the "drink whiskey" side. If their workplace is laid back, this also offers the chance to entertain coworkers during Zoom meetings.


Stolen Sharpie Revolution: A DIY Zine Resource

Cover of the book Stolen Sharpie Revolution

AK Press, $9; order here

Do you know someone who has a lot of feelings and needs someplace to put them? This go-to resource, now in its sixth edition, offers not just a concise guide to creating your own 'zine from layout to distribution but a rundown on the culture that fostered DIY publications.


Feelings Jar

A white ceramic jar bearing the word "feelings" with the box the jar comes in

Adam J. Kurtz, $17.96; order here

Here's another option for feelings storage from artist Adam J. Kurtz. Also useful for holding flowers, writing tools, coffee, and many other things.


Let Me Hold This for You Ceramic Tray

A ceramic tray in the shape of cupped hands with a message on the palms that reads "let me hold this for you"

Carissa Potter, $17.96; order here

This piece by Carissa Potter sends a reassuring message that keys, jewelry and more are being left in safe hands.


Redstone Diary 2021: Everyday Pleasures

The 2021 Redstone Diary open to a page in February

Redstone Press, $22.46; order here

The Redstone Diary theme for 2021 feels so right after a year of struggles. Its daily planner format is peppered with words and images from the likes of Ed Ruscha, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Iris Murdoch, each offering a reminder of the simple things that uplift the spirit.


Oh, the Things We're For!

Cover of the picture book Oh, the Things We're For!

Penguin Random House, $16.16; order here

A brand new book from Innosanto Nagara, the author of A is for Activist, this big, Seuss-y picture book empowers kids ages 4–8, using rhyming and bright, beautiful illustration to present a vision of a better world and how they can work toward it.


Smiley Signet Ring

Gold signet ring with smiley face and cubic zirconia eyes

Gilbert, $88.20; order here

Your giftee can let jewelry be their emotional guide with this shimmering spin on a universal symbol of happiness, made of gold plate over brass with cubic zirconia eyes. This purchase also support local artists; Gilbert is the new brand name for the women behind One Six Five, who've long been contributors to the Wex's State Line selection of Ohio-made goods.


Dream Oil

Bottle of Under Aurora Dream Oil

Under Aurora, $25.20; order here

Also part of State Line, this collaboration between local makers Under Aurora and Wild Origins can be rubbed on temples and smoothed over sore muscles. It combines mugwort, hops, and essential oils of German and Roman chamomile, ylang ylang, neroli, and vetiver to inspire deep relaxation and a heightened dream state.


Hand Dryers

Cover of the book Hand Dryers

University of Chicago Press, $13.50; order here

Hand washing has become a big deal. Why not have fun with it? Treat the low-key OCD types on your list to what's described as "the world’s most complete photographic assemblage of hand dryers." Bringing a popular Instagram feed to print, Samuel Ryde compiles over 250 full-color images from around the world and boasts a forward by vacuum trendsetter Sir James Dyson.


Old favorites on Blu-ray

An assortment of movies on Blu-ray available through the Wexner Center Store

Various titles, $31.96–$75.96

Some psychologists believe that nostalgia is healthy in times of stress, that classic movies and other media can bring a sense of comfort and clarity. We tend to agree, and among the Store's film selection are a variety of titles that fit the bill, including high school stories The Breakfast Club and Rushmore, the hilariously ridiculous 1970s comedy The In-Laws, the Chaplin classic City Lights, Pedro Almodovar's candy-colored Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, and Wim Wenders' warm and music-filled Buena Vista Social Club. Or you could go for something that will get your giftee out of their own head and into an absorbing emotional rollercoaster, like Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colors" Trilogy.


Photos: Melissa Starker

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