Things We Love: The 2020 Holiday Edition

Here’s a gathering of cool and useful things for the holiday season, and far beyond
Published on Dec 9, 2020

Editor’s note: Welcome to “Things We Love”! While it makes its debut here in the deep heart of the Holiday season, it’s more than just a gift guide. 

As we move through 2021 and long past, we’ll share with you a range of terrific and practical, and very un-practical, niceties every weekend that we think might make your everyday, more, well, everything. We’ll start with practical today, and share as much as we’re able, shopping-wise, up until and beyond You-Know-When. Let’s take a look, shall we?


The Power Station

No one likes dealing with a noisy generator during the times when you actually need one. Filling them with fuel and gasping through the fumes and the noise is so 20th-century.

Jackery makes a range of generators, and their mid-range Explorer 300 packs a 293Wh power capacity. This bad boy is capable of powering small appliances and charging up to six smart devices at once(!).

With its 90W charger, the Explorer 300 can be charged to 80% in only 4 hours. Just plug it in overnight before you head out to your socially-distanced  great adventure. Then, once you’re there, you can recharge the Explorer 300 via available solar panels, your car or a generator.

There are  two AC outputs (like plugging into a wall outlet), a 60W PD USB-C, a QC 3.0 USB-A, a USB port, and  a 12V car port. Your excuse for not texting back or responding to that nagging email just went out the solar window. Photo by

A Bright Read

You might think the Kindle is old news, but the 2020 edition is as au courant as you are. The 2020 model is the  thinnest, lightest Kindle Paperwhite yet, and features a 300 ppi glare-free display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight.

It’s waterproof, and while we still can’t quite get used to that, you could take it along to read and relax at the beach, by the pool, or in the bath (!).

The basic model this year has an increased storage of 8 GB. You can also with 32 GB to hold more magazines, comics, and audiobooks.

But isn’t that what your iPhone is for? Your call, D’artagnan.

There is also Audible available, all your favorite books and stories read to you out loud. You can pair your Kindle with Bluetooth headphones or speakers to listen to your audio escapades.

A single battery charge lasts weeks, not hours, and the built-in adjustable light lets you read indoors and outdoors, day and night.

There is, of course, instant access to jillions of titles, plus over a million (That’s less than a jillion) titles at $2.99 or less.

The 2020 Kindle is a powerful handful if you’re looking for a pure reading experience, without that stunning range of distractions your smartphone is still heir to.

Photo by


For the Acoustic Warrior

The challenge for any guitarist, whether you, your son, daughter, or partner is never what to play, but where, and how loud. If they’re the coffee house type, soothing your cats with tranquil melodies and barely decipherable space-age lyrics,

Yamaha’s THR30IIA Wireless amplifier might be an awesome choice.

It’s part of the Yamaha’s line of THR amps designed for big sounds in little packages, but the THR30IIA Wireless is designed specifically for acoustic guitarists.

The amp features realistic microphone modeling and onboard effects offer inspiring tones. That’s just fancy guitar nerd talk for creating a lot of different tones and sounds from your everyday guitar.

The compact size means you can toss it into the back seat for an impromptu roadside jam, or it can live on your desk in your office. There’s  Bluetooth, so you can crank up some iPhone tuneage, a rechargeable battery, and a built-in Line 6® Relay® wireless receiver. That miracle of modern mechanitry means you don’t have to worry about wires. Plug in the transmitter, and your amp reads the signal. Look, mom, no wires!

The THR30IIA Wireless amp is available wherever THR30IIA Wireless amps are sold. www.usa.yamaha.comPhoto by Eddie Rivera.

Let There be Light

As any smart vlogger or Zoom pro will tell you, life is all about the lighting.

How many Zoom meetings have you literally spent in the dark?

Your IKEA table lamp or the fluorescent overhead lights in your home office were never meant for casting your visage presentably across the cyberverse. You end up looking like someone in a criminal lineup when you should be looking like the star of any online meeting you grace.

The Lume Cube Panel Mini could be your answer. Deceptively light and small, it casts enough light on your countenance to let your inner powers permeate the meeting. Kinda.

It’ll rest on your table top or attach to any standard camera or cell phone tripod, and you’ll seriously wonder how you ever got through life without it—a bigger question than we can answer for you here, so let’s move on.

The credit card-sized Lume Cube Panel Mini creates a range of adjustable bicolor LED light in a tiny package. With an easy-to-use display screen, a frosted lens for built-in diffusion, and easily adjustable brightness and color temperatures, you can bring the drama wherever you go.   Photo by Lume Cube.

Make a Comment

  • (not be published)