This year, people will be ‘home’ for the holidays — but mostly only in their dreams. Because many do not want to run the risk of infecting their older parents and grandparents or other family members who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19, traditional gatherings are taking a different approach. Whether it’s scaling back to the only immediate family who has been quarantined or living together, driving instead of flying, or having a digital video celebration, gift-giving takes on a whole new meaning. Rather than giving something practical for your loved ones, you may want to give a meaningful present that connects across the miles. This can help your recipient feel appreciated and treasured, especially after going through a turbulent nine months. Here, our top picks for thoughtful gift ideas they will love:
A canvas print of a special memory
Take a moment and think back about the silver linings of 2020. It’s been a hard, anxiety-inducing year for sure, but there have been bright spots along the way. Maybe your nephew taking his first steps, your friends tying the knot via Zoom, or those front step portraits you took as a family during the quarantine. Whatever moment was near-and-dear, turn them into a canvas print. Since these start at $20, you may be able to swing matching ones for the whole fam.
Have socially-distant cooking dates
You love your grandmother’s signature apple pie or your grandfather’s Challah bread recipe. But since you can’t watch them knead the dough in person, you’ll need to learn from afar. Consider gifting this smart device that will come in handy even after the holidays. In addition to making hands-free calls for the cook-along, your grandparents can also use it to listen to audiobooks or even watch a movie. Plus, a new feature allows you to ask Alexa to send a ‘virtual hug’ to pop up on the screen!
Add some light to their Zoom calls
Throughout this year, your bestie has adjusted to remote work. Not only is she rocking conference calls and impressing executives at her job, but she’s logging overtime and somehow, managing never to forget anyone’s birthday. Upgrade her at-home office set-up with the professional studio kit that includes a smart lens, smart light, tripod, and more.
Send flowers that last forever
While fragrant and beautiful, fresh-cut bouquets only last a week or so before they start to wilt. If you want to give flowers that will make it through the holiday and the New Year, consider this sweet alternative: a book that turns into a vase of blooms! As you turn every page, you’ll find another flower that can flip up, with interesting tidbits about the type of bud behind it. Once all of them are up, it can sit upright on your friend’s desk to display.
Handwritten cards to your circle of friends
If your budget doesn’t allow for pricey presents this year, don’t sweat it. There’s still magic, and vast kindness found in handwriting a note. You can buy this pack of eight beautifully-decorated greeting cards and address them to your core group of friends or closest family members. They are blank inside, so you can fill the space with specific reasons you’re thankful for them and what you wish for their 2021 year.
Take away those awkward pauses
By now, you’ve had nearly any and all conversations you could have with your friends, colleagues and your romantic partner. (And hey: maybe even your dog!) Now, your Zoom phone calls are sometimes a tad boring, with lengthy stints of silence. While that’s okay — and to be expected — you can add some structure to your Zoom holiday celebration by gifting each household this conversation-starting deck. It includes 150 prompts across six categories; all meant to bring you closer to your favorite folks.
Whip up doughnuts
Pre-pandemic, you and your best friend had a routine: Saturday mornings, you’d sweat it out in a boot camp class, then grab a doughnut and coffee and walk through your neighborhood. Now, you can still do that, but it’s from a social distance, and you’re wearing a mask. Remind them of happier, easier times with this super-fun and easy doughnut-making kit. It has everything they need to create this sweet treat from home, and perhaps, you can ‘help’ from afar.
Tell their story
No one could have predicted the quick changes, surprises and frustrations of this past year. There were still memories made among all of the chaos, and a personalized photo book is a lovely way to remember it. Consider giving this to your partner, who has been there through the thick and the thin, as a memento to look back on when the pandemic is a distant memory. Perhaps, it’ll be something your future children page through in awe!
Give the gift of knowledge
We all have that one person we turn to when we need a book recommendation — maybe our sister, a cousin or a friend from childhood. Whoever it is, they will be over-the-moon excited for this perfect gesture: a book of the month club membership. After answering questions based on their preferences, taste and reading speed, they’ll be sent one book every month to devour. Each time it arrives in the mail, they’ll think of you — and probably let you know what’s worth a read.
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