The 2020 holidays require a little extra thought and care. While you may want to pretend everything is the same, lots of folks could use some extra TLC this year.
As an empathetic member of your circle, you want to delight your tribe with something uniquely tailored for their needs. The following 13 ideas can help you find the ideal thoughtful holiday gift for your friends this year.
1. A Gift for Their Child
Santa’s workshop wasn’t spared COVID-19’s wrath. The jolly red fellow had to close several distribution centers, and with some of his elves out of work, the holidays might be a little sparse for many youngsters this year.
If your friend is among the struggling, why not chip in with a thoughtful gift for their child? Check with your grownup pal first to avoid stepping on any toes — or duplicating items. Many parents will appreciate the gesture.
2. A Pet Present
Many millennials now delay having children — but they cherish their furry friends more than ever. A gift for their puppy or kitty is a surefire way to bring smiles and show that you care about what matters most to them.
If 2020 resulted in the loss of one of their babies, help them celebrate and memorialize their companion’s life with a framed photo or a garden stone bearing their pet’s name. If the loss happened recently, you could help with making arrangements or preparing meals while they grieve.
3. A Sunrise Alarm Clock
The holidays fall in the winter for a reason. Throughout history, people needed ways to lift their spirits during the darkest days of the year.
Why not raise the spirits of someone on your list with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with a sunrise alarm clock? These nifty gadgets gradually illuminate their room in the morning so that it feels like they’re rising to dawn’s early light — not sister moon.
4. A Relaxing Tea Sampler
Hello, it’s 2020 — is there anyone who couldn’t use more ways to relax? Why not delight your friend with an herbal tea sampler — and perhaps a pot, if you have deeper pockets?
Varieties known for relaxation include chamomile, lavender, valerian, skullcap and passionflower. Of course, if your friend likes a pick-me-up instead of a wind-down, you can’t go wrong with green tea.
5. A Book Club Subscription
People spend more time at home these days. Why not give your friend something to comfort her through the couch hours?
A book club subscription renews her love for reading month after month. Best of all, she doesn’t have to visit the library to return volumes.
6. A Pressure Cooker
Even though folks are spending more time in the kitchen, they don’t necessarily relish slaving over a stove. Plus, hitting the drive-thru on hectic days can pack on unwanted pounds.
Why not give the gift of one of the year’s best pressure cookers? All they need to do is add ingredients, push a few buttons and dinner is served in no time.
7. A Journal
People need a place to put their private thoughts — social media isn’t the place. Hackers can’t access a journal.
Gift your friend a place to write their most innermost musings. Include a stylish pen with quality ink that doesn’t leave blots all over the pages.
8. A Yoga Set
2020 may be known as the year fitness moved from the gym or studio to the living room. Help your friend get their pretzel groove going with a yoga set.
Look for a set with plenty of blocks, towels and straps to help them master the perfect pose. If you don’t like the effect plastic has on the environment, you can find kits made from sustainable bamboo.
9. Adult Coloring Books
Coloring is a convenient way to ease stress. Who said you had to put away your crayons after age-8?
Look for some of the best adult coloring books. You can find mild-to-wild versions to suit every sensibility — including your best bud with the unstoppable potty mouth.
10. A Gardening Set
Tons of people got into gardening during quarantine, and if your friend is among them, support their hobby. It lifts their spirits and reminds them that the growing season will return.
When it’s time to clean their beds for the coming season’s planning, they’ll think about you all over again. The Victory Garden belongs to them, but you take ownership of the Best Gift prize.
11. Needful Software
With more people telecommuting, app and software developers are doing well despite the pandemic. However, someone reeling from recent unemployment might lack the needed money to buy those required for a new job or contracting work.
If you know your friend needs a program — even something as mundane as tax software — help them out with a gift of it this year. They’ll appreciate how well you listen when they talk about their needs.
12. A Gift Certificate
Unfortunately, the powers-that-be seem in no hurry to pass a new stimulus to help those struggling. If your friend endured pandemic job loss, they might need help with anything from dry cleaning their interview suit to putting meals on the table.
A gift certificate for what they need feels less like charity than giving cold, hard cash. It’s the ideal way to show support without making them protest that they don’t need help — when clearly, they do.
13. Free Time
Even if your friends survived the pandemic with their careers intact, they might face other pressures. Parents often had to add “homeschool teacher” to their job description this year, but they didn’t get a corresponding bump in pay — or hours in a day — commiserate with their extra duties.
As a result, your friend might need a break more than anything. Offer to babysit the kids and look after their ficus collection while they enjoy an evening or weekend away.
Show Your Friends How Much You Care With These Thoughtful Gifts This Year
This year, you don’t need to spend a lot to show that you care. Any of the 13 gifts above show that your friends rank high on your priority list.