This past year has been challenging for a myriad of reasons, but I think that the fact that we can’t physically “be there” for our loved ones has been probably the hardest aspect. Whether celebrating a milestone or providing a shoulder to cry on, it’s been super tough to be socially responsible and keep our distance from each other. Thankfully, in the 21st Century we have the technology to stay in touch virtually and it has never been easier to have things delivered to your home.
We have had so many things to celebrate this year — pregnancy announcements / new babies, birthdays, graduations, engagements, anniversaries, promotions, and retirements… and none of them could take place in person. Even if we have to be apart we should still be able to “be there” for our friends and family, so I’ve compiled a list of ways to be able to support loved ones from afar. I have used some of these suggestions and have loved them; other ideas are great options that I haven’t had the opportunity to take advantage of yet, but had to share anyway!
If this pandemic has taught us anything it’s that while we can’t always be with our loved ones, it doesn’t mean we can’t stay in touch (whether celebrating, mourning, or anything in-between). I had no idea that most of these companies existed, much less that there were so many options for gift deliveries; there are some great options available for every occasion / milestone!
CONNECTING IN REAL TIME:
Watch a streaming movie together! So many of the media streaming apps offer the ability to watch tv shows or movies as a group now (one silver lining of the pandemic).
Play games! There are SO many virtual ones to choose from, ranging from phone apps to web-based games! Our family’s favorites for a group are:
Have brunch (or any other meal!) with family or friends together over Zoom! I love doing this with my girlfriends so we have time to catch up while sipping mimosas even though we’re all spread out in different time zones!
Send a random gift (which is so easy with Amazon; I do this often if I have the recipient’s address). It doesn’t necessarily have to be anything grand or extravagant… sometimes I just send my sister-in-law a little “care package” with our favorite hair treatment or a cookbook stand or just whatever I find that I know she’d like so that she gets a little surprise in the mail and knows that I’m thinking about her. Other times a friend will casually mention in conversation they don’t have something like a particular kitchen tool (such as a mandoline slicer) so I just place an order right then to be delivered to them as a surprise. 😂 It’s silly, but it’s a fun way to gift someone with a “just because” present.
My little brother recently sent me a box of macarons for absolutely no reason at all and it brought me to tears! He lives across the country and I miss him so much — it was honestly one of the best gifts I have ever received. I can’t express how much it meant to me, so I know that your loved ones would love a surprise from you as well!
Just Because Baskets
Thinking of You Soup Package
GlassyBaby Candle Votive (+ tea lights)
Palisades Canyon Just Because Gift Box
Gather Gifts Just Because Gift Bundles (this one is my favorite; how cute?!)
I know I’ve mentioned flowers on almost EVERY gift guide I have ever shared, but it’s because I personally LOVE having fresh flowers in my house! Faux arrangements last longer of course, but I just adore a real bouquet and I think a lot of others are the same way.
Some of my favorite national brands to use to send flowers are:
Honestly, I don’t think that you need an excuse to send treats to anyone, but they’re especially great for making distant birthdays or graduations special!
Some of my favorite places to order from that do an amazing job shipping:
Theo Chocolate Confections
Milk Bar Sweet Treats and Cakes
Shari’s Berries // Edible Arrangements
Hot Cakes (requires baking, but SO GOOD)
Pickney Cookies (all packaged individually so no going stale!)
Ice Cream (just about any brand / flavor / dairy option you can imagine!)
As far as savory options go, I recently discovered that Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit ships! These require baking too, but OMG WORTH. IT!! And GoldBelly is an amazing option to be able to get favorites from across the country, such as NYC bagels!
If you know someone who enjoys a nice drink, I recommend sending a gift card for either Drizly or Winc!
*Top Tip: Before ordering, I recommend confirming that the recipient lives in a delivery area! Alcohol gifts can be tough depending on state laws / proximity to a liquor store.
I personally think that gift baskets are such a thoughtful treat!
I have to shout out Bumble B Design which is a local Seattle gift basket delivery company that our loved ones have utilized to gift us during the pandemic (for birthdays and anniversaries) and we have loved every basket we have received from them!!
BY CELEBRATORY EVENT:
ALWAYS STICK TO THE REGISTRY!
If you deviate from the list, cash is always appreciated or a gift card where they are registered.
Just Chill Gift Set
Get Well Gift Basket
Spoonful of Comfort
Get Well Soon Gift Set
Skincare Essentials Trio
Candle and Matchbox Set
Candle Trio Mini Gift Set
Get Well Soon Gift Package
Relaxing Spa Gift Set (could also be used as a “just because” or “sympathy”!)
Sympathy Gift Basket
Caring Thoughts Basket
Tea + Sympathy Gift Set
Comforting Sympathy Meal
Light in Dark Places Candle
Covered in Prayer Blanket
(I’m not religious, but a comforting blanket in a time of grief sounds perfect to me)
Of course, you can always put together your own little care packages for your loved ones, but these companies make it easy. You can also create a registry at MyRegistry.com for anything / any milestone!
I hope these gift ideas help you stay connected to your loved ones, even from a distance. A little thoughtfulness goes a long way!