Holiday Gift Guide: Care Edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

It’s been reported that the holidays are the most stressful time of the year for most people, between disruptions to our routines, uncomfortable family gatherings, pressure at work, loneliness, less sunlight, and a million other factors. When I’m thinking about what to gift friends and family, I recognize that many of them don’t need the newest Fitbit or a Le Cruset dutch oven. They need encouragement, or togetherness, or peace. Here are 25 ways to give the gift of care this season:

  1. Know any parents of young children? Offer to babysit (or pay for one if you’re not into childcare) so that they can enjoy a kid-free night. Also, clean diapers make a huge difference in the lives of many families.
  2. Search Groupon for things like massages, paint nights, or cooking classes as a gift for your partner.
  3. Create a movie-date-in-a-box for your parents. Grab a couple of DVDs, some popcorn, their favorite candy, and some cozy blankets for some quality together time.
  4. Grab a friend a pair of all-weather hiking boots and hit the trails together to catch up.
  5. Offer to clean a friend’s apartment with them if they’ve been struggling–listen to a podcast or some energizing music to keep things light!
  6. Make ready-made meals for your family that they can just pop in the oven or microwave.
  7. Bath bombs make a fun gift, but so do shower gels, body scrubs, face masks, or massage bars for folks without tubs! (I’ve linked my sensitive-skin-loving favorites)
  8. Working late? Get food delivered to your office so nobody has to go home hungry. Tip well!
  9. Host a booze-free brunch for friends who may be feeling out of place as non-drinkers this season.
  10. For the person that always gets sick this time of year: tea, tissues, honey, cough drops, shower steamers, and soup make great stocking stuffers.
  11. Make favorite regional foods or drinks for a homesick pal. Share some stories about where you’re from.
  12. Gift cards to local gas stations, grocery stores, or Walmart or Target might seem thoughtless, but a lot of young people appreciate the ability to get necessities!
  13. Have a board game potluck with friends or family! Everyone grabs a favorite board game and a snack; you play all night and learn about each other in the process.
  14. There are infinite possibilities in the gift of a nice journal and pen set.
  15. Hand/feet warmers, hats, socks, and gloves are all great gifts for folks living in cold weather climates.
  16. Ask a parent if they want help running errands. Take them out for a cup of coffee afterwards.
  17. Got any creatives in your life? See if you can purchase artwork or commission a piece from them to give to another person. Support their Patreon, if they’ve got one.
  18. For the traveler: wrinkle release spray, wet wipes, an extra phone charger, and comfortable shoes are always appreciated.
  19. Some libraries have free passes to local museums, parks, and zoos. Pick one up and spend the day with a cousin, niece, or nephew.
  20. Purchase a craft kit and make something new with loved ones. My cousins and I always do a holiday craft at Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
  21. Send a Greetabl (a little box with photos, messages, and a small gift) to any long-distance friends to let them know you’re thinking of them. (Side note, I love Greetabl and have used them since I was a junior in college to make other peoples’ days brighter!)
  22. Personalize first aid kits with fun bandages, antibacterial ointment, ibuprofen/acetaminophen, mini Tums, and an antihistamine. Decorate the outside with washi tape or paint. Now any collegiate family members have a (cute) emergency kit!
  23. Give a friend a subscription to Headspace and support each other in meditation.
  24. If your partner normally does the majority of the cooking, give them a night off and make an easy meal for two. (Side note, Blue Apron is one of the reasons my relationship has been successful, cooking-wise).
  25. Respect the boundaries of loved ones and make sure to stay firm in your own boundaries this holiday season. You deserve care too!

Phew, alright y’all, I hope those gave you some good ideas for how to care for your friends and family this holiday season! If you’ve got any other thoughts, drop them in the comments section below!

See you next week! xoxo, Darcy.

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