By Andrew McCarter
Last year during this time we were going out and shopping for our friends and loved ones. Social distancing, home quarantine, COVID-19, epidemic, and isolation were not terms that we were planning to use this year. But, during these times, the best thing to do is to show our loved ones that we are there for them. Whether you are leaving a gift on someone's porch, a thoughtful, personal gesture from afar, or a personalized care package, we can still show each other that we are thinking of one another and we are there for them in a creative gift-giving way. Why not make a gift that you know that they'll love! Also, we have a few snack ideas and other gifts to help pass the time at home; they make the perfect "quarantine gifts." With all your time at home, why not explore your creative side? To help you navigate, here is a guide on the best gifts and recipes to send to your loved ones and friends.
Custom Photo Books
Bring back memories from Pre-Covid times! This is a great way to remember fun/family friend vacations or other fun memories. Nothing is more satisfying than recollecting over photos from the past, reflecting on the experiences we may all want to experience again. Shutterfly is a great way to start on your collection!
A Care Package
Loved ones can be scattered throughout the world, but that doesn't mean you can't care for them. Send them a thoughtful care package to bring happiness, love, and memories all wrapped up in an adorable box. Boxes filled with everything from face masks, charms such as a postcard, photo book filled with memories, and yummy treats like cupcakes are ways to bridge the social distance between partners, friends, and family. From college students to parents, family members, or possibly someone who may be feeling under the weather. A care package should be customized depending on whom you are sending it to.
Holiday Care Pack Basics
Treats: make something that is healthy and fun to make!
Something helpful or useful: Maybe they love to read books. Add something that is catered to that one person.
A little comfort: add cozy socks, face masks, and a candle! Maybe even add some hand sanitizer!
A way to treat themselves: Throw in that subscription for Netflix or HBO, or a gift card for delivery service.
Personal touches: Remember, this is supposed to be fun and creative, so this should be something unique and bring back memories!
Make a Cozy Blanket and Pillow
Everyone needs a blanket and pillow this holiday season - especially if they're on dialysis! Both are super easy to make. You don't even need to know how to sew! Your friends and loved ones will love this gift, and they can use it all season long.
Create a Personalized Holiday Ornament
Ornaments make a perfect holiday gift for anyone! It can bring joy to anyone, and you can customize it; however, you would want your own. Try personalizing with a transplant date or a special quote.
Who said you only could buy bath bombs in stores? Making bath bombs are fast to make, and you can make a batch so that you can add them to everyone's care package! Get instructions here.
If there's one way to make sleep time more stylish, it is with a fabulous and fun eye mask. This is an easy DIY gift, and everyone may be needing more now than ever before!
Create your own Pedicure Kit
We all miss the luxury foot massage at the nail salon, but due to COVID-19, a nail salon is a place that many of us shouldn't be going. If you're looking to give someone a treat, or maybe even for yourself, this kit is where to start!
Everyone is probably in the kitchen now more than ever before, so what better gift is there than creating unique skills and helping someone stay entertained indoors. That someone may be drinking a lot more coffee now, especially if they're on Zoom calls all day; why not create a personalized photo mug. It will show that you are thinking of that someone and they won't forget about you then! With all the cooking from home, we all need new gadgets. Why not add their name on their cutting board to make it special to them? You don't have to make it their last name, be creative! Whether they need coffee or need new baking supplies, these ideas are unique and fun and will bring a smile to anyone's face.
Making your own apple chips is extremely easy to do- you don’t have to be a chef. They're perfect for healthy snacks and easy to throw into any gift package!
· 2 Golden Delicious apples, cored and thinly sliced
· 1 ½ teaspoons white sugar
· ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C).
Arrange apple slices on a metal baking sheet.
Mix sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl; sprinkle over apple slices.
Bake in the preheated until apples are dried and edges curl up, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Transfer apple chips, using a metal spatula, to a wire rack until cooled and crispy.
These joy bites are Vegan friendly! They are also loaded with protein and are gluten free! A healthy treat that will save time and money to cook up more recipes!
½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup almond butter
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 packet stevia sugar substitute (such as Truvia®)
½ teaspoon almond extract
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch sea salt
Combine oats, almond flour, almond butter, pumpkin puree, stevia sugar substitute, almond extract, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sea salt in a food processor; pulse just until combined.
Roll mixture into balls and arrange on a plate or baking sheet; refrigerate until set, at least 30 minutes.
Everyone should be able to add spices to their food, but we should know what spices we should be consuming. You can have Italian, Mexican, and Curry spices that are tailored to your diet but will still add flavor to your palate. Mix up a batch, pour it into a jar and tie with a ribbon for a simple gift.
Final Thoughts on the Best Gift and Treats to Create for People During COVID
Think about how you would feel right now receiving a surprise gift from a family member or friend this holiday season. Pure bliss!
Showing that you are thinking of someone during these times can show them that you care about them and knowing that you are there for them is something everyone needs now. Whether it is just a phone call or even driving to your loved one’s home and waving from your car shows that you love and care for them. Stay connected to those you love and care for in these small gestures because small things can go a long way.