15 thoughtful gift ideas for lockdown

The worst thing about expat life is being away from those we love. Coronavirus just made things a whole lot more complicated. Whether it’s for him or for her, for a birthday or an anniversary, or just to put a smile on a friend’s face, here are 15 thoughtful gift ideas for during quarantine. Gourmet food baskets, self care packages, funny gifts and more for dring quarantine…

thoughtful gift ideas

  1. Cactus. There’s something very heartwarming about being getting a plant during quarantine. However the magic of bringing the outdoors indoors soon fades when the plant dies. Thankfully a cactus is easy to care for. Even better, give your friend a call once a week to remind them to water it, and have a chat while you’re there. I’ve used Urbanstems for a friend in USA before, meanwhile The Urban Botanist in the UK sells a seriously stylish copper terrarium.
  2. Self care package. Last month I was feeling a bit run down so my darling mother sent me a self care package, complete with vitamins, energy drinks and fruit. I also rather like this box on Etsy which includes snuggly socks, tea, face mask and a mug. A self care package might quite possibly be the most thoughtful gift for during quarantine.
  3. Magazine subscription. I’m a freelance writer so I’m all for supporting the magazine industry. But I do genuinely love a good magazine. When you’re too tired or sick to pick up a book, but don’t want square TV eyes, there’s nothing better than a Vogue, Marie Claire or Elle magazine gift to cuddle up with.
  4. Airbnb online experience. Whilst searching for a temporary home, I came across Airbnb’s new online experiences. Dance tango,meet a sheep, cook tortilla or even hang out with a medieval plague doctor. Airbnb offers some really interesting, intriguing and funny gift ideas for quarantine.
  5. Cake subscription. Whether or not it’s your friend’s birthday, how about a cake subscription? Gold Belly offers gift cake subscriptions within the US, while The Cake Tasting Club offers something equally delicious in the UK. In Chile, my go to cake baking girl is Alley Ramsey – contact her for personalised options.cake
  6. Meal kit. In the UK, Michelin star restaurant The Black Swan at Oldstead is offering meal kits for their customers to reproduce a slap up Sunday feast. Meanwhile stateside popular meal kit company Blue Apron is offering gift cards too. This might just be the most useful quarantine gift out there.
  7. Personalised glass. If you’re anything like me you’ve been enjoying a few tipples at home during quarantine. So, how about gifting your buddy a personalised gin, wine or champagne glass? Finally we’d have an end to the ‘is that my glass or yours?’ arguments at home. In the UK, there are some super cute options on Not On The High Street, including this one. Meanwhile, if your friend is a Starbucks fan, how about this personalised glass? (For a truly authentic experience, perhaps misspell the name, too).
  8. Pyjamas. As a mother of three, I’m rather accustomed to pyjama days. I simply adore my grey intimissimi silk PJs and I reckon any other sane woman out there would too. They look and feel gorgeous! A classy pair of silk PJs is always a lovely gift, quarantine or no quarantine.
  9. Hand cream. We’re washing our hands so much that now they resemble a dessicated coconut. Give your friend the gift of soft hands. L’Occitane make a wonderful Shea Butter Hand Cream which I adore.
  10. Tea. Whether you’re healthy or sick, tea makes a great present. The best tea shop in the world, Postcard Teas, is tucked in a posh London neighbourhood, but hoorah they deliver globally. They also sell some of the most beautiful teapots on the planet.
  11. Cocktail set. I love the idea of a cocktail, but generally I just can’t be bothered, or I don’t have the right ingredients. So imagine the joy of receiving a cocktail in the post! Again, The Black Swan at Oldstead is delivering ready to pour cocktails, while in the US Shaker & Spoon offers a range of gift subscription options. Cheers!
  12. Woolly jumper. The 134,902,328th thing I missed when living in Africa was wearing woolly jumpers. While it’s not suitable for every location, there’s nothing like curling up in a cosy knit. I’m lusting after this Everlane cashmere number, made with recycled wool.
  13. Postcard. Sometimes a gift feels a bit over the top (is that a very British conundrum?) Sending a personalised card is a cute little reminder that you’re thinking of your loved one. I send personalised photo cards with Moonpig all the time, even scheduling birthdays, lest I forget.
  14. Book. OK a book might not appear that thoughtful, but choose your title carefully and you’ll make someone’s day. The Book Depository offers free shipping worldwide, while in the UK, Hive donates a percentage of the sale to a local bookshop. For book ideas, here is a round up of my favourite lighthearted, but non trashy novels.
  15. Kids’ craft subscription. When I lived in the UK I set up a craft subscription with Toucan Box for my kid. Every fortnight, he’d receive a box with his name on it and all the tools he needed to make something super cute. And I got a whole 30 minutes peace (albeit with a bit of mopping up of glue). A kids’ craft box subscription makes a lovely gift for children, and their exhausted parents.

Shop quarantine gifts

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder
Cera Ve moisturiser
Carina Organics Unscented Deep Treatment Conditioner
Carina Organics Unscented Daily Moisturizing Shampoo
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow
Dermalogica PreCleanse
Pai Camellia & Rose gentle hydrating cleanser
JK7 Golden Face Oil
Beauty Pie Super Healthy Skin Daily Moisture Lotion
QMS Hydro Foam Mask
Kiehl’s ultra facial moisturizer
Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream
SIBU nourishing face cream
Oway Glossy Nectar
Oway Rebuilding Hair Bath
Elequra Eye Architecture Cream
SIBU Luxe Oil
skyn ICELAND Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels
QMS Medicosmetics Advanced Intensive Eye Care
Neal’s Yard Remedies Rejuvenating Frankincense Toner
Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence
Caudalie Grape Water
Dermalogica multi-active toner
Mario Badescu facial spray with aloe, herbs and rosewater
Kiehl’s ultra facial toner

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