Notes on Thoughtful Gift Giving + A Very 2020 Gift Guide


As much as I love gift guides, they usually suck. They’re great for a very specific type of gift idea that says “I know only one thing about you” usually with no regard to practically anything else. 

And I take this quite seriously because I’m big on gift giving. Gifts are my love language and I work hard to give. good. gifts. Christmas gift planning begins in June with an extensive spreadsheet. Gift giving is fun and exciting and I think focusing too much on obligation sucks all the fun out of it.

Consider me your fairy gift mother.

I want to bring joy and creativity and yes, thoughtfulness, back to gifts.

Okay, okay I hear you, “How can a gift guide also be thoughtful? I’m here because I can’t think of what to get…aka I am not thoughtful!” To which I reply fair enough! And invite you to reconsider.

Here’s my plan: I’m going to share gift ideas based not on generic characteristics of your gift recipient (ie “Is a Mom” or “likes coffee”) but rather on triggers—things your loved ones have said or done.

And my hope is that I can at least get your thoughtful gift wheels turning. You don’t have to buy the exact thing I tell you to, but it might spark an idea!

I’ll start today with a sort of miscellaneous assemblage of gifts suited especially to how people are feeling in 2020, and we’ll fill it out with home decor, and kitchen gifts as the week runs on, okay?

Update: all 3 gift guides are published!

Let’s do this.

A Very 2020 Gift Guide

Whether your loved one needs a break or needs a drink, I've got you covered with a very 2020 gift guide, perfect for thoughtfully gifting to everyone on your list.

Sources: Homebody Sweatsuit | Fuzzy Slippers | Masked Santa Ornament | Fuck Off, Coronavirus Coloring Book | Tie Dye Lounge Set | Marble Yoga Mat | The Home Edit Book | The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up Book | Ankle Weights | Ornament Decorating Set | Scratch Art | Paint by Sticker | Shark Robot Vacuum | Dish Brush with Soap Dispenser | Shake Strain Done Book | Stemless Martini Glasses

“I just wish my house was more organized/cleaner!”

Spending a lot of time at home has made it wildly apparent how much crap we all have, how much dog hair is everywhere, and how many times a day we have to do the dishes when we never stop cooking.

If your loved one is struggling with organizing after watching Get Organized on Netflix, is sick of doing dishes, or hates cleaning, there are some gifts you can give to make their life easier.

Just be sure to know your audience with this one—the last thing you want is for someone to feel like you’re calling them a slob!

Want more organization gift ideas? I’ve already rounded up pantry canisters and blanket baskets.

“I miss my gym time!”

You might think that everyone who wants to work out at home during this pandemic has already figured out their routine—fair enough!—but there are plenty of us who have struggled to get the routine down, find the right workout, or just are ready to mix it up.

A few fun fitness gifts help return that hint of normalcy for your friend, while also boosting their mental health, which, truly, we all need right now!

Again, read your audience—if you’re worried they’ll feel like you’re calling them fat, perhaps find another gift.

  • Sure, they may already have some basic workout equipment, but you can give an upgraded version to make workouts a little more fun, luxurious or special. These ankle weights are downright chic, I love a pretty yoga mat, and convertible weights (splurge option!) open up new possibilities in their workout.
  • Of course, the best option if you really want to give life to their routine is probably a subscription to sample a new workout online. I love Bar Method Online, and have heard good things about Joyn, a body positive workout app.
  • When you’re working out at home, it’s easy to fall into a rut of wearing dirty old sweats and that free t-shirt you got in college. Nothing wrong with that, but to help it feel fresh and exciting and a little more like they’re going to the gym again, why not give some cute workout gear? I love these leggings (I have a different pair from this brand and I’d say they run slightly large) and this is a cute tank perfect for hitting the yoga mat. Not sure of their sizes? A gift card to pick out their own gym clothes works, too!

“Why oh why did I have kids again?!”

So many parents had to become superheroes this year, doing the absolute impossible: balancing childcare, teaching kids, and their normal jobs and routines. All while parks and fun kids activities were mostly closed or just unsafe. Yikes!

While obviously the best gift would be a break from the kiddos, that’s still probably not possible unless you’re in their bubble. Instead, try brainstorming ideas that bring back the joy, gratitude, and positivity to parenting.

  • Introduce a new activity so parents who are completely out of ideas can not only keep their kids entertained but make new memories. Decorating ornaments or playing a family-friendly game makes togetherness fun again.
  • Make it easy to remember the good times this year and actually hang pictures—lord knows it’s hard enough to think about printing photos in a normal year! Digital photo frames aren’t just for grandmas anymore, or get a printer that works right from their phone so fun photos can be printed instantly.
  • Distract the kiddos so Mom and Dad can get a break. Scratch pads or paint by stickers keep kids entertained for a minute (with less supervision required than paint) so parents can take a minute to themselves.

“This year sucked, fuck everything.”

Some people mean it sarcastically, and some people are truly struggling. Use your best instincts to decide the right angle on a gift for this person—you can either help your friend find the good in this year, or lean into the humor of what a strange year it’s truly been.

Gift Ideas for 2020

That’s it for my first in a series of thoughtful gift guides! I’d love to know what you think and I’ll see you tomorrow for even more sincere and special gift ideas.

And remember to shop the other gift guides here:

This post may contain affiliate links, which are a way for you to support our blog at no cost to you. Thank you! 

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