From working to socialising, the last few months have been tricky in so many different ways. More than ever it’s felt so important to stay connected with our loved ones and pull out all the stops when it comes to celebrating birthdays and other special occasions.
I’ve celebrated several birthdays during lockdown and they’ve all been special in their own way. Even though we may not have met up in person or, at times, I’ve been stumped for gift ideas, it’s been lovely to show friends and family that I’m thinking of them.
If you’ve got a birthday coming up, this blog post is for you: seven ideas for gifts you can send your loved ones right now. Even though lockdown is relaxing, I think it’s important to remember that things still aren’t ‘normal’ – and many people may also not feel comfortable meeting up in large groups yet. For that reason, I’ve tried to include ideas that’ll suit everyone, from letterbox gifts to presents that’ll give your loved one something to look forward to. Happy celebrating!
Birthday present ideas during lockdown
Gifts from Moonpig
During lockdown I have relied on Moonpig to get many a birthday card for friends and family. I love the fact they make it so easy to create personalised cards with your favourite pictures! My nan loved the one I made for her with a picture from our coach trip last year.
As well as buying your cards from them, you can also order a range of gifts, hampers, balloons and flowers for your special someone. I was thrilled when Moonpig got in touch to ask if I’d like to try their gifts out for myself – I surprised one of my friends (and a work colleague who has helped me get through lockdown!!) with a Pink Fizz hamper, gorgeous candle, cocktail shaker (complete with chocolates inside) and a cute helium balloon for her 25th!
I gave her the gifts in as socially distant a manner in my garden, of course. We’re so 2020.
OH. And if you buy a gift from Moonpig via their app before the 17th August you’ll receive a free card. Simply use the code APPFREEWGIFT at check out.
It was my partner Ian’s birthday back in May and, I tell you, I struggled massively. I had no idea what to get him, as I usually gift him with an experience or a little trip. At the time we had no real idea of when places would start to reopen, so I didn’t want to book something and risk disappointment further down the line.
However, now that things are starting to open up, there’s more opportunity to get booking things. It could be anything from a night away, to a day out at a zoo/museum/theme park, or even a pampering session.
Photo album of your friendship
I love looking back on memories, and that’s never been more true during lockdown. I’ve loved having a slower pace of life to reflect on my travels and family gatherings. (I even got round to finally making a photo album for my trip to Cuba!)
A lovely way to remind your friend or family member of your memorable experiences could be to make them their very own photo album. I’ve received a few of these in the past and they are some of my most prized possessions! It’s also a hopeful reminder of all the fabulous times still to come.
Voucher for a local shop, bar, restaurant
Shopping local has never been so important right now. You can give a loved one something to look forward to AND support a local business by gifting a voucher. This is especially thoughtful as it allows the recipient to use the voucher when they feel comfortable doing so. Many vouchers are valid for 12-24 months, giving your special someone plenty of opportunity to use it.
A good book has the power to transport you to an entirely different world. And, let’s face it, at the moment a bit of escapism is ideal. I find it tricky to choose fiction books for people, especially if I’m not exactly sure what they’ve already got in their collection, but I do love gifting a good travel book – such as Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist.
I’m also about 500 years late on discovering The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy. I bought this for my nan for her birthday earlier this month and she adores it. She calls it her ‘soul book’ and she’s been showing it to everyone since!
If you haven’t done at least 14 video messages, were you ever really in lockdown?!
A happy birthday video message is an especially lovely gift for a friend who lives further away. Extra points if you get dressed up/do a cringe birthday dance/deck your place out in birthday decorations.
A (socially distant) meet-up
For my nan’s birthday, I of course got her a few bits to open, but I knew that the thing she wanted more than anything was a visit from me. After three months apart, it had been tough on both of us – I think it’s the longest we’d not seen each other since I was a small child!
With UK travel restrictions being lifted across the UK, it’s now possible to use public transport to go out to see people – and even stay overnight at their house/at a local hotel, if needed. For friends and family local to you, you could have a picnic in the park or even a socially distant walk. Remember, it’s all about what feels comfortable for you and your loved one.
This blog post was created in collaboration with Moonpig, but all thoughts, words and opinions are mine.