It’s no secret that our daily lives can be hectic as hell. Maybe it’s uni work that’s exhausting us, maybe it’s our jobs or search thereof, or maybe our relationships—the point is, it’s safe to say we could all use a little slowing down. With the holidays quickly approaching, it won’t be long before finding a gift for our loved ones becomes a source of stress rather than a chance of showing our gratitude—ultimately adding to our already busy days.
If your blood pressure is already rising at this thought, why not killcatch two birds with one stone gift with the help of Literally, Darling’s gift guide for people who need to relax! Find presents early (and online!) and give something meaningful, that will encourage the recipient to indulge in some much needed self-care. (That means you can get something for yourself too, of course—we won’t tell!)
A Colouring Book ($15 and under)
Don’t let the apparent lack of an artistic inclination dissuade you, for your friends don’t need to be painters and illustrators to enjoy this. My elementary school notebooks are an endless collection of half-finished drawings, and yet I absolutely love my colouring book. Whenever I have time on my hands—and I need to spend it not worrying like a maniac about things out of my control—colouring gives me the opportunity to keep my hands occupied and my thoughts from wandering, while also leaving me with the feeling of having created something pretty.
A (kind of) Journal ($15 and under)
If the thought of starting a journal and facing a blank page seems a bit daunting, there are plenty of other ways to get started—or to help somebody do so. This Journal For Self-Exploration has prompts and questions, as well as encouraging quotes and artwork; whereas the list lover in your life will go crazy over these 52 Lists for Happiness. With The Little Book of Mindfulness, your loved one won’t even need a pen: just ten minutes a day, and the will to give mindfulness a try.
A Happy Thoughts Jar ($15 and under)
An unusual way of recording and remembering happy moments, a happy thoughts jar is a simple idea turned heartfelt gift—especially if the person you’ll be gifting this to is far and in need of occasional reassuring/cheering up. If you have more time than money, you can easily make one yourself, though it does require a bit of preparation, but you can also give a lovely box and blank paper, and let them create one. Both ways, it’s certain to be appreciated.
Step one: take a cute jar, and pen and paper.
Step two: write little notes about happy times you shared with friends and loved ones, reasons why you admire them, and other kind things
Step three: put notes in the jar
Done. You have successfully created a happy thoughts jar.
A Moment Of Tranquilli-tea ($15 and under)
Few things are equally simple and comforting as a good cup of tea. Maybe the person you have in mind already has a favourite mug they use constantly—or maybe you don’t want to add to the clutter in their life. Whatever the reason, if you’re looking for some plain (but good), old-fashioned tea you can count on Republic of tea: From stress relieving, to detoxing, to lifting your spirits, you’ll find plenty of quality options for soothing sips.
A Warm Bath ($15 and under)
There are two kinds of people on this Earth: those who appreciate soaking in a warm tub of relaxing joy, and… those who don’t—we’re not here to judge. If you know someone who belongs to the former category, this gift is a no-brainer; plus, with so many options out there, you should easily find something that suits your pockets. Bath bombs from Lush are a classic, but there’s something for the fancier people in your life as well.
A Spotify Or iTunes Gift Card ($15 and under)
Just in case you know someone who still doesn’t have their own—or if you are unwillingly sharing your account with your little sister/flatmate/etc…etera. The amount of content is so vast and diverse, anyone is sure to find something they will like—and that will help them wind down: from podcasts for assisted meditation, to the ultimate workout playlist, to solid soundtracks for the ultimate stress-buster dance party.
Supplies To Bake It Off ($20 and under)
I firmly believe stress-baking to be one of the few real perks of being stressed—as it comes with delicious consequences. If you know somebody like this (don’t we all?) and want to show support (by doing something other than devouring their creations), why not gifting them some new tools? You don’t need to look farther than Amazon to find some good quality (and stylish looking!) ideas , and you’re always sure to find something new that hopefully won’t sit unused at the bottom of a drawer. If you can afford to splurge, you can also opt for a personalised set.
A New Hobby ($20 and under)
By putting people in touch with nature, as well as offering an opportunity to focus on the immediate present, gardening seems to help with decreasing anxiety. Not everyone can afford to maintain a garden or has even space for it, of course, but maybe you can think of somebody who would be willing to try, for the sake of delicious fresh herbs straight from their own kitchen? I’m talking about starting an indoor herb garden with mason jars: are you intrigued yet? For the more patient (or goal oriented!), there are also full kits to grow ingredients for a top-notch salsa and cocktails. The company motto is Grow Happiness in Small Spaces, and… it sounds like a great start.
Something Soft And Fluffy ($30 and under)
A good friend recently introduced me to the idea of a happy box, i.e. a box with things that make you happy—an emergency panic attack survival kit, if you will. A simple concept, but quite helpful in the struggle to not let stress take over: the idea is to have a collection of items that will help focus all our senses on finding a happy, soothing place. Enter a soft blanket or a sweet cuddly toy, for your friends and loved ones to feel and wrap themselves in any time they wish: easy to personalise if needed, and guaranteed to bring comfort and a smile. Of course, it’s always great if you can handcraft something yourself—but if you can’t, fear not: that’s what Etsy is for.
A Subscription Box ($30 and under)
If the idea of a happy box intrigues you, but you don’t have the time or chance of getting one together yourself, look into The Blurt Foundation and their lovely buddy boxes: ‘a hug in a box’ is a pretty spot-on description for a little parcel delivered straight to your loved one’s door to bring support when you can’t be there in person. Monthly subscriptions are also available. Every box contains items ‘handpicked to nourish, inspire, and encourage self-care’. If you like the idea, but are looking for something more specific, have a look here.
A Tea Set ($30 and under)
Maybe you liked the idea of gifting a comforting cuppa, but you’d rather give something a little more lasting. If you know someone who enjoys their tea, they are going to love a cute set that will help them indulge in style. Classic ceramic, minimal glass, or retro enamel: there’s an option for every taste—and every budget. And if you love tea yourself, you can always pair this with some of your favourite picks—I love this tea shop.
Candles ($30 and under)
When it comes to relaxing gifts, candles are a classic—and there’s a reason for that. There’s nothing like a bit of warmth and a soft light to create the proper mood to slow down and set a healthier pace to a hectic day. Melt has a wide range of excellent quality. If you’re looking for something a little more out of the box, why not try a wax melt warmer?
An Essential Oil Diffuser ($30 and under)
Are you absolutely bored with candles and you considered quitting the page when you read the entry above? At the risk of making you almost leave again, I’ll ask: ever thought of aromatherapy? All you need is our Everything You Need To Know Guide, and you’ll be ready to (calmly) start your next relaxing adventure. But there are so many options, I hear you say, and where do I get everything I need? Fear not, our resident expert has got you covered.
A Pampering Session (Up to you!)
Self-care has many faces, and some of these have perfect brows and a bold red lip. Sometimes looking good is a great accessory to feeling better, so why not take the chance to treat a friend (and yourself, if you can accompany them) to a beauty session? Sephora is offering in-store classes and individual consultations to suit all interest and pockets; if you have a go-to hair-dresser, talk to them about a coupon for a blow-dry; and if you feel like it, splurge on a full on spa day. Once it’s finished, you’ll feel great and be ready to go out and grab some drinks!
There you have it, LD’s recommendations for simple yet thoughtful holiday gifts for friends and family. What’s on your list? Tweet us @litdarling.
Her talents include building piles of books to read that are taller than actual furniture, transforming money into flight tickets, getting emotionally invested in every sport she watches, and making eye-contact with the most awkward person in a room, at the most inconvenient time.
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