Holidays are difficult for many people even during normal years. As we’re in the second holiday season since the start of the COVID pandemic, millions of people are still isolated from their loved ones. Others are experiencing grief from those they lost to the virus or other causes. Millions more are suffering from depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and other psychological conditions. Many more are struggling financially.
Rather than give generic gifts this year, take a moment to think about the recipients. What do they need? What might help them navigate their grief or loneliness? What speaks to them as no other gift might?
While you might think you need to go above and beyond this year, the perfect gift is not about money. Regardless of how much you spend or even how much thought you put into your gifts, give with no expectations. Your family members may be too limited financially to reciprocate this year or they might not be up to talking on the phone or even sending thank you cards.
Regardless, finding the right gift for a loved one who’s struggling is a challenge.
Here are some suggestions for you:
For those dealing with depression
One of the markers of depression is feeling purposeless. A plant, which needs nurturing and care, might not cure your loved one’s depression, but it can give them a sense of purpose. Starting at just $42, Ansel & Ivy has a wide array of plants for those with green or brown thumbs. They even have a good selection of pet-friendly plants.
For those dealing with anxiety
For people who suffer from anxiety, COVID is a double-edged sword. The risk of catching COVID and the related isolation can trigger anxiety, as can the country’s reopening while things are still uncertain. If you have a loved one who's dealing with anxiety, treat them to the classic book “Don’t sweat the small stuff...and it’s all small stuff,” by Richard Carlson. There is a reason it’s been a go-to for people experiencing anxiety for more than a decade.
For those dealing with sleep disorders
Since the beginning of the pandemic, so many people have complained to their doctors about sleep disorders that doctors now have a name for it: “COVID-somnia.” For anyone suffering from insomnia, or occasional trouble falling asleep, the Yogasleep Dohm white noise machine can help drown out distractions while lulling your loved one to sleep.
For those who are grieving
COVID-19 has been the deadliest pandemic in a century. Most of us know at least someone who has died over the last two years. Unfortunately, time is the only known cure for grief, if it ever goes away. You may feel helpless in the presence of someone who’s grieving, but one of the best gifts you can give is a keepsake to honor and celebrate life. Oaktree’s selection of cremation jewelry and keepsakes are handcrafted and a beautiful gift for a family member or friend. Prices start at just $95. We'd also recommend checking out these other incredibly impactful services to support those who are grieving:
Grief Coach sends expert grief support to people who are grieving as well as grief education, tips, and reminders to their friends & family who want to help, but may not know how.
My Grief Plants is a community for grievers, offering plant bereavement gifts as well as other important resources.
The Grief Coach is a podcast and community spanning 95+ countries dedicated to equip and empower individuals to have candid conversations about life and death.
Note: Oaktree does not have a financial relationship with any of the companies mentioned in this article (with the exception of our own products and one other company). It is purely meant as a resource for you.