Self-care gift ideas
December 3, 2015 4:31 AM   Subscribe

Yet another gift question! A relative is having a difficult time and I'd like to get her Christmas gifts that would help with self-care.

She is in her thirties and has a toddler and a very demanding job. She is doing well money-wise so I'm trying to think of things she wouldn't necessarily think to buy for herself. Sweet treats are not an option. Things like lotions and bath bombs are probably also out because I know she has plenty. The total amount I can spend is $50 and I'd like to get her a variety of little things.

Ideas I've had so far:
blooming Jasmine tea
an adult coloring book with a mini-set of colored pencils
Cheryl Strayed's "Tiny Beautiful Things"
a humorous book, along the lines of "Hyperbole and a Half", which she loved (but I don't know what is similar in tone to this)

I looked through the affordable luxuries threads and they're not quite what I'm looking for--she can afford luxury items and I'm not certain which she already has (probably most) so I'm looking more for little interesting items that might make her day a little better.

Thank you in advance for your help!
posted by dysh to Shopping (18 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
You've thought of truly lovely things so far.

I'll suggest Hand lotion. The good creamy kind that is non oily and smells nice.

And maybe a gift card to Amazon?
posted by discopolo at 4:34 AM on December 3, 2015

Maybe "One! Hundred! Demons!" by Lynda Barry?
posted by bunderful at 4:38 AM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

oooh get Let's pretend this Never Happened, and Furiously Happy. They are wonderful
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:48 AM on December 3, 2015 [5 favorites]

I'm very fond of my handwarmer mug. However, the blooming jasmine tea experience is probably not optimum in it -- it's quite deep, and the color and flange angle also cut into the visibility a little.
posted by gnomeloaf at 4:53 AM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

If she's into history at all, maybe one of Kate Beaton's books. And if she likes loose-leaf tea in general, maybe a silly tea infuser, like those shown here.
posted by neushoorn at 5:00 AM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Is this for me? I am very similar and here's what I'd appreciate:
--bubble bath and lotion
--a bunch of sample beauty products, like from Sephora
--nice pajamas or loungewear (maybe just a cuddly top or lacy bralette)
--a fun activity together like a painting class
--a cute winter hat
--fun books or audiobooks
--wireless earphones
--cozy slippers
--cute apron
--coffee gift cards
--flowers (cut or a plant)
posted by mrfuga0 at 5:05 AM on December 3, 2015

A lot of people I watch online just love sheet masks from the Asian market. They're really inexpensive, but moisturize your face and apparently feel amazing.
posted by xingcat at 5:12 AM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

- "movie kit": a dvd of a feel-good film with a bag of popcorn tied to it and some warm socks for sofatime enhancement
- hot chocolate pro kit: best hot chocolate you can find with a can of whipped cream (if easy to post), and packet of mini marshmallows
posted by greenish at 5:17 AM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I got a hot water bottle in a cute case a few Christmases ago and it is still my most prized possession.
posted by KernalM at 5:38 AM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

Kiehls makes some great products that I never think to buy for myself- ultimate strength hand salve is one of them. And the coconut conditioner. I hate most hand creams - they seem to more about the scent than the moisture, but I love that hand cream- not heavily scented at all. They have a lip balm too that is lovely. It's what I think of as higher end.

Good quality socks- smartwool etc
posted by Ftsqg at 5:44 AM on December 3, 2015 [3 favorites]

I was going to suggest a coloring book.

A disposable camera (fun even if she has digital).

A very cute tea infuser (like a Mana-tea or Brew whale) and some loose tea
posted by mermaidcafe at 5:45 AM on December 3, 2015

Ooh, this sounds a lot like me, too. I would enjoy:

- a heated throw blanket
- an adult coloring book and colored pencils or markers, but not just any set, make sure they're good ones
- a really beautiful puzzle (I find them calming and rather meditative in the same way coloring is but I never want to spend the money on something I'll put together only one time)
- I particularly love AHAVA's foot cream and it works like crazy on dry, tired, flaky feet in a way that other lotions never do and it's kind of expensive so I rarely if ever shell out for it
- a gift card for a pedicure or massage is ALWAYS appreciated
- super warm socks
- Christmas cactus? they're about as low-maintenance as they come but it's a little ridiculous how happy I feel when it bursts into bloom
posted by anderjen at 6:35 AM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

The best gift I've ever been given was a one-person Bodum coffee press (travel-size!) with a small selection of gorgeous ground coffee. I loved sampling the coffees and I appreciated a one-person coffee press. It just cheered me up.
posted by kariebookish at 6:44 AM on December 3, 2015 [4 favorites]

If she's a tea drinker, consider a countertop hot water dispenser. They're not too expensive (within reaching distance of your $50 limit, especially on sale) but they take the whole 5-10 minutes of putting on the kettle and waiting out of the tea-having process.
posted by mhoye at 7:17 AM on December 3, 2015

This might be too expensive (or be taken the wrong way!) but when I've been busy and overwhelmed the thing that has helped the most is having a professional house cleaner come in. Even one time could be helpful, actually. Just having a very clean house helps me feel like everything else is more manageable.
posted by three_red_balloons at 7:42 AM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I came in to suggest "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" and "Furiously Happy". So, seconded.
posted by kamikazegopher at 10:15 AM on December 3, 2015

Being a recent convert (last couple of years) I'm in favor of teas. I love me some oolong and think everyone's life would be better with a hot cup in their hand.
posted by cleroy at 1:23 PM on December 3, 2015

Tea drinker - ingenuitea Brewer by Adagio
Needs to chill out - high quality scented candle or coloring books with pencils

Whenever I buy gifts for people who can afford whatever they want, I try to go for something clever rather than luscious.
posted by shazzam! at 11:49 PM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

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