Gift for friend who has everything?
August 16, 2018 7:53 AM   Subscribe

What would you get for your friend who hasn't been feeling well, but already has everything she needs/wants?

For the last several months or so, my friend has been in and out of the hospital, and otherwise at home on bed-rest. I'd like to send her something to let her know that I'm thinking of her (aside from the texts I've already been sending), but to also help ease the boredom of being cooped up inside for so long.

The problem is, she's fortunate enough to be able to buy herself anything/everything she could want or need. What do you get for the woman who already has everything?

She really loves bad 80s movies, pop music, and crafting. She's not much of a reader. Can you help me think of something a little outside of the box to send her way to brighten up these next few weeks/months of convalescence?
posted by dearwassily to Shopping (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Does she knit or crochet? Some yarn local to your area would be nice.

Also, just a card every now and then would be lovely - add a chocolate bar or a little trinket and you have the perfect "happy" to send to her.
posted by dawkins_7 at 7:55 AM on August 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

A weekly skype call would be nice!

Even people that buy everything for themselves don't often think of things - what has your favorite book, movie, tv show been lately?
posted by bbqturtle at 7:58 AM on August 16, 2018

Physical things are only a part of the equation here, maybe even a minor part. What no amount of money can provide is the emotional labor side of being cared for. What your friend could probably use most is your time, your presence, and your empathy. Someone to come and chat, to bring her news of the outside world (not the big news, but the small news of people's lives and doings), to make her lunch and sit with her and watch those bad 80's movies with her. Too often these days we neglect that stuff—we send a text (no offense) or post a message on Facebook and we call that sending support. It's not, or anyway it's a poor substitute for the real thing.

A big part of being there for people is actually physically being there, providing a sympathetic ear, listening to them, doing small things for them to ease their lives. Don't force yourself in there and take over, don't make it all about you and what a great friend you're being, but do set up a time to come over and visit, and start by just sitting and chatting about whatever she wants to chat about. Then make it a regular thing—twice a week, once a week, whatever you can do as long as you can do it reliably—and take it as an exercise in just being present and empathetic.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 8:03 AM on August 16, 2018 [12 favorites]

Make her a mixtape! is an example of an online mixtape maker; you find songs to put on and gift the mixtape via a link. It's a neat way to show someone you're thinking of them and maybe introduce them to some music they've never heard before!
posted by DTMFA at 8:07 AM on August 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Adding to dawkins_7's suggestion, if you know what crafts she enjoys and is able to do now, can you send materials and ask her to make something small for you? Sometimes being ill for so long makes one feel useless so she might
enjoy having something to give.
posted by Botanizer at 8:18 AM on August 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

Something consumable - food, drinks, etc. Maybe some of the coloring books for grownups? A gift card for whatever her preferred online video store is? (Or a good TV series on DVD/Blu-ray if she prefers physical media.) Gift certificate for food delivery that she likes?

Gifts don't have to always be eminently practical or something the receiver can't get on their own - the importance is reminding them that you care about them.
posted by Candleman at 8:25 AM on August 16, 2018 [3 favorites]

If she's nostalgic for the 80's and hasn't seen GLOW on Netflix, you could recommend it. It does start slow, but I found it fun. And, oh, the hair!
posted by puddledork at 8:28 AM on August 16, 2018

For similar situation, I make a daily newsletter of sorts. I just filled it with all sorts of silly/ridiculous/funny web links. It wasn't too hard to do. She's mentioned a couple of times about how much she enjoyed it.

There are crafting magazines that come with kits. So a cross stich mag that has a kit with all the stuff to make a card or similar. I've seen them for knitting/crocheting/paper crafts. All small projects to easy enough to do with out a lot of brain power.

You could do the legwork on finding some great new movies/tv shows for her to watch.
posted by Ftsqg at 8:30 AM on August 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

There are so many food delivery services these days...and if she's not bedridden, there's the ones that deliver all the ingredients+recipe...i forget what it's apron? Grocery shopping is exhausting when you're ill.
posted by sexyrobot at 8:42 AM on August 16, 2018

posted by kerf at 9:51 AM on August 16, 2018

Would she like an adult coloring book and pens? It’s a low key way to kill time that might appeal to a crafter.
posted by vunder at 10:10 AM on August 16, 2018

Maid service? This is going to vary by person, but some people would love it.
posted by soelo at 10:18 AM on August 16, 2018

any of the above suggestions involving adding an actual human presence to her home, whether it's a cleaning service or your yourself visiting frequently, should be prefaced by you asking her if this is something she'd like; having to worry about visitors when you're unwell can be exhausting and stressful.
posted by poffin boffin at 10:32 AM on August 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Seconding the suggestion for a maid service or alternatively you could bring her some home cooked dinners. You could also see if there was a masseuse who could visit her - assuming she is not too ill to have that??
posted by EatMyHat at 10:45 AM on August 16, 2018

I'm kinda assuming you don't live near or you would be visiting. the next best thing to being there is a nice, hand-written letter. This will take some of your time for sure, and I wouldn't make it just a pro forma one page "how are you, I am well", but something long, random and whimsical, to let her escape into your head/world for a while.

You could even send daily/weekly/every few day- postcards with a continuing storyline or little puzzles that you solve in the next card or anything else that will give her the joy of looking forward to the next one.
posted by ClarissaWAM at 11:49 AM on August 16, 2018

How about an edible arrangements delivery (or similar product), or a monthly food subscription? How about aweSome house slippers and/or housecoat ?
posted by leslievictoria at 12:22 PM on August 16, 2018

I am not the woman who can buy everything, but I am a woman who can at least afford bed socks.

Doesn't matter. Yes I can buy my own bed socks, but when I've been unwell, it's been such a nice present. First off all, they are useful but second of all, it's so thoughtful. It's a nice bit of pampering specific to the circumstance of being sick.

So I vote bed socks.
posted by DarlingBri at 1:03 PM on August 16, 2018 [1 favorite]

I recently had major surgery which has kept me at home for the last month+. Some of the things that people have sent that were super awesome:
  • Cards and letters. It was nice to get a card saying “thinking of you” but it was super great to get a long chatty letter or email. Bonus points if it’s on ridonk stationary.
  • A 1000 piece puzzle. Engaging without requiring too much brainpower and easy to do a few bits as I had energy for it.
  • Graphic novels and choose-your-own-adventure books (Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics has a few Shakespeare books.) Again, low investment of brainpower and easy to engage for a few minutes as I had energy.
  • If she’s in and out of the hospital, cute socks or slippers with grippies on the bottom. Grippie socks are part of fall prevention and cute ones will get you all the compliments from nurses and patients.
  • A crossword or sudoku book, if she likes those kinds of things.
  • A list of good fluffy bingeable media, and which streaming service to find them on.
  • Does her illness affect her energy/strength levels? Because I’ll be damned if having toilet bars put on the toilet and a bed rail up weren’t two of the best things when I got home. Ask her if these would be at all helpful, and if so, make it happen.
  • Ridiculous wee gifties like dinosaur stickers or plushies or balloons or face mask packets or glitter nail polish. Little stupid things that will make her smile when she sees them.
  • Company. Visits and phone dates have saved my sanity.
Food can be iffy, depending on what she’s dealing with. I ate a lot of minimal-prep basics; baked chicken, sweet potatoes, etc. Anything that took a lot of work to prepare would have been right out. People did keep sending me chocolate, which was very kind, but I couldn’t eat it so...

Flowers were nice for a minute but then dealing with getting rid of them was exhausting so personally I don’t recommend them. A low-maintenance plant like a tiny cactus (bonus points if it has googly eyes and a cute sign) would have been ok.
posted by athenasbanquet at 2:40 PM on August 16, 2018 [2 favorites]

Get her hooked up with Ask Metafilter!
posted by LaBellaStella at 3:46 AM on August 17, 2018

Bring the theatre to her.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:34 PM on August 17, 2018

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