Gift ideas needed
February 6, 2019 9:00 PM   Subscribe

What's a good gift to help a friend celebrate, and care for herself, during a long-anticipated but uncertain transition in her life?

A close friend of mine is approaching the light at the end of long, dark tunnel. She's been trapped in a miserable situation, and soon she'll finally be free. At the same time, it'll involve a lot of uncertainty around her living situation, finances, and so on. She'll be okay – but I imagine that the next few months will involve a lot of ups and downs.

I'm thinking about getting her a modest gift, just to acknowledge the significance of the moment, and to wish her well in this new chapter.

What sort of gift would be appropriate? I guess my budget is "up to $100".

I guess I'm thinking that an experience would be better than a thing? (Especially given the uncertainty in her housing situation?) The first thing that came to mind was a gift certificate for a massage studio – but I'm not sure whether she would use that. She's the sort of person who's always doing the nurturing, so I'd like to see her receive some nurturing for once.

I'm open to ideas, though! I'm just looking for something that says "congratulations; you got this; and I care about you".
posted by escape from the potato planet to Human Relations (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I am a believer in the value of crystals as physical tokens that express a particular wish: even if they really are just rocks - they are are rocks with wonderful potential as a placebo. Your friend can keep one of these with her and it can serve as a reminder of your wish for her to have whatever particular "power" she needs.

CrystalDictionary might give you an idea of some ideas. You can also go into a shop that sells them and ask them the same question you have asked here. For example, my comprehension of Obsidian is that it is supposed to help with cutting off of unwanted associations - probably because it is a crystal which was used as a cutting tools in many societies such as the Maya.
posted by rongorongo at 10:01 PM on February 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Something for her home (assuming it'll be a new living situation, or different from the present): a nice throw blanket, or a set of mugs, or a nice trivet or vase.

Or a night out at a local hotel or short-term rental. An inexpensive local AirBnB here and there can be really fun and relaxing.
posted by witchen at 10:37 PM on February 6, 2019

If not a whole spa experience, facial/manicure/pedi?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 12:06 AM on February 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'd get her a necklace with a crescent moon a new moon / new chapter emerging? there's a bunch of pretty ones on etsy.
posted by speakeasy at 1:42 AM on February 7, 2019

I think this is the kind of thing that's really personal. (Like a crystal would be a really thoughtful gift for a lot of people, while if I received one I'd not feel particularly good about it.)

Do you know what kind of things she buys or does for herself, when she's able to? Is there anything in her house you know she loves? Plants, luxurious blankets, eating at a specific restaurant, a trip to the museum...?

If you have no idea, maybe you have mutual friends you can ask? Or just ask her? I'd rather have a friend tell me they want to get me something for the reasons you describe, and ask what I like, than receive a gift that I have to figure out what to do with.
posted by trig at 1:56 AM on February 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

And honestly, when you say she's always the one who does the nurturing, and that you want something that says "congratulations; you got this; and I care about you" - it makes me think that whatever you get her, some kind of letter or card in addition that tells her these things might be the most meaningful, and something she can pull out and look at when things get hard.
posted by trig at 2:01 AM on February 7, 2019 [7 favorites]

Is it possible for you to take her out for a pampering (facial, Mani/pedi) instead of getting her a gift cert for one? Or, take her out for a really nice dinner/drinks. In times like this, shared experiences are extra nice.
posted by Fig at 3:58 AM on February 7, 2019 [6 favorites]

I like the idea of a super nice comfy blanket or throw - comfort blankets work for adults, too. Coupled with a nice message in a pretty card. That's what I would want, anyway (rather than a crystal).
posted by hazyjane at 4:12 AM on February 7, 2019 [3 favorites]

This is so nice of you!

When my dad passed this summer my girlfriends sent me a care package - a mug, teas, a variety of fancy snacks and treats I wouldn't normally buy myself, and a little massage oil/essential oil set. I am a yoga type of person and it was perfect and it was just nice to know they were thinking of me and I felt extra warm whenever I used the mug through the worst days.

Other nice things:
-a massage gift certificate, definitely
-little self massage balls
-slippers and/or a blanket to cozy up in
-shower diffuser disks (so she can throw one in the shower and enjoy, very low entry point to feeling some extra relaxation)
-if you do a food care pack chocolate covered nuts, miso soup packets, cheese in snacking packages would all be great
posted by lafemma at 7:36 AM on February 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

A nice journal. Weighted blanket (very comforting). Scented candle. A Kindle Paperwhite (works well with a library card if your friend is a reader). Netflix subscription for a year.
posted by Kalatraz at 8:17 AM on February 7, 2019

The Five Love Languages isn't just for domestic partners. I'll consider what a friend's likely top LLs are, and see if I can think of a present in that area. Quite often, a person's love language is the one they do most for others, so I'd guess that the way your friend shows nurturing to others is one of her top ones.

You can google it and read more, but in brief they are:
• Words of affirmation
• Quality time
• Acts of service
• Receiving gifts
• Physical touch
posted by dancing leaves at 8:28 AM on February 7, 2019

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