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Lockdown gift buying guide
Discover great deals and great gifts available for delivery during the COVID-19 pandemic
'Out of sight, out of mind' couldn't be less applicable to 2020 if it tried. Faced with COVID-19, loved ones are on our minds now more than ever, and though we can't go out and hug them, we can spread the love with unique and wonderful lockdown gifts.
Brighten someone's day with a bunch of flowers or send them a gin, magazine or coffee subscription to brighten up their year. Can't take your friend to the pub to celebrate a special birthday? Send the bar to them with a beer subscription. Looking for lockdown birthday presents needn't be difficult when there is a vast range of online treasures waiting to make someone's day. Here is a list of lockdown gift ideas to inspire you. Everything listed here is just a few clicks away from being delivered to someone's door (or inbox).
Other useful guides: 5 recipe box subscription services to try during lockdown, best eco-friendly subscription boxes for a greener 2021, gift websites you need to know about, craft boxes for adults and craft boxes for kids.
It's a simple idea, but sending a card you'd usually hand over in person is an affordable way to celebrate and share some thoughts and love during lockdown.
Papier collaborates with artists and illustrators so there are plenty of elaborate designs to choose from. Moonpig also has tonnes of card designs ready to send and are suitable for all ages. Some can be personalised too, so why not chuck in a few photos to make someones day? Other popular card sites include Scribbler, Not on the Highstreet, Brainbox Candy, Funky Pigeon, Card Factory for budget cards and Etsy for handmade masterpieces.
Keep Thriving gift box
Support local businesses during COVID-19 with this neat gift box idea from The Thriving Box Co. Each gift box is filled with high-quality local products so you can give something great whilst doing something for your local community. The Glasgow box — Keep Glasgow Thriving — is filled with locally distilled gin, coffee, homeware, beer, honey and more. Gift boxes are available for a number of cities including Edinburgh, Manchester and Bristol, filled to the brim with local beers, chocolate, crafts and more. Prices start at £39 and alcohol-free options are available.
The quickest way to someone's heart is through their stomach, and that makes gifting food a sure-fire win. Hampers are a great way to inject some joy into a loved one's kitchen and heart throughout lockdown. Laithwaite's have a brand new selection of hampers available alongside their delicious wines. Appleyard London also offer an appetising selection of food hampers plus fruit and vegetable baskets.
For a selection of sweet and savoury surprises, Degusta Box deliver subscribers a selection of treats every month – all for a cheaper price than you would pay in the shops. Gift subscriptions are available and start from £12.99.
Joe and Seph's Luxury Popcorn makes for a great indulgent treat, and you can save 20% on their taster bundle. The bundle features the best from their award-winning range, just use the code THELIST at the checkout.
Back to hampers, Not On The High Street have plenty to offer, from afternoon tea to charcuterie, to luxurious hampers filled to the brim with wine and cheese. Speaking of cheese, that's another option and both Pong Cheese and The Cheese Shed offer a number of gift sets of stinking good cheese ready to be delivered.
Chocolate has been through the wringer when it comes to gift giving. These sweet, pure, bite-sized pieces of joy have been branded as a quick and mindless gift to give. In this instance, we're not talking about a box from the garage, however, but instead gifting artisan chocolate like Coco Chocolatier's Isolation Kit or the artfully presented range from Ocelot. ServeBack is a fantastic resource for gifting food from local independent businesses that have adapted to online life. You'll find plenty of chocolatiers and more culinary whizzes there.
It may be obvious but it's a sure-fire win. Send someone flowers to brighten up their home during lockdown. Online florists have bloomed in recent years and have simplified their services to make sending flowers ultra-easy. Many online florists post flowers in handy letterbox size parcels with ultra-fast delivery to ensure freshness. Beautifully wrapped buds arrive with a flower-arranging guide, giving an extra dimension to this gift as the receiver can try their hand at displaying their fresh blooms. We've compiled a list of the best online flower delivery services with a variety of discount codes for Freddie's Flowers (50% off), Bloom & Wild (20% off), Serenata Flowers (flash sales), Vela Flowers (20% off), Appleyard Flowers (27% off) and Arena Flowers to help your bank balance.
A magazine is a gift that literally keeps on giving month after month. Gift a subscription of Elle, Red, Cosmo, Harper's Bazaar or other Hearst Magazine titles and save up to 66% for a limited time.
There is also a fantastic offer to sign up and receive 3 issues for £1 from Condé Nast's roster of world-renowned magazine titles, including Vogue, Tatler, Wired, GQ and more.
Moving away from beauty and lifestyle mags, Europe's fastest-growing current affairs magazine The Spectator are offering the first month for free when you subscribe to digital only or digital and print editions.
For kids, Storytime Magazine is a fantastic option, delivering ad-free, personalised magazines packed with fairy tales, new stories, funny poems, awesome animals, myths and legends, gorgeous illustrations, puzzles, games and much more.
National Geographic magazine is everything an inquisitive young mind needs and their mission is to get children excited about their world. Educate and excite them with a gift of National Geographic Kids subscription, complete with the amazing photography the brand is known for and save on your subscription. National Geographic Kids are currently offering a free-double sided poster, and discounts of up to 66% on subscriptions.
There are also plenty of independent magazines out there to be discovered and who says you should stick to one? Not Stack, who provide a unique subscription service that delivers a different indie magazine to subscribers every month.
With tours cancelled and many musicians' upcoming plans scuppered, now is as good a time as any to buy music to support your favourite acts. So if you're looking to buy someone a thoughtful gift, why not give them the gift of music and introduce them to something new in the process? Bandcamp is the best place to start, with purchases directly supporting the artists via their fair trade music policy. According to their website, 'fans have paid artists $486 million using Bandcamp, and $18.2 million in the last 30 days alone', which is great news for musicians that we want to see continue to make music. For special editions and signed copies of records and CDs, there are plenty available on Townsend Music that would make great gifts too.
This year was not the year for live shows but 2021 looks a lot more exciting. Gig tickets make great gifts and there has been plenty of new tours announced for 2021.
The eco market is ever-expanding and there are tons of gift-worthy products available this year, with the chance to save on a number of eco-subscription boxes from Authentic House, Shore Box and more. Luxury eco-friendly body and homeware brand KINN Living are offering 10% off for new customers with the code AFFILIATE10. &Keep are a one-stop shop for all things eco and are offering 8% off the entire shop with the codeANDKEEP8 Their range includes plastic-free, ethical and sustainable gifts and homeware.
People are making the switch from aluminium-filled deodorant to eco-friendly natural and refillable deodorant. Gift Wild's neat, refillable natural deodorant and take 15% off The List's exclusive discount code 15THELIST.
Plants are a fantastic gift to give during the UK's lockdown as folk are stuck indoors wishing they were out surrounded by nature. Research shows that living with plants not only provides cleaner air but can also improve people's moods and, of course, inject some style into any house.
Whilst most major DIY stores are swamped with orders right now, smaller garden centers and plant stores are still delivering foilage across the UK. Gardener's Dream has a number of sought-after house plants, like Monsteras (Swiss cheese plants), Venus fly traps, various tall green palms and colourful calatheas in stock and ready to ship. London-based flower company Appleyard Flowers also stock a fantastic range of plants and Moonpig even has a limited number of orchids and other plants available too.
Bloombox Club operates a plant subscription service that is ultra gift-friendly. Deliveries include a plant, ceramic pot and care guide, and can be purchased as a Classic, Classic Plus (large plants) or Special (small-batch plants) subscription package or as a one-off delivery. They are currently offering a 10% discount on the first two orders for subscribers. Alternatively, they are offering 25% off their plant gift bundles for a limited time.
Books make an ideal lockdown gift as they can provide the essential escape from the monotonous routines of quarantine by transporting readers to far-off lands where exciting adventures and endearing characters await. Sending a book as a gift is a tricky game that can be hard to get right but taking inspiration from this year's major book awards and book award winners – like the Booker Prize, Women's Prize for Fiction and plenty more – is a great start.
Dive into the longlists and shortlists packed full of the best books of 2019/20, or browse our guide to the best cookbooks to gift. For more inspiration there are plenty of book subscription boxes, or perhaps Abe Books' curated collections that highlight the best comic books, children's fiction, travel books and plenty more to help you choose the perfect gift.
A fantastic selection of book subscription boxes also make great gifts. A Box of Stories are offering £5 off their subscription boxes including crime mystery thrillers, historical fiction, young adults and light reads selections. The Beautiful Book Company's selection of personalised book boxes are available for grandparents, dads and young teens. Books That Matter have a feminism-focused book box subscription, and there are heaps on offer from Bookishly and The Willoughby Book Club.
As long as we're all stuck at home and can't go to the pub, alcohol makes an excellent gift for friends and family. Many craft breweries such as Edinburgh's Bellfield Brewery are running an offer for £12 cans of beer for £20 (RRP is £29.40). Flavourly's deal gets you 24 craft beers for only £29.95 or 15% off gift products with code GIFT5. Beer52 are offering £10 off your first crate when you gift their beer subscription service. Beer crates and subscriptions are a great way to let that booze-lover in your life sample different drinks either crafted locally or from around the world, all without stepping outside their door (or yours).
For gin lovers, discover the best gin subscriptions to gift this which includes Craft Gin Club, who offer ever-changing discounts and/or perks. Friday Night Gin Club have a mouth-watering selection and are offering £10 off orders over £49 when you use the code TENOFF.
For bubbles and wine, Laithwaite's offer a fantastic range of wines and other alcholic fancies.
Coffees and teas
People's home cafetière and teapots are getting quite the workout at the moment, what with cafes and coffee shops closed for the foreseeable. Help them keep their shelves stocked and spirits high with the gift of aromatic beans and leaves, delivered straight to their door. Scottish java slingers Artisan Roast are helping people recreate their strong signature brews on lockdown with free shipping, while down south, York Emporium have a dizzying variety of coffees and teas in stock for every mood and palate. Edinburgh tea specialists Eteaket are also offering free shipping on orders over £15, while Glasgow roasters Dear Green Coffee's online shop has got all the beans, subscriptions and kit you need to make someone's day.
Craft & activity boxes
The public may be tucked away indoors, but one thing that cannot be contained is the joy of playing, crafting and learning. Browse the best craft kits of adults to try during lockdown which includes beer brewing sets, concrete plant pot making materials, sewing kits, gin infusing botanical selections and more.
Activity box subscriptions make a great gift for kids who can try new skills at home in an instant. Boxes contain everything needed to do so, all neatly packaged and arriving through the letterbox. There are tons of activity box subscriptions perfect for gifting. Favourites include ToucanBOX for crafts, Little Cooks Co for cooking, Kiwi Co for science, art and more, as well as plenty of discount codes and offers to help you on your way.
Health and Beauty
So what if we haven't styled your hair in weeks, or done more than change out of our day pyjamas into our night pyjamas in god knows how long. There's a pandemic on, and personal grooming seems the least of our problems. But if you want to help a friend take a moment of self-care amidst the madness, then there's a variety of gifts you can get delivered to their door.
There are so many fantastic beauty subscription boxes that make great gifts, many of which have limited time discounts throughout the month. If you're looking for a male grooming box, the Esquire x BEAST box is down from £100 to £70 and stacked with goods worth over £200.