Lockdown gift buying guide
©The Vegan Kind
The best gifts you can buy online and have delivered 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, now more than ever loved ones are on our minds 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). If you're looking for adult craft kits, Father Day present ideas, gift ideas for new mums or lockdown date night ideas or perhaps wonder 'where can I buy alcohol during lockdown?' we've got that covered too.
It is 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 throughout lockdown. Moonpig has tonnes of card designs ready to send 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 (take 20% off over £4.99 with code BIG20OFF), Not on the Highstreet, Brainbox Candy, Funky Pigeon, Card Factory and Etsy.
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 apetitsing selection of food hampers plus fruit and vegetable baskets. For a selection of sweet and savoury suprises, 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. 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 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. The sweet, pure, bite-sized pieces of joy have been branded as a quick and mindless gift to give. In this instance, we are 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 chocolatier's and more culinary whizzes here.
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 Bloom & Wild, Serenata Flowers, Vela Flowers 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 The New Yorker with a free tote bag for as little as $10 or National Geographic for just £25 for a whole year. There are also plenty of best-selling titles such as the Radio Times, Gardeners' World, BBC Good Food with 50% off with Buy Subscriptions.
For kids Storytime Magazine is a fantastic option, delivering ad-free, personalised magazines packed with fairy tales, new stories, funny poems, awesome animals, myths & legends, gorgeous illustrations, puzzles, games and much more.
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.
If you're looking for some recommendations on what to buy, check out our latest Going Underground column, which features releases from Cucina Povera, Luki and Liam Robertson, as well as a number of compilations for good causes such as More Womxn's MWxIWD and Solidarity Tapes Vol 1: End The Hostile Environment. For special editions and signed copies of records and CDs there are plenty available on Townsend Music that would make great gifts too.
The eco market is ever-expanding and there are tons of gift-worthy products available from plantable pencils to eco lunch box gift sets and plant pot makers, not to mention ethically made, eco-friendly apparel like The Spark Company's feminist clothing and gifts.
TheVeganKind offers a neat gift subscription service, delivering a box of vegan treats or vegan beauty products to subscribers. Gift 3, 6 or 12 months from £36 +. People are making the switch from aluminum filled deodorant to eco-friendly natural and refillable deodorant. Gift Wild's neat, refillable natural deodorant and take 10% off The List's exclusive discount code THELIST10.
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 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 houseplants, outdoor plants and orchids available for delivery. Gift a plant and take 15% off with code APYPLTS15. 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 a one-off delivery. They are currently offering a 10% discount on the first two orders for subscribers.
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 – 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 book subscription boxes, or perhaps Abe Book's 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. The Beautiful Book Company's selection of personalised book boxes are available for gardeners, grandparents, dads and young teens. Books That Matter have a feminist 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 or Glasgow's Merchant City Brewing Co are currently making home deliveries. 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, the options are endless. Craft Gin Club are running discounts on their gin subscription products and Friday Night Gin Club have a mouth-watering selection. A crate of wine from Lathwaite's makes a fantastic gift, especially when they are so beautiful packaged much like their other gift sets which cater to gin and beer lovers too. You can tick multiple boxes with the wine and flowers gift option too.
Not forgetting other liquors, The Whisky Exchange have plenty of gift ideas including personalised gin and whisky. 31 Dover have a stylish selection of spirits, beer and gift sets. Scottish distillery Tyndrum Whisky are well stocked, as are Carlisle-based company House of Malt who have all the gins, whiskies and cocktail kits any lockdown party could ever need and code HOMCLUB3 gets you 3% off your order. You can even gift a wine tasting course to be undertaken at home. The Wine List deliver two bottles of wine and educational resources every month and a 30% discount off the first delivery is available at the moment.
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.
Here at The List, we've got some great offers available too, like £5 off a bag of coffee from Pact or a free Hario V60 drip coffee brewer, 50% off Pact coffee's Nespresso-compatible and 100% recyclable coffee pods, and a free gift alongside your first order from JING tea.
Handmade gifts and cards
Handmade crafts and gifts are a nice pick-me-up to receive and Etsy is a great website to browse for unique gifts for those people in your life that you want to show you care about. Etsy has absolutely everything: greeting cards, jewellery and accessories, clothing and shoes, home and living products, art and collectibles, craft supplies and more. There are plenty of items you would never think of such as a handmade succulent terrarium, map of the world wall art and hugely lockdown appropriate items like a nap queen t-shirt and a Home Alone hand washing print. Not only will you brighten someone's day with an Etsy gift, but purchases also help support the independent sellers who create them. Similarly you can support local small businesses and find fantastic unique gifts on Not On The High Street.
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 like ToucanBOX for crafts, Little Cooks Co for cooking, Kiwi Co for science, art and more available and plenty of discount codes and offers to help you on your way.
Spa Treatments and beauty products
So what if we haven't washed our 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.
Birchbox remains a mainstay of the beauty products biz, with customers receiving monthly parcels of five beauty treats, customised to the needs of their hair and skin type. Glossybox are also still hawking their monthly subscription boxes, for as low as £8.50 a month with a 15% discount on gift subscriptions (use code GLOSSYGIFT). Or check out British company lookfantastic's incredible selection of hair, makeup and skin treatments, featuring all your favourite brands and available to order via their online store, with free UK delivery for orders over £25. TheVeganKind also ships out a cruelty-free and eco-friendly Beauty Box, chock full of treatments and cosmetics that are kind to the earth and the living things that call it home.
Follow The List's Staying In is the New Going Out articles for more kids TV recommendations, alternative online events, press releases, refund policies, restaurant deliveries and further general information.