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In the before times (pre-pandemic and social distancing), I received a care package at my New York City apartment that contained a book and a heartfelt note. It was received, out of the blue, from a friend who lives across the country and the unexpected thoughtfulness was more touching than almost any gift I had received on a birthday or anniversary—holidays with a wrapped present on the itinerary. It showed me she cared, even when she wasn’t obliged to, and it caused a ripple effect. Soon after, I got into the habit of sending small gifts and handwritten notes to my friends and loved ones, too.
Last year, the pandemic almost instantly classified many relationships—romantic and otherwise—as long-distance. When lockdown began, I sent each of my sisters a set of buttery-soft pajamas to provide some comfort as they stayed inside for what ended up being months. Now, more than a year later, we’ve learned the power of a thoughtful gift. Sending one irrespective of a special occasion and just because, could make all the difference in a loved ones’ day. The past year taught us when physical togetherness isn’t an option, phone calls, video chats, and mailed mementos are paramount. With life starting to edge back to normal, it’s good to remember this sentiment.
Here, 18 day-brightening best friend gifts for the special people in your life.A Bedside Carafe
Post-pandemic, we’re investing more into our homes as work schedules fluctuate between forever-WFH to part-time in the office. Gift your friends a pretty bedside carafe to help them stay hydrated day or night while at home.
Vanilla Bean water carafe and cup setAn Artistic Candle
Upgrade their decor (and set the mood!) with some artful, deliciously scented luxury candles. Loewe took the candle world by storm with their home fragrance launch, and now these artful iterations double as home decor.
Loewe Home Scents Coriander scented candleA Beauty Buy
The latest beauty products from a favorite luxury brand are chic, thoughtful, and simultaneously won’t break the bank.
Gucci 25* Goldie Red, Vernis à Ongles nail polishA Weighted Blanket
Forget the standard throw blanket, when it comes to best friend gifts an aesthetically pleasing weighted blanket can provide much-needed calm when your friends need it most.
A Handcare Kit
We’re washing our hands more diligently than ever before. Send a friend a luxe handcare kit from Aesop that will keep their skin from getting too dry and double as decor.
A Workout Upgrade
A great friend upgrades your workout gear.
Tory Sport color-block racerback bra
Tory Sport super high-rise weightless color-block leggings
Bala Bangles weighted bangles, set of 2Fresh Flowers
More time spent at home means you can actually stop to smell the flowers and take in the beauty of a bouquet each day.
Urban Stems The Bold Floral bouquetA Cozy Sweater
A cozy sweater that’s polished enough for Zoom calls or in-office meetings makes for a wardrobe staple and a thoughtful gift.
La Ligne mini Marin striped wool and cashmere-blend sweaterGift Cards
Gift cards for books or groceries are always a welcome gift. Start a long-distance book club with a friend, or give them the push to finally try that recipe you’ve been talking about.
Barnes & Noble Book Stack gift card
Whole Foods Market gift cardA Luxe Journal
Writing can be therapeutic. Leave a heartfelt note on the first page of the journal before sending it to your friend.
Smythson Panama printed textured-leather notebookA Kitchen Upgrade
Sometimes, the best gifts are rooted in utility. While Our Place’s Always Pan has reached It-status for its multifunctional use, the brand’s new pot that bakes, crisps, and steams feels like a helpful and chic gift to give a friend.
As we’ve recently discovered, the ultimate shoe is the slipper. Now, it’s the ever-comfortable, easy-on, easy-off clog that will get just as much wear at home as it will while running errands.
Ugg ultra mini classic bootsA Heartfelt Game
Take game night up a notch with a set of playing cards that force you to have memorable conversations from a distance.
We're Not Really Strangers card gameA Potted Plant
Plants have a lot of therapeutic benefits and add a bit of nature that (hopefully) won’t perish as quickly as a bouquet of flowers.
The Sill Monstera deliciosa plantButtery-Soft Pajamas
There’s nothing quite like ending the day by putting on a new pair of super-soft pajamas. This pair will surely provide some extra comfort.
Cosabella Bella relaxed long sleeve top & pantA Daily Planner
Working from home requires extra structure. A daily planner can help them get organized.
Papier x Rosie Assoulin paisley 2021 plannerA Silk Eye Mask
The best gift ideas for friends can be as simple as helping restore their rest each night with a silk eye mask.
Brooklinen mulberry silk eye maskA Handwritten Note
A handwritten note is one of the easiest (and most impactful) ways to communicate your love and gratitude to all your loved ones.
L'Objet Linda's Lito-Eye Stationery Set