Gift registries are awesome.
They don’t register here in England. And they don’t really do the whole “shower” thing either. Therefore I have a higher appreciation for the registry than I did prior to December first.
But there are times an off registry gift is a really good idea. There are also life events where a form of sympathy or gifting is a good idea and we don’t register for those.
Let me introduce you to five of the best off registry gift ideas I know. Take notes. Bookmark the page. Use these. You will be the star gift giver. Promise.
Groceries: Dinner is great. You should bring someone who just had a baby dinner for sure. But they still need groceries. Snacks for the day, standard paper goods, a treat they wouldn’t normally purchase. Going out and getting groceries is a p.a.i.n. when you’ve just had a tiny human or when life has really not gone your way its not on your list of want to do’s. Show up with them for your friends.
Pampering: A prenatal massage is a crazy amazing treat. That’s a killer gift. Post baby a massage is great but it’s a big boost to your hormonal self esteem to just look pretty. Try giving a Dry Bar gift certificate to your friends and offer to watch the little one for an hour so they can actually use it. They get a wash, blow dry and style and you get to hold a precious tiny.
Laundry service: It’s the basics really. Laundry is never fun and when you are busy with out of the ordinary life events (getting settled into married life even) laundry is enough to bring on the waterworks. Give a gift card or just straight up pay for a laundry service for a week for a friend. Some services come and pick it up wash it, dry it, hand/fold it and deliver it to your door step. Others require a drop up and/or pick up. Do the dropping or picking for your luvvly friend if that’s the way it works.
A Sweet Treat: An unannounced box of chocolates, cookie delivery or Sonic drink drop off is a day maker. Make it better by surprising people with something small you know they love. If you would show up at my door step in London with Chick-fil-a Chicken mini’s and a tea I might tattoo your name on my arm.
Time: There is a good advice out there on how to help a new mom. They say come do chores so mom can hang with baby. That is awesome. But I say offer your time in general. Say something like this, “I would like to come over one afternoon this week and help out. I would love to do laundry, dishes, just pick up a little or watch your little one while you shower, nap or just have some time to yourself.” I would have accepted number two without even thinking twice. Please watch the baby, I am doing that all. Day. And by the way don’t offer it arbitrarily. At the moment you offer it set the date and time right then. New mom, mourning friend, sick relative etc. is not going to call you to accept this gift later. Make a plan like you mean what you actually offer.
Being a good gift giver is a real talent. Hone yours, making others happy is a real treat.