Social-distancing doesn't have to mean a hugless existence
Those of us who enjoy hugs (bear hugs, tight squeeze hugs, snuggle hugs, side hugs, head tilt hugs...) suffer from huglessness for the betterment of the world right now. Except for your household people (please tell me you've been hugging them), giving up hugs with friends and loved ones has required us to practice extreme self-restraint, hasn't it?
So I've been thinking of ways to send little gifts to make up for huglessness. Small ways to say, "I'm thinking of you," or "I love you," or "Hang in there." Think of these ideas as "hugs in a box" or "hugs you unwrap." But don't let all this social-distancing stop you from hugging (in a box! Uh, let me think that through...)!
All the gifts below come from small, women-owned businesses, too. So you're not only hugging your friend, you're hugging a maker, her staff, her family, and all the people who count on her. And you don't have to wash your hands when you're finished!
So next time you're thinking about your friend, sister, co-worker, or uh, mom (Mother's Day, anyone?), here are some gifts that'll hug them long after they wipe down the shipping box and wash their hands.
A hug they can hang on the wall
This sunflower art print by Heart & Art Cottage practically oozes smiles. But look closer! The artwork is hand-drawn of teensy X's and O's, so the sunflower is actually made of hugs and kisses.
Imagine how cheery you can make someone's social-isolating space with this print. They'll feel hugged every time they walk in the room.
Personalized, surprise pampering hugs
This gift box will actually be a surprise to both of you, which kind of makes it a double-gift. The Favor Stylist's Surprise Box comes chock-full of products and bath accessories personalized by theme. You can also give some pointers, like "She loves lavender!" or "She was complaining that her hands are super-dry" and your Surprise Box will be customized to match.
And check this out: there's even a fabulous quiz so you can determine your (friend's) "pampering personality." Your surprise box will be customized to your results!
Polar bear hugs (and kisses) [update: SOLD OUT]
Well, how delightful is this? The wonderful folks over at Eclair Lips have candy-cane ice cream lip balm (sold out!), and they're donating all the profits to charity! So this is one hug that tastes delicious and makes you feel all warm inside twice - once for your friend, and once for the charity.
Does that make it group hug?
I used to meet one of my dear friends regularly to get our nails done together, and those visits were some of my favorite conversational hugs every month. We've lived 3,000 miles apart for a while now, but I still think of her whenever I have pretty nails. Which, sadly, isn't often considering what my hands look like when I do what I do.
This lovely purply-mauvey-mushroomy-nude tan nail polish from Stella Chroma even has the perfect name: Cozy Sweater. So not only does your loved one get lovely fingers and toes, they're reminded of snuggly, warm, comfortable times. That seems pretty useful right about now.
Remember to hug the pets
Okay, okay, I know cats generally don't embrace hugs (see what I did there?). But this fabulous Cat Lady Starter Kit from Janery seems like the kind of hug any cat can get behind. A luscious faux fur Catnip Cuddler with catnip inside, an inviting Catnip Log, and a bag of extra catnip, all packaged in a sleek, stylish box.
And if your loved on isn't a cat person (I hear such people do exist), you could always send one of Janery's glamorous dog beds. Pooches like hugs!
Maybe your friend has been Marie Kondo-ing like mad these days, and their house stands ready for some glorious-smelling, all-natural cleaning. MamaSuds' liquid castile soap offers amazing versatility, giving a non-toxic clean to floors, counters, tubs, walls, toilets... And then they can wash their face and hands with it when they're finished!
So really, you're also hugging the planet when you send your friend this soap.
You know how much I'm into hugs, considering what I do. And I love making hug sculpture of different sizes, styles, and shapes to fit any room or decor. There are tiny hugs with messages, abstract hugs for the minimalist, and palm-sized hugs with plenty of humor (and some pets).
So for friends and loved ones who need a little art pick-me-up, let me send them some sculpture for a hug that lasts.
Really clean hugs
I hear some people are washing their hands some these days. I know, right? What's that about? Kidding! Har!
Anyway, your friend or loved one is probably really tired of their current soap. I don't care how emollient or rich or hydrating or luxurious it is. Seriously, if you're washing with it 80 times a day, through multiple choruses of "Washing Queen" (please tell me you've listened to this at least once), you're gonna be really sick of your soap.
So send them a nice, clean hug with some Oatmeal, Milk and Honey soap from Farmer's Body. And find out if yours is the kind of relationship where you can send soap as a gift, and they don't think you're giving them a hint.
A hug they can slather on [update: SOLD OUT]
I really feel like "hugs you can slather" should be more of a thing. Because let's face it, what feels more luxurious, decadent, and downright delightful than a rich, silky body cream?
The gorgeous body custard (sold out) from Urembo Asili contains oodles of anti-aging, skin-smoothing, deliciously hydrating ingredients that'll make your loved one feel pretty special. And the gorgeous jar will make the bathroom look especially decadent and spa-like. Now that's a lovely hug.
A hug that leaves them baby-soft
I admit, I'm really just in love with the colors of these delectable organic sugar scrubs from Milked. I kind of want one of every flavor (?) so I can stand in the shower and paint myself like kids do with those soaps. Wait, did I say that out loud?
Whatever your friend/loved one chooses to do in the privacy of their own shower, they'll end up lightly fragrant, silky, and dare I say, moist.
A hug for their nose
There's something about a marvelous room fragrance that manages to make me feel like I'm on vacation. While I can't promise that Etta+Billie's Bergamot Ginger Natural Room + Body Spray will make their stay-at-home feel like a stay-at-home-cation, it's worth a try.
Besides, since it's multi-purpose, they can spray it on their stinky housemate/spouse/children with no ill effects. "Ooops! Meant to spray the room!"
Not that I would ever do this. Perish the thought.
A Hug for Their Allergies
Okay, maybe your friend slash loved one has a fragrance sensitivity that tops any desire to spritz the room. That's where Odeen's Zero-Waste Purely Unscented Gift Set comes to the rescue. With clever shampoo and body bars, a tooth bar (!), liquid castile soap, and even a handy lava stone, you can gift them a clean, scent-free home and body (and teeth!).
And the zero-waste thing makes you one of those smart, planet-protecting huggers that we all need more of. Wait, is that... a tree hugger?
A hug for their... chickens. Yep, I said "chickens" [update: SOLD OUT]
A couple weeks before the pandemic raised its head, my mom gifted herself six baby chickens. I get regular updates on their progress, including detailed photos of the fancy new coop. Apparently, I have six new, feathered siblings.
My older sister has complained to me that her neighborhood association doesn't allow chickens in backyards. And a friend of mine told me she's learning all about keeping chickens at home.
My friends, these fine ladies are Chicken People. I don't claim to understand them, but I love them. And I want to hug them, too.
For the Chicken People in your life, Treats for Chickens has you covered. Take this excellent Hey, Mom! chicken treats gift box. Not only do you get to choose a treat for your Chicken Person's feathered friends, you get chicken dishes, faux eggs, a fantastic yard sign, and basically everything your Chicken Person needs to decorate their lives outside the coop.
And this box saves you $10 over the price of the products individually, so that's like getting bonus chicken hugs just for bundling. What are you clucking waiting for? (#sorrynotsorry)
Fragrant, sumptuous flower hugs
Any list of hugs-you-can-send would be incomplete without amazing cut flowers. Something about a big bouquet of something lush, fragrant, and green makes the whole house feel... well, hugged. Your mood brightens, your outlook improves, and everything seems a teensy bit more glorious.
Farmgirl Flowers has some of the most delightful, designer-quality blooms I've seen. Like the Minimalist bouquet, a stunning mix of romantic neutrals that are anything but boring. Is your friend more of a maximalist? Then the Big Love Burlap Wrapped Bouquet would be so their jam.
"Coming Soon" music box hug
This one's not quite launched yet, but I can. not. wait. I adore music boxes, and these "music box lockets, like hugs you can wear" sound like exquisite gifts. Oh, heck, who am I kidding? I'm going to buy one to hug myself.
Be sure to sign up on their website to get first notice when they launch. I have a feeling they're going to go like hot cakes.