Best Gift Ideas for 2021 Inspired by What Helped us Handle 2020

I don’t usually write gift guides, but I thought this list of best gift ideas for 2021 might be useful as we eventually leave lockdowns and create our new normal lives.

Life after 2020 isn’t going to look like life before 2020. In a lot of ways, that’s wonderful. REALLY wonderful.

During the past year, there were lots of changes in our daily lives. Some too big. Some small, but still important. Eventually we will be seeing friends and family again. We will be celebrating and giving gifts.

Here are some ideas for things that we really learned to appreciate during the past year, and can make life enjoyable in and out of lockdown.


Finders Seekers is a subscription to puzzle games. This is perfect screen-free fun for families like ours that enjoyed escape rooms before the lockdown. Send it to friends who loving doing puzzles that aren’t jigsaws.

BarkBox – did your friend get a Covid puppy like we did? Is your puppy a super-chewer like ours? When you don’t want to go to the pet store, BarkBox is a great option. Especially the SuperChewer subscription. Help your friend keep their pup happy and their shoes un-chewed.

Misfits Market  – Yes, sometimes I did a lot of stress eating. And also we baked a lot. So to balance that out we started a subscription to Misfits Market. We love the fresh fruits and vegetables and the fact we can customize our boxes. So a gift to Misfits Market is a healthy way to nourish the one you love. 

Apps –  Give this gift to the reader you love. If their library and bookstores closed like ours did, they will love this. Reading is a daily activity in our house. We need books. But we don’t buy books from a giant online bookseller. We try to support Indies. gives you ebooks AND supports Indie bookstores. 

Shipt  – We used Shipt before the lockdown and were so grateful for it during the lockdown. Give it to a friend and help them stay safe and save home if we have to (hopefully never) again. But even when the lockdown is lifted, Shipt saves so much time. You can shop carefully off a list and double-check the pantry. AND you can request reusable bags!

Duolingo  – Did your friend cancel a vacation? Are they making a list of places to visit? Help them spend some time learning the language before they go. (Bonus: if your friend is helping kids study a language during virtual school, this is good practice.) 

Kitchen Gear 

Air Fryer – we love our Ninja Air Fryer for cooking all the fruits and veg we buy from Misfit Market and Shipt.

A Really Good Coffee Maker – I use Aeropress, but there are lots of great options. If you can’t meet up at the cafe, at least enjoy great coffee at home.

Indoor Herb Garden– There’s a good chance people will continue cooking at home more after lockdowns. Make it more flavorful with an indoor herb garden. These don’t have to be fancy, you can buy some or make your own. It’s a gift with great taste.


A Ring Light – Help your friends and family look great on all the Zoom calls that will inevitably continue after lockdown. 

An iPad stand – So many to choose from  – pick your favorite. Maybe a handmade on from Etsy. Nobody needs to hold their iPad while doing school or work from home.

Some Great Headphones  – My kids love the HyperX Cloud Alpha over the ear headphones, but we also use AirPods. These will still be useful after lockdown ends.


Tushy – No more toilet paper shortages. Seriously. Try it. Give it as a gift, especially to the person who wants to go green and eliminate waste while they are…eliminating waste. (Toilet paper uses up paper and comes wrapped in plastic. Not very earth-friendly.) Your friend’s tushy and the earth will thank you. 

A Doorbell camera – Let your friends or family watch for those deliveries from the comfort of the couch.

Sonicare Toothbrush  – For awhile, we could not go to the dentist. But when we could go back, the dentist reminded us how important a good toothbrush is. Sure, you might not want to give this to your office co-worker. But to someone really special, a Sonicare toothbrush is a gift that will make them smile. 

For Parents

Outschool – Again this is something we used before the lockdown, during the lockdown, and will use after the lockdown. Outschool not only helps with academics, it inspires curiosity and lifelong learning. It’s a gift that pleases parents and kids.

Kiwi Crate – For the hands-on learners, Kiwi Crate is a great option when school is closed – whether due to lockdown or summer break. It’s also just FUN. I had a subscription for myself for awhile and loved the simple, satisfying science-based crafts. Give this gift, get thanks. 

Highlights for Children – Not all fun happens on screens. Even if the dentist closes, you can still get Highlights for Children at home. And you can get entire books of Hidden Pictures and other puzzles! The joke books alone kept us laughing. And who doesn’t love getting mail? Give a gift subscription that will be the highlight of their celebration.


AllTrails Pro – Lots of folks spent more time outdoors in 2020. Hopefully they keep it up after lockdown. For those who aren’t super experienced hiking nearby (or not so nearby trails) a subscription to All Trails Pros helps them stay safe and have fun.

A Bird Feeder – Did your friend start watching birds like a zillion other people? A lovely bird feeder (especially an oriole feeder that can hold oranges and grape jelly) would be a great gift. Find an Audubon Near You and shop their store!

Cornell Bird Academy classes – For the friend who really got into bird watching, there is nothing like learning about birds from the Cornell Lab. A gift certificate to All About Birds will have your friends crowing with delight. (Not sorry.)


Did you receive a great gift in 2020 that you know will still be perfect in 2021 and beyond? Let me know. I need some ideas!