Gifts for a time of social distancing

Exchanging gifts with loved ones is a holiday season tradition. That tradition figures to continue this year, though families will almost certainly have to adjust the ways they exchange gifts.

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 in the winter of 2019-20 changed how people across the globe live their lives. Social distancing guidelines encouraged people to limit get-togethers, particularly indoor gatherings. Experts anticipate restrictions on indoor gatherings will continue in the early part of the winter of 2020-21, which could force families to rethink how they get together during the holiday season.

Families also may want to think outside the box when buying gifts for their loved ones, targeting items that can make social distancing easier. The following gift ideas can make a socially distant holiday season that much more special for a loved one.

COOKING CLASSES Many people have spent the last several months honing their culinary skills. Gift givers can help them take those skills to the next level by enrolling them in online cooking classes. The options are endless and some even include access to legendary celebrity chefs like Gordon Ramsay. Many online cooking classes feature monthly memberships or single classes, making them ideal for loved ones of all skill and interest levels.

STREAMING SUBSCRIPTION Movie theaters have been closed for months in many areas. But movie lovers still want to see their favorite flicks, so a streaming subscription to a service such as Netflix or Amazon Prime can be just what they need to stay entertained while social distancing this winter. For fans of classic films, including indie movies, foreign films and big studio productions, a subscription to the Criterion Channel might make the perfect gift. Curated by the Criterion Collection, this streaming service provides access to a library of more than 1,000 classic and contemporary films, making it an ideal gift for the family film buff.

TECHNOLOGY Technology has helped many people stay connected with friends and family while social distancing, so a new tablet, laptop or desktop computer can be just what people need to fully engage in family Zoom sessions or weekly virtual happy hours with coworkers and friends. If a new tablet or laptop stretches your budget, consider a pair of noise-canceling headphones, which can make it easier to concentrate while working remotely in a crowded house.

CRAFTING KIT Hobbyists may have had their passions for crafting reinvigorated while social distancing, making a crafting kit an ideal gift to help them fill their downtime. Beginner’s kits also can make an ideal gift for novices looking for an engaging, time-consuming hobby. Certain gifts can be a perfect fit during a socially distant holiday season.

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