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Best Gifts for Friends in 2023

Feb 19, 2023

This blog post corresponds to Episode 11: Thoughtfulness, Gifts, and Showing Up for People. Check out that episode to get the full content surrounding this message!

"Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:46-47

The ways of our culture now are pretty opposite from that, we all want to be independent, not need anyone’s help, work from home, watch church from home, and while all of those things CAN be good, those things can also negatively affect our mental health and rob us from the real joy and lasting fulfillment of being in community with people daily. 

Our lives are busy and I believe its okay to have lots of friends that you truly don’t have time to see all of them every day or even super regularly. But it is so valuable to have friends that really show up and to be a friend that really shows up.

 I love the phrase/verse “blessed to be a blessing” it’s from Genesis 12 where God tells Abraham is is blessed so that he will be a blessing to all. And that phrase blessed to be a blessing is part of my kids’ affirmations that we say regularly. It’s one of my prayers for my family. 

So before we start, let me say loud and clear that the most important thing we can do is SHOW UP for people. Go visit, let your presence be your present. Call them, leave a voice text, text, send a letter in the mail. Let them KNOW you care. Those things matter so much more than gifts. Gifts can be just one {extra} piece to apply. 

If you haven't listened yet, check out Episode 9: Let It Be Easy - Reducing Decision Fatigue. In that episode we talk about different ways to make decisions ahead of time, to reduce the decision fatigue as you go throughout your day. Kendra Adachi of the Lazy Genius taught me the concept of "decide once." This basically means making a repeatable decision for certain situations and keep making that same decision as long as it seems to fit, for the season you're currently in. 

And today we are applying the concept of decide once to gift giving and thoughtfulness. I don’t want this to come across as impersonal, I still think when the opportunity arises and you think of something more thoughtful or more specific for that person, of course we are going to do that. This is just a baseline- at the bare minimum I’ve already decided this is what I’m going to do.


There are some easy "gift" or "thoughtful" ideas that apply to almost every situation.

  • A thoughtful note or a thoughtful text.
  • A voice text is a good thing to sound a little more personal with your voice but also gives the other person the chance to listen or respond when they have time, you can call and leave a voicemail if they don’t answer.
  • Include your kids- let them draw or put stickers on the handwritten notes, record a little video of them saying congratulations! Or singing happy birthday.
  • Ask if you can pray for your friend when you're talking to them right then. Or send a prayer in a text. That means more than just saying “I’m praying for you.”
  • Being honest and saying to someone- I don’t really know what to say in this situation, but know I’m praying for you and love you and am here for you, is better than not saying something because you don’t know what to say.
  • Sending flowers, some people mentioned orchids being especially good to receive because they last longer than other flowers.
  • Most people would use and love a gift card to a coffee shop.
  • Even using Venmo or Apple Pay to send:
    • $5 with a note that says coffee on me today
    • $20 for the new journal or book or socks or lipstick you’ve been wanting but haven’t purchased yet
    • $15 for vending machine snacks at the hospital, or to buy yourself some flowers next time you’re at the grocery store.
  • Companies like Spoonful of Comfort deliver gift baskets for a variety of reasons.
  • If you have memberships for Instacart or Shipt or a delivery service like that, you can use that service but change the delivery address to your friends address. is a free website that my friends and I love to use when someone has a baby or even when someone has a family member pass away, or a major surgery, or things like that. One person organizes it and everyone can use the website to sign up for different dates to provide a meal. The organizer can include specific notes like- remember this family is gluten free, or the family prefers porch drop offs at this time, or please remember not to stay longer than 15 minutes to respect their family time, or remember grandma is staying with the family right now so please plan to provide a meal for 3 adults and 2 kids. It takes the burden of communicating some of those things off of the person receiving the help. It also can be a helpful scheduler so not everyone shows up on the same date and the coordinating doesn’t get overwhelming for the person we are trying to bless with meals.


I buy cards in bulk for the purpose of thoughtfulness. Target has these blank white cards that have a sparkly gold heart on them and I use them for EVERYTHING. I keep them in my car. It is so easy to just scribble out a thank you note, or use it as a baby shower card when you forgot to buy one, just anything. They are so cute I’ll link to them. And I buy on amazon bulk “thank you” cards and “happy birthday” cards. If you love picking out specific cards for people on those occasions, just keep doing your thing! That’s amazing! But if you frequently forget, or just quickly grab one before each event without feeling personal about it even when they are $6 each … I think I can make this easier for you. Just buy them in bulk, they are so much cheaper, and you will always have one when you need it. What you write inside the card can be personal and special even if the outside of the card is generic!


So here are a ton of ideas for you to be inspired by and pull from if you’re interested in having a decide once approach to this area of your life. Some of these responses were from my Instagram responses and some of these are other ideas I have thought of.


Friend gets engaged:

Friend announces they are pregnant: 

  •  "mama" bracelet, shirt, or hat
  • PJs for mom or baby
  • Gift card to store with maternity clothes so mom can pick out new clothes
  • Pregnancy items like- Belly Butter, Preggie Pops, Ginger drops
  • Reusable water bottle for mom- BellyBottle brand
  • Board book for baby
  • Gender-neutral swaddle, teether

Friend has a miscarriage: 

  • Put their due date on your calendar and be sure to text/call on that day
  • Necklace with baby's birth stone
  • Send a meal 

Friend buys a new home: 

  • New candle or diffuser oils
  • Return address stamp with new address
  • Basket of cleaning items
  • Basket of "first-needed items":
    • toilet paper, paper plates, scissors, granola bars, water bottles, etc
  • Home improvement store gift cards
  • Cookbook
  • Cute soap
  • Every Moment Holy book bookmarked to moving into a new home (I haven't read but it was recommended to me)
  • Welcome Home by Myquillyn Smith (my personal favorite)
  • Basket of things to occupy children
    • stickers, chalk, etc. 

Friend has a baby: 

  • Drop off a meal or send a meal (*most common response by far!)

Friend gets promoted or achieves something:

  • Flowers
  • Something that could be useful in their new job
  • Champagne 
  • Venmo $5 "celebration coffee on me!" 

Friend's family member passes away: 

  • Just say something and include your favorite memories of that person
  • Create a "meal train" for others to contribute to meals for the family
  • Gift cards for restaurants or to a meal delivery service like UberEats or DoorDash
  • Flowers
  • A plant that can be planted into the ground 
  • Within Heaven's Gates book (I haven't read it but it was recommended) 
  • Set the date on your yearly calendar so you can reach out the following year

Friend's pet passes away: 

Teacher appreciation: 

  • Gift card was the overwhelming response from teachers
    • Target, Amazon, Starbucks, Doordash, etc.
  • Papermate Flair Felt Tip Pens
  • Small indoor plant or succulent
  • Notes of appreciation from parents and children
  • Multiple teachers said "please no more coffee mugs" :) 

Friend's birthday: 

  • Plan a dinner together with friends 
  • Plan a dinner together with friends and spouses
  • Get a gift from multiple friends and split the cost 

Friend's birthday (child):

  • Honestly, I "decide once" in this category and get whatever my own kids' favorite toy is for the friends their age, so I give the same gift to a few friends each year!
  • I keep an "Amazon List" for each of my kids to save ideas as I think of things throughout the year, then I have some ideas ready to give when family members or friends ask me before kids birthdays


I would love to hear your ideas for your "decide once" gifts that you love to get people. Send me an email [email protected] if you have some good ideas and I'll add to this list! 


So, to wrap this up. I hope I have inspired you to really show up for people. With or without gifts. Let people know you care about them, include them, offer a hug, send a meal, send a text, invite someone, include someone, and when you can, let your presence be the best present, as they say. Reach out to someone. Tell the enemy to cut it out and get beneath your feet with the lies that are so loud in isolation. Proclaim the name of Jesus over your life, act like him, serve like him, be a friend. Pray about it! Ask God to help you find the people who want to be your friend too. I promise they are out there. They are probably praying to find you, too!



*Some of these are affiliate links, some of them are not. Thanks for supporting me!


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