| Odds & Ends
a masked up santa preparing a present to be shipped

Unable to travel and exchange Christmas gifts in person this year? You can still show all those special friends and family members how much you appreciate them by having gifts delivered to them. Here are nine different directions to consider for gifts you can ship, with many of them designed to go directly to someone’s doorstep.

For the Auto Enthusiast

a dog wearing a harness in the back seat of a car

If you have a friend who loves a good road trip and always seems to be in their car, why not give them one of these important things to keep in a car trunk? Emergency flares, umbrellas, and blankets may not seem like exciting gifts right now, but they might come in handy at a later date. No matter how careful you are, breakdowns can happen to anyone, and the weather can change after you check the forecast. Many of these gifts can be purchased for cheap, but they could end up saving someone serious time and money in the future.

Have a friend who likes to bring their pet along for a ride? Here’s a list of fun pet accessories to consider for a car.

For the Foodie

a person flipping through a cookbook

Give a friend or family member the gift of a stocked freezer, fridge, or pantry. That’s right, you can have high quality food shipped directly to someone’s doorstep. For someone who loves to grill, meat suppliers like Porter Road or Snake River Farms have plenty of choice cuts to choose from, and you can easily keep the cost under $50 for a few items. Harry & David have gift boxes stocked with delicious fruit, rich chocolate, baked treats, and more, and you can find some for as low as $30. Have a foodie friend who loves trying new recipes? Send them one of the best new cookbooks on shelves everywhere. No matter which direction you go, the person on the receiving end of your order will thank you.

For the Romantic

a couple enjoys hot chocolate during a date night

Know someone who would enjoy learning how to dance while someone else takes care of dinner? What about someone who would like to get to know their significant other a little better while trying a series of escalating hot sauces, just as seen on Sean Evans’ YouTube series Hot Ones? You can make these date nights a reality for your partner or another couple through box packages from Date Night in a Box and DateBox Club. There are a number of services like these two, so search for a fun date night you’d like to send someone, or purchase a gift card so they can pick their own. Many of the options you have to choose from are under $40, so the price is affordable. If you pick a service that has a subscription plan, make sure to cancel in time so you don’t get charged for another month.

For the Reader

a christmas tree of sorts constructed with books

If you have a friend or family member who always has a book on their bedside table, make sure they have another one at the ready. Plenty of sites are starting to post lists of the best books to gift in 2020. If you’re buying for a specific person, there are lists for children’s books, ideas for the fiction lover, and memoirs for the history buff. Simply cater your search terms to suit your shopping needs.

With many local businesses hurting due to COVID-19, you can also help out indie bookstores with your purchase. If you have a local bookstore in town, you could consider buying from them to support small business. Don’t know where your nearest bookstore is? If you use IndieBound or Bookshop, they can help direct you to a local shop with the particular titles you’re trying to buy. One of the best things about books? You can pretty much pick the price you want to spend depending on title, hardcover vs paperback, and how many you purchase.

For the Self-Care Lover

assorted bath bombs and christmas ornaments

Everyone can use a break from time to time, so why not give the gift of rest and relaxation? Buy someone you care about a set of, bath bombs, candles or journals/notebooks/planners.  It’s been a stressful year, and for a small amount (around $20), you can help someone unwind with a self-care gift.

For the Outdoor Enthusiast

a firepit burning in the middle of a group of chairs

When it comes to the spread of COVID-19, being outside and at a distance seems to be the safest option. With cooler weather already here (or quickly approaching), spending time outside is a little more difficult. However, what about a fire pit to help combat the cold? You can find affordable options for less than $50, and sites like Home Depot are offering free delivery on many models. In other words, you can ship it straight to someone at no additional cost. This is a great option for your friends who love to spend time outside and are dreading being stuck in the house this winter.

For the Plant Lover or Floral Fan

a blooming poinsettia sits on a small table

When it comes to classic gifts, flowers still reign supreme. No matter what season it is, beautiful bouquets and arrangements abound. You can always use a national outlet like 1-800-Flowers.com to get flowers delivered to a loved one’s doorstep or office. You can also find a local florist and contact them directly. Either way, you’ll definitely brighten someone’s day! Know someone who has a million houseplants or always has something growing in their garden? You can use a site like Bloomscape to get them the perfect plant or visit a local nursery to buy seeds or other gardening gear that you can ship to them. We really love the idea of going green with your gifts because you can pretty much pick a price point you’re comfortable with spending.

For the Practical Person

an air filter running in the corner of a room

If you’re shopping for a friend who appreciates practical gifts, this could be the perfect year to purchase them an air purifier. With COVID-19 still circulating this winter, having a device that filters out certain particles could provide an additional layer of protection in your home, according to Tim Peglow (Assistant Vice President of Patient Care and Patient Facilities) of MD Anderson. He notes that wearing a mask, keeping your distance, and disinfecting surfaces are still essential, but air purifiers can help in the right circumstances. For even more air purifier tips, the Washington Post recently interviewed two experts for their guidance.

Clean air also will never go out of style, so even after the pandemic is over, an air purifier can help with seasonal allergies caused by dust, pollen, mold, or pet hair, according to WebMD. If you have a friend on the West Coast, they may even find a purifier useful for wildfire smoke relief. You can find HEPA filters online for under $50, but make sure to listen to expert advice on the best models and appropriate sizes for your space.

For the Brainiac

A man watching his online class on a laptop

Almost every friend group or family has an individual who loves to learn new things. For the brainiac in your life, we recommend some sort of online class. Sites like Udemy and Coursera offer thousands of affordable online courses in a number of subjects. Whether your friend wants to increase their spreadsheet proficiency or study philosophy, their options to learn are seemingly endless. Udemy’s courses start at $12.99, and Coursera’s start at $39.

At Direct Auto Insurance, we’re also in the spirit of giving. This is why we offer you low rates, great services, and flexible payment options, regardless of your driving history and regardless of the time of year. Give us a call, stop by our nearest location, or visit our website to see how much you can save with Direct!

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