In these strange and unprecedented times, most of us have had to readjust our entire lives. Whether that’s WFH or living in isolation, with little connection to the outside world as we knew it. It’s affected every area of our lives, with events like weddings, communions and festivals cancelled or postponed. Recently a lovely lady reached out to me in search of quarantine birthday gift ideas for her & her family, a lot of whom have birthdays coming up over the next few weeks. We’ll more than likely still be in some sort of lockdown and the way we give & receive presents is so different now. We all have to think outside the box and get a little bit more creative. Below I’ve created a list of ideas of Quarantine Birthday Gifts that will hopefully add some joy to what’s certainly a birthday they won’t forget.
13 Quarantine Birthday Gifts
1. Buy or Renew a Subscription Service
Without a doubt, technology and more specifically, streaming services, have helped us get through self-isolation thus far. Netflix has even reported over 16 million new sign-ups since lockdowns came in to effect across the world. Whether it’s Netflix, Disney+, AppleTV, Hayu and NowTV, there’s a lot to chose from to keep entertained inside. Concerts and festivals have been cancelled but they can still listen to their favourite artists with Spotify, Amazon Music or iTunes. They’re completely contactless gifts for anyone in the world.
2. Say It With Flowers
There is nothing nicer than receiving an unexpected bouquet of flowers to the door from somebody special. It’s also a great way to support a local florists. Here in Wexford we’re spoiled for choice, with LilyBloom and Slaney Flowers both still operating a delivery service only during this time. Bloom Magic are also still open for business, as an online only business anyway. They have a huge selection of luxury bouquets and gifts on their website. These are great quarantine birthday gifts, delivered right to your recipients home, no contact necessary.
Something a little bit different can be found with Bouquet Box. They are a subscription based florist so you choose the frequency of delivery – weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Fresh bouquets of flowers are then delivered to your door, or a loved ones, on the chosen delivery day. The shipping address can be changed on your account, so maybe you want to send your sister flowers this week for her birthday. And next week you’d like to send a bouquet to your granny or best friend to let them know you’re thinking of them. Simply change the shipping address and share the love. I just think a colourful arrangement of flowers will really brighten up someones day.
3. Print Some Memories
Something that I’ve spent time doing during quarantine is sorting through my Camera Roll on my phone and printing photos. A lovely, personalised idea for someone you love would be to print some of your favourite memories with them and make an album or memory book. I use an app called FreePrints where you get 45 free prints every month and just pay the delivery fee. They also have apps where you can make a Photo Book or Photo Tiles, which would be a great gift idea. If you want to go totally contactless, you could order the photos, book or tiles through the app and just ensure to change the delivery address to the birthday guy/girls. There are also sites like Snapfish and PhotoBox that offer a similar printing service.
Maybe you want to go one step further and make it extra special – have the photos delivered to your home and get creative. Retailers like Meadows & Byrne, Carraig Donn and Littlewoods are all still selling their homewares online and have some lovely photo frames available. You could put together an album and write some nice memories in there, with the stories behind the images. This would be a lovely idea if you’re living nearby so you could drop the gifts at the doorstep on their birthday.
4. Bingo Loco
For any other birthday we’d probably all love to be getting glammed up for Bingo Loco, getting locked and belting out some 90’s belters on table tops in a local hotel! Well why should quarantine be any different? Replace the hotel with your sitting room and you have the perfect setting for the Bingo Loco Quarantine Quiz. The guys have gone digital and you can buy passes to their infamous quiz night online. Buy a pass for your home and one for the birthday guy/gal and you can all enjoy the madness together. Practically like celebrating together but virtually, and from anywhere in the world! Passes are just €6.50 and Bingo Loco are continually adding dates, so keep an eye on their social media.
5. Create a Pamper Hamper
This is a great idea, especially for someone that deserves some me-time. Maybe they’re working on the frontline or they’re at home with the kids 24/7 now and don’t get a minute for themselves. Fill up a goodie bag with some of their favourite things – it could be face masks, a hair treatment, some chocolate or treats that they love, a bottle of their favourite vino, a scented candle, a new nail polish. Whatever it is that they love, package together some goodies for them to take an evening to themselves and recharge the batteries.
If they’ve dropped the hint on particular products they’re running out of, now is a great time to pick them up for them. A site that I love is Millies.ie. Millies Salon in Naas will be familiar to a lot of my followers as I’ve been going to them since November last year to treat my adult acne. While the salon is temporarily closed, their website stocks so many amazing brands like Image Skincare, Environ Skincare, Kevin Murphy Haircare, Nioxin Haircare, CND Nail Products, Yonka Skincare, Redken Haircare, Bellamianta Tan, the list goes on & on.
You can support local businesses in the process also – a lot of self-care items can be purchased as part of your groceries in your local supermarket. There may be a cafe or bakery nearby that is open for takeaways or a local beauty salon that is selling products online while their premises is closed. Look in to what’s available in your local area and support Irish businesses through this time.
Something I get asked about on my blog a lot is skincare, since I shared my experience with adult acne. The main advice I give to everyone is to seek professional consultation. Right now I’m hearing a lot of people concerned for their skin as we’ve all been thrown out of our routines and spending more time inside, so naturally that has an effect on our skin. While clinics and salon are currently closed, lots of them have adapted to the internet in the meantime. Bella Beauty in Ballina offer an Online Skin Consultation at a time that suits you. You fill in a pre consult form and the €30 charge is fully redeemable against products. You can choose the products from their online shop where they stock Image, Skingredients, Ella & Jo and Jane Iredale amongst others. You can contact them through Instagram, here.
6. Treat them to a Virtual Tasting
Yes, you read that right – a Virtual Tasting. Lots of Irish bottlers and distillers have gone online with their tastings in light of Covid-19. If your birthday guy/gal is a connoisseur of fine wines, craft beers or an aged old whiskey, this is ideal. Lidl do a wine tasting through Instagram Live with Aoife Carrigy and Gina Daly from the Daly Dish. You could add the suggested wines in to your weekly food shop and drop them off on their doorstop. Given they can avoid the temptation to open them before the InstaLive!!
The Irish Whiskey Society are engaging in plenty of online events right now with whiskey brands and brewhouses across the country. Keep an eye on their events page to see when their next virtual tasting will take place. When it comes to quarantine birthday gifts, this is definitely something unique and memorable for a true whiskey fan.
7. A Sweet Treat
Dropping a savage hint here for my own birthday in July!!! Say It With Sweets is a Dublin based business. They specialise in hand crafted candy bouquets for all occasions. You can order through Instagram and they can include a personal message on a gift card in the bouquet. They deliver in Dublin, so for anyone based in the city, this is another completely contactless option.
Luckily, I would say, Sweet Living are in the essential services category and continue to trade through Covid-19. Based in Kilkenny, they make personalised luxury chocolate bars where you can customise the message on the wrapper. I’ve tried their chocolate before and it’s just as yummy as they look.
I’m not gonna lie, I was drooling while I scrolled through the delicious options on Mc G Cakes website! What is a birthday without a yummy cake, right? Brian is based in Sligo and creates stunning wedding and birthday cakes. He has also created a service called Cake Mail, which make ideal quarantine birthday gifts. Cake Mail boxes can be delivered nationwide via DPD and they include a variety of yummy treats. Their Birthday Box comes with an assortment of deserts, a candle and a handmade card – how sweet is that? They also deliver S’mores kits, Salted Caramel Cake jars, trays of Biscuit Cake, Brownies, Lemon Drizzle, cookies and cake pops. You can see their full menu for nationwide delivery here.
8. Handmade and From the Heart
At the beginning of the lockdown, children across the country drew pictures and displayed them in their front windows, whether it was to celebrate St. Patricks Day from home or to stand in solidarity with the frontline workers. I’ve also noticed a lot more people hanging wreaths on their front doors. Something that would’ve once been associated with grief or specific times of the year, are now for displaying joy and happiness. These colourful creations from DDQ Wreaths are sure to put a smile on your face. The bespoke handmade wreaths are made in Westmeath and can be personalised to a specific theme, colour scheme, etc. This is a keepsake they would have for a long time; definitely something different and creative.
Another Irish craft business is As Cute As a Button and they do what they say on the tin. Siobhan’s beautiful frames are bright and colourful and can be personalised in a range of colours with a matching gift card. They’re based in Kildare but deliver nationwide. If you are going down the handcrafted route, remember to check the lead times. We have to think differently about shopping for gifts now and that means getting a little bit more organised and prepared early.
There is nothing we would love more than to be able to hug & squeeze a loved one for their birthday this year. So until such a time as we can be together again, why not send them a virtual hug? Studio Eight can help you do exactly this. Kirsten is based in Cavan and creates beautifully handmade keepsakes and felt accessories, sold through her online store, here. She also makes personalised hanging hoops, tote bags, headbands, hangers and much more. Items can be sent directly to the recipient, so this is another great contactless option.
9. Online Makeup Lesson
Something I’ve been filling the days in with is playing around with my makeup. I love experimenting with it and at least while we’re not going anywhere, it doesn’t matter if I do a crazy look or make a mistake – nobody will see it!! For someone that loves their makeup, I think an online makeup lesson would be great quarantine birthday gifts.
The first one I want to mention is the one and only Michelle Regazzoli Stone. I can’t begin to explain how talented Michelle is! Arguably Ireland’s top make up artist right now; she is a fountain of knowledge. An award winning artist for over 17 years now, you will recognise her signature style from Rosanna Davison’s wedding, campaign shoots for SoSu by Suzanne Jackson and countless celebrities and brides. This is a chance to learn about skin types, lip combinations, tips for bridal makeup, colourful cut creases, and everything in between. For more information, email [email protected]gmail.com.
Irish makeup artist Sandra Gillen recently launched her Makeup Movement online. In the 1 to 1 lessons Sandra gives advice for learning and improving techniques and spring cleaning your makeup bag, all in the comfort of home.
Another fabulous Irish makeup artist and co-creator of the cosmetics brand Ella & Joe, is Charlene Flanagan. Her Back 2 Basics online course has just launched and it’s an amazing chance for a makeup lover to learn from one of the top artists in Ireland right now. Charlene specialises in bridal makeup so this is a chance to learn from one of the best in a 3 week workshop.
10. The All Important Card
Even in a digital age, I do love a good card. There nothing like a tear-jerking card that can take pride of place on the mantle piece or kitchen window for your birth-week. An Irish company that continues to trade through quarantine is Three Little Birds. They make Art Prints & Greeting Cards that can be framed, so that makes a lovely keepsake. Deborah will write your personalised message in the card and post it to the recipient. Again, this is a completely contactless gift idea and great to support Irish businesses.
Helen at Craft Creations Wexford makes personalised frames and cards made to order. Just have a look at some of the birthday cards she has made. They’re absolutely stunning and unlike the typical card you would get from Hallmark. That would be a keepsake you would hang on to forever! Helen also creates printed t-shirts, baby-grows and cushion covers which would also make great gifts.
I stumbled across Pickled Pom Pom on Instagram and I just love the designs that Laura creates. I think there is something really unique and personal about her way with words. Laura sells the cards singular or in bundles of 5, as well as some really cute wall art. Bear in mind, when ordering anything handcrafted, the lead times as well as the current delays in deliveries. Give yourself plenty of time to order for someone’s birth-date.
11. Donate in their Name
There are so many charities that are in desperate need of public funding right now. As a result of Covid-19 countless fundraising days had to be postponed or moved online so the charities are definitely feeling the impact this year. It is lovely to receive a gift on your birthday but if this pandemic has thought us anything, it’s that material things don’t matter. Family, friends and your health are top priority. So it could be a lovely idea to donate to a charity of the birthday guy/girls choice this year. They will 100% appreciate the thought and the donation.
12. For the Lady that Loves Her Bling
A thoughtfully chosen piece of jewellery is always a good idea for a stylish lady. Luckily we have so many gorgeous Irish-owned accessory companies to browse. While Glitz ‘n’ Pieces stand in Arnott’s is temporarily closed, their original online business is still operating. Grace and Ellen have a fabulous selection of personalised jewellery and accessories, from necklaces and bracelets, phone covers, card holders or jewellery boxes. I love their latest addition, the Friendship Collection. With free shipping offered in Ireland, this is a brilliant Irish business to support.
When I think about buying jewellery, one of the first websites I think of is Perfect Pieces. I wrote about them before, which you can read here. I think the selection on the site is brilliant, there is something for every taste. Whether you’re looking for something classic and timeless, or something more on trend and unique. Everything comes beautifully gift wrapped which makes it an ideal birthday gift. There is also free shipping offered within Ireland.
I could go on writing about all the brilliant Irish accessories retailers all day. Quickly I wanted to mention Spicey B, where you will find everything from jewellery to hairbands, sunglasses and everything in between. They are often featured on IrelandAM and in Stellar magazine as they stay ahead of the trends. For somebody that’s really in to their style, a piece from Spicey B would be lovely quarantine birthday gifts.
One of the suggestions that came through my DM’s was RuZo which is based in Galway and shipping orders through their online shop. This dainty collection of jewellery is curated by Sabrina, who has even designed some of the pieces in the RuZo Collection. They’re really beautiful necklaces with Mama, Family and Moon & Back slogans. Wouldn’t that be a really sentimental gift for someone special, especially in these times.
13. Give the Gift of Mindfulness
Given that we’re currently living through something that hasn’t been seen for generations almost, I think it’s really important to keep your mind in check. It’s easy to let your mind run away with itself and to feed in to the feelings of fear, so the big message I’m taking from all of this is to mind my mind more, (now there’s a tongue-twister!!). And there are plenty of gifts that would be ideal for someone that’s trying to be a little more zen too.
The Feel Good Collective is an Irish website run by Tara Moriarty. There are lots of helpful products stocked, such as journals, books, stationary, essential oils and notepads. As well as all of that, Tara’s blog and social media pages are a source of tips for managing anxiety, how to start journalling and how to relax. I just think that overall, The Feel Good Collective is a really supportive network and could have exactly the type of quarantine birthday gifts you’re looking for.
For someone that loves their Yoga or wants to take up yoga now that they have the time, I came across a new Instagram while researching for this blog. Yoga with Ami is offering yoga classes via Zoom for all levels. A block of 6 classes is €15, or drop ins are €4 each. You could pay it forward for someone as their quarantine birthday gifts and they can enjoy lunchtime yoga every Tuesday and Thursday for 3 weeks. More details are on Ami’s Instagram page.
I also found a really great website called MoMe.ie run by Mindfulness Practitioner Niamh. She has developed the MoMe Cards for a variety of ages, such as Grown Ups, Growing Up, Sports and Business. They can be displayed on your dresser, on the fridge, anywhere that you will see them and take a moment for yourself. Niamh is still sending out orders, with a personalised gift card, twice a week via An Post until restrictions lift. You can browse the full MoMe collection here.
I hope you’ve got some inspiration…
…from the ideas I’ve gathered together above. Also, thanks to everyone that sent me suggestions through DM on Instagram. I’m really happy to be able to include so many Irish businesses here as well. It’s so important to support Irish where possible, especially right now as we face such economic uncertainty. In the same breath I will say this – it’s really difficult for families across the country. I know first hand what it’s like right now, when multiple people in a home have lost their job. So don’t feel under pressure right now, everyone is in this together. A phone call or FaceTime with someone on their birthday could mean more than any material gift.
If you have any other ideas for quarantine birthday gifts, leave a comment below and I’ll add in more as I find them. Hopefully soon this will all be a distant memory and we’ll be able to celebrate together in our traditional way again. I’m thinking of every one of you reading this post right now. I hope you’re safe and well, with your family, and for anyone who’s life has been affected by this terrible virus, I’m sending you all the love in the world. Stay safe and stay at home.