I’ve recently found myself wanting to do something fun and uplifting for friends and neighbors, and since I can’t drop in or take them to dinner, I’ve discovered the perfect alternative: care packages!
These can be as simple or over-the-top as you’d like, and I’ve found that there’s something exciting about ringing a doorbell and dashing back to my car in time to either drive away before they see me, or wave from the car.
You can put weeks of planning into one, ordering online and waiting for your prizes to arrive, or you can bake a few dozen cookies that day. You can even take the time to sketch out an adventure – well, as adventurous as I get these days. Plan out a few baskets using items from local stores offering pickup, then create a map of your pickups and drop offs. My son and I have been playing pirate – wearing our masks helps the illusion.
One note: I’m only highlighting local businesses. It isn’t that I’m not ordering from Costco and Amazon, but every time I can, I’m supporting our small, local businesses!
The one thing that I think every care package must include is a handwritten note. Scriptura has a beautiful selection of cards and pens, as well as wrapping papers and planners, books (Mr. Boddington’s Etiquette is a favorite) and notepads, and is offering shipping and curbside pickup. Alexa Pulitzer’s royal animals are a favorite of mine – she has them on notecards, cups, napkins, coasters, pads and more! – that you can have shipped to your door. But even more royally, she has created Thank You Letters for Essential Workers and is offering them as free downloads. She even offers tips on how to write a heartfelt note! I recently learned about Sassy Banana Design Co. and I’m in love! Their aesthetic raises my spirits, and their “Quarantine Buddies” and “What Year Is It” cards are perfect for right now!
Food is always welcome, so consider picking up some of Langenstein’s famous crawfish, smoked salmon or “Better Cheddar” dips. Pair them with some of your favorite crackers and great bottle of wine from Prytania Wine & Spirits and you’ve got the perfect happy hour care package!
Don’t overlook the beauty of local produce, delicious pastries or a cocktail kit! Both Gracious and Coquette are offering daily pick up menus (first come, first serve) that often include produce packages. Check their Instagrams for the most up-to-date information.
If you’re thinking of going all out, jewelry is a perennial pick me up. Jose Balli is giving 50 percent of sales of Heart Beat Stethoscope Pendant to the American Nurses Association’s Coronavirus Response Fund and the Angel of Hope Pendant and Bracelet to the Northshore Food Bank. Free shipping and packaging, too! Symmetry Jewelers has 20 percent off, as well as free shipping and local door-to-door delivery! Shop online or call, text or email their experts (Hi, Richard!) for the perfect present at almost any price point. And if you need an April birthstone, Diamonds Direct has experts on-call through email, phone, text and online chat to choose the perfect sparkly piece for a special occasion.
For more options on local retailers open for your business, check out our website’s retail updates page, and click on “Retail Store Updates.” (If you’re a retailer and don’t see your business there, fill out our online form today.)
If all of this seems too much to handle, consider grabbing a gift bundle from Phina. They’ve got bundles for birthdays, nurses, mamas and more, and would be happy to help you pick out pieces from their stores and wrap up a package just for you with curbside pickup and local delivery!
And, if know of someone who needs a taste of New Orleans and you don’t feel like gathering up a bunch of things and going to the post office, Dirty Coast has you covered. Their “NOLA at Your Door Self-Care Box” includes a Smells Like Home Candle, 12 ounces of Big River Roasted Beans from French Truck Press, a Greeting Card from Lionheart Prints, a set of Social Distance Heroes Merit Badges (which are amazing), a set of three Roman Candy Sticks, a Praline from Gambino’s Bakery, a Find Yourself In New Orleans Post Card and a Stay At Home Bingo Card all packaged together for shipping.
Give yourself a feel-good task that will make someone’s day today! I’d love to see your baskets, too! Please email me a photo at Morgan@MyNewOrleans.com.