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Ask the Strategist: What’s the Best Birthday Gift (When You’re Quarantined Together?)

Photo: Courtesy Retailers

In our advice column, Ask the Strategist, we take your most burning shopping questions and survey friends, call up experts, and draw on our own personal experience to answer them. As always, please comment with any questions of your own — we’re here to help.

Question: What do you suggest buying for someone’s birthday when you’re trapped in quarantine together?

Celebrating a birthday when there’s a stay-at-home order in effect is kind of a bummer (but hey, at least it’s historic?). And just because we’re all practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. We’ve uncovered 26 gifts for every kind of person, whether you’re observing the birth of your partner, your child, or your roommate you only sort of know. Best of all, these gifts can all be purchased online — but consider ordering a couple of weeks before you’ll need it, since delivery drivers are working overtime right now and some nonessentials are experiencing delays.

If the news is giving them insomnia

If they panic-cut their own bangs (or dyed their own hair) and it didn’t go so well

If you can name their favorite YouTube channels by now

If they’ve finally given in and started a TikTok

If they’re tired of doing the Instagram push-up challenge

If they’ve binged on Tiger King (twice)

If they’ve run out of whodunnits on Netflix

If they’ve exhausted Animal Crossing

If they’re so bored they’ve started talking to their succulents

If they have a standing weekly manicure appointment

If they’ve been indulging in skin care lately

If their sloungewear needs an upgrade

If they’ve been subtly mentioning they need a loungewear upgrade

If they’re not sure how to adapt their Little Women-inspired wardrobe to fit their indoor life

If their toes are always cold

If they’re antsy to spring-clean their quarantine quarters

If they’re navigating being a new parent while self-isolating

If they are a preschool fashionista

If you can’t bake (or order a cake from their favorite bakery)

If they wish they could have a pizza party with all their friends

If they’re patient enough to wait awhile for their birthday dinner

If they’re missing their daily commute croissant

If they need a pre-Passover babka fix

If they’ve suddenly become a master chef

If they’re consistently at a loss for what to make for lunch

If their quarantine diet is mostly beige

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

The Best Birthday Gifts (When You’re Quarantined Together)