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.