Hostess Gift Ideas For Rosh Hashanah

You’ve been invited to Rosh Hashanah dinner but you don’t know what to bring for a Rosh Hashanah hostess gift? Don’t worry! There are plenty of options. First of all, food is an excellent gift to bring if invited to a Rosh Hashanah dinner. One of the ways this holiday is celebrated is with certain “auspicious” foods that symbolize good wishes for the New Year. When eaten, the desires embodied in the foods become internalized. But there are also some nice options for hostess gift ideas that aren’t edible, although still appropriate for Rosh Hashanah. If this is your first Rosh Hashanah celebration, learn more about the Rosh Hashanah traditions to celebrate the New Year!

Below we offer some hostess gifts that are specific to Rosh Hashanah, and others that work for Rosh Hashanah or for any Jewish holiday.

Hostess Gifts Specific for Rosh Hashanah

A Jar of Honey – Honey is ubiquitous during Rosh Hashanah because it is the quintessential symbol of “sweetness”, at least among most Jewish households in the United States. Challah bread or apples are traditionally dipped into honey and blessed to bring good wishes for the New Year. There are many local honeys available in the markets these days: some come from hives on small farms, others from roof-top aviaries. Since the honey is made from flowers and flora in the immediate vicinity of the hives, the flavors of local honeys are very distinct. Bringing a jar of honey (or even several small jars that make up a “flight”) is a lovely hostess gift perfectly suited for a Rosh Hashanah dinner celebration. Do be sure to bring honey that is certified kosher if your hostess keeps a kosher household!

A Fresh Fruit Gift Basket – Fruit is typically eaten at a Rosh Hashanah dinner, especially apples and pomegranates. A small fresh fruit basket that is easy to carry makes a beautiful presentation that can even be used as a centerpiece to the Rosh Hashanah table! And fresh fruit is naturally kosher, too! (These are our favorite Rosh Hashanah gift baskets.)

Kosher Chocolates –  In keeping with the theme of sweet treats for the holiday, a Rosh Hashanah hostess gift of kosher chocolates can be just the right gesture. Nothing says “Have a Sweet New Year” like chocolate!

Challah –  If your hosts are having a pot-luck Rosh Hashanah dinner, you might want to bring something for the meal. Challah is typically consumed over the blessing of bread at the beginning of every Shabbot meal and Jewish holiday. However, during Rosh Hashanah, the challah bread is shaped into a circle (instead of its usual oblong) to represent the circle of life and the ending of the old year and beginning of the new. And instead of being dipped into salt before consumption, it is dipped into honey or sugar to symbolize the wish for sweetness in the New Year. Your hosts will likely have planned to provide the challah since it is such a main feature of the Rosh Hashanah meal. But if you have the perfect kosher bakery in your neighborhood, or if the dinner party will be large, you can certainly ask your host if you can have the honor of bringing the challah. And if you do, don’t be late because the celebration can’t start without you!

Hostess Gifts That Work for Rosh Hashanah or any Jewish Holiday

Flowers – Flowers are always a welcome hostess gift whether for Rosh Hashanah or any other holiday. The only time that bringing flowers is not appropriate for a Jewish household, is for a shiva, the ritual week-long period of mourning after the death of a loved one.

Accessories for the Dining Table – Serving dishes, serving utensils, pretty cloth napkins, placemats or napkin rings all make thoughtful Rosh Hashanah hostess gifts or hostess gifts for any occasion. If it is for a Rosh Hashanah celebration, your hosts may decide to use your gift that very evening as it could represent something “new” and commemorate the New Year. Be sure not the wash the gift beforehand if your host family keeps kosher and you do not, because if you do, they will not be able to use it!

Judaica – Judaica are all the religious articles used in daily Jewish life, such as a special cloth to cover the bread or a large wine goblet used for the Kiddush before the meal. These items may be used at the Rosh Hashanah meal as well as throughout the year. Shopping at a Judaica store will present lots of other possible hostess gift ideas for Rosh Hashanah and Shabbot meals.

When invited to a dinner, it’s always polite to bring a hostess gift, even if it’s just a small one! When the occasion is a Jewish holiday, like Rosh Hashanah, be sure what you bring is kosher, unless you are positive that the family does not keep a kosher kitchen. You can never go wrong with fresh seasonal fruit which is naturally kosher! Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown on Wednesday, September 20th and ends on the evening of Friday, September 22nd.

Sympathy Gift Ideas To Brighten Their Day

Finding the right way to express sympathy for people who have lost a loved one is perhaps more difficult than any other sentiment. Words can fail us. We feel awkward. Being around grief makes us feel vulnerable and uncomfortable, but we want to find a way to show we care during this difficult time.

Mourning is also a very personal process and while we want to be sensitive to the faith and traditions of the grieving family, we may not know what those beliefs and customs are. Unless you know the person very well, it’s best not to make assumptions. For example, sending a large floral arrangement to a funeral home, place of worship or other location where a memorial service will be held, is a fairly customary Western practice, especially as a gift from a group of people such as a workplace. However, sending flowers to a Jewish, Hindu or Muslim funeral or to the family home (whether in this country or not) is generally not appropriate as a sympathy gift.

We offer six sympathy gift ideas that should be suitable for most people and fitting for business associates and friends alike.

#1.  Food Gift Basket

The gift of food is appreciated in almost all religions and cultures. During the mourning period, people stop by the home of the deceased to pay their condolences to the family. Providing snacks for guests is a very thoughtful gesture, as is making food for the bereaved family’s meals. Our sympathy gift baskets contain a variety of foods including fresh and dried fruit, chocolate and baked goods. 

Sympathy Gift Baskets - Sweet Sentiments

Manhattan Fruitier Sympathy Fruit Basket

Fresh fruit is often considered de rigueur in sympathy food gifts as fruit is representative of the seasonal cycle and can be an allegory for the transience of life. Gifts of fruit are expected in Hindu families as gifts for sympathy, while some Buddhist families may eschew all sympathy food gifts!

Do be sure to take the dietary restrictions and preferences of the family into account! For Jewish families, it is probably best to bring or send Kosher foods. Even if the nuclear family does not keep Kosher, the extended family and friends may. Sending or bringing a gift of food is simply one of the best all around sympathy gift ideas.

#2. Monthly Food Gifts

Expanding on the food gift basket as a sympathy gift idea is a monthly delivery of food. People who have lost a loved one don’t usually return to life as it was before very quickly (if ever, really). Eating well and taking care of oneself are not priorities, especially in the early months after a death where simply getting through the day is a challenge. A very considerate way to express your sympathy is with a food gift that keeps on giving. Each time your recipient receives these great sympathy gifts, it will be a welcome reminder that you continue to think of them as they continue to grieve. You can prepare and deliver monthly dinners or order a subscription gift for 3 months, 6 months or even a year. One option is to send a variety of different kinds food gifts, and make some of them fun and unexpected for a surprise and a smile.  

Monthly Food Club Basket

Taste of Manhattan Fruitier – Monthly Gift Basket

#3.  Personal Cards

Another thoughtful condolence gift idea that acknowledges the lengthy bereavement process is to send a card or note on a regular basis. Email or text is fine, but a card in the old fashioned mailbox every once in awhile feels more like a gift. You can send poems, prayers (if appropriate), or memories of the deceased. Although we try to avoid resorting to clichéd expressions of sympathy, even a simple “I am thinking of you” or “You are in our hearts and on our minds,” can be a sentiment to be cherished.  

#4.  Charitable Contribution

More and more people are asking that in lieu of flowers or other gifts you give a donation to a specific charity on behalf of the deceased. This is always an appropriate sympathy gift. Even if the charity is not one you would choose, the idea here is to honor the memory of the person who died and respect the wishes of the family.

#5.  Planting a Tree

Perhaps nothing symbolizes the cycle of life more than planting a tree after someone dies. Trees have long lives and bear witness to everyone and everything that passes by them! Like a headstone or urn, a tree can also become a place where people can visit and think of the deceased.

Planting a Tree After Someone Dies

#6.  Take them OUT or Visit them IN

Some people who are grieving will want to engage in activities that help them to forget their loss for a little while. A beautiful sympathy gift idea is to offer to take your friend on an excursion. A lovely dinner out, a sail on the lake, a day at the beach. For other people it may feel false to think about having fun, and they may prefer a visit in their home for a soothing cup of tea and a chat about how they are feeling. You want to remind the bereaved that they are still living, but also give them the time and space to talk and be sad.

There are many, many other ideas for unique sympathy gifts, but we have focused on those that are generally acceptable for people with a variety of backgrounds and cultural traditions. What gift you feel comfortable giving, and what action you feel comfortable doing, will also vary by the depth of your relationship with the person who has lost a loved one.

When thinking about what to give as a sympathy gift, remember that it doesn’t necessarily have to be about making them smile – it’s about being a good friend. The idea is to let them know that you are there for them, now and going forward.

7 Gifts Ideas for Diabetics

Diabetes has become an epidemic in this country, particularly Type 2 diabetes which tends to arise in middle age. That sad fact means that any one of us is likely to know someone who has diabetes: a parent, a family member, a friend, a co-worker.

So how do you find a good gift for a diabetic? Well, the best diabetic gift ideas will be all about health and healing. We found seven gifts appropriate for people with diabetes. Before we get into the specific gift ideas, we’d like to say a few words about the reasoning behind our healthy choices. If you want to learn more specifics about the physiology of diabetes, check out one of the many easily accessible medical websites.

For health, our blood sugar (glucose) should remain relatively stable over the course of a day. It’s obvious, but worth the reminder, that we get sugar directly from the foods we eat. Certain food, like simple carbohydrates (starches) and refined sugars are known to immediately convert sugar into glucose and cause a spike in blood levels. These foods are considered to be “high” on the Glycemic Index (GI). The hormone insulin works to lower blood sugar. In people who are developing Type 2 diabetes, the body’s sensitivity to insulin begins to decrease. Insulin starts to be retained as fat (particularly around the abdomen) and causes weight gain. When insulin is no longer able to control the glucose levels in the blood, Type 2 diabetes is diagnosed.

The best gifts for diabetics will be ones that 1) promote eating healthy foods that do not cause blood glucose surges, and 2) encourage weight loss and physical exercise, which help to increase the effectiveness of insulin. If you need to send a gift to a person who has diabetes, you will not go wrong if you choose one of these!

#1. Gift Basket Filled with Low Glycemic Treats
Fresh fruits are considered a healthy dietary choice for people with diabetes. However, some fresh fruits are higher on the GI than others. At Manhattan Fruitier, we have designed gifts for people with diabetes that include fresh and dried fruit known to be low on the Glycemic Index (GI) so they help keep blood glucose levels steady. Fresh fruits are considered a healthy dietary choice for people with diabetes. However, some fresh fruits are higher on the GI than others.

At Manhattan Fruitier, we have designed gifts for people with diabetes that include fresh and dried fruit known to be low on the Glycemic Index (GI) so they help keep blood glucose levels steady. In fact, we named our Diabetic gift baskets collection, “Even Keel”! To that we add other low GI snacks and treats including nutritious low carb chickpea snacks, jumbo roasted peanuts in the shell and stevia sweetened chocolate. Stevia is a natural plant-based sugar that has no carbs and no calories and doesn’t affect insulin levels or blood glucose. This is one of our favorite Even Keel gift baskets with delicious low GI treats:

Even Keel_Diabetic Gift Basket
#2. Cookbook
A cookbook for people with diabetes is a great gift, especially for someone who is pre-diabetic or recently diagnosed. It can be confusing at first to know what foods are better to eat than others, and it can be hard to adjust a familiar diet to make new and healthier substitutions. A cookbook with enticing photographs of meals focusing on fresh vegetables and whole grains can be inspiring! There are so many options available. Look for a cookbook with simple, easy to prepare meals if the gift is for a diabetic who isn’t facile in the kitchen. Your gift will be much more successful if the recipes aren’t intimidating. Conversely, you can find a gourmet cookbook written specifically for people with diabetes in mind, and still please the foodie who likes to cook. Also consider a cookbook with healthy recipes for smoothies and juices! A yummy way to get low GI fruits and vegetables.

#3. Blender or Juicer
And why not combine a recipe book for smoothies and juices with a blender or juicer? There are a variety of types at a variety of price points to fit any budget. A blender or juice is a great gift idea to promote healthy eating because they make it so easy! Whether it’s a fruit and yogurt morning shake or an afternoon veggie juice pick-me-up, you will be helping someone you care about to maintain a healthy diet and keep their diabetes under control.

#4. Exercise Gear & Apparel
Next to managing their diet, people with diabetes are encouraged to get into a steady exercise program. Recent research has shown that losing even a few pounds can have an impact on blood sugar levels. For someone who will be starting an exercise program for the first time, the best diabetic gift idea to encourage exercise is gear for walking.

A Fitbit would be a great way to introduce the concept of walking for health. Fitbits are ubiquitous among those of us who already know the benefits of walking. But for someone who is just getting off the couch, it can be a real eye-opener. Daily step/mile requirements set a concrete goal and watching as that goal gets closer and closer can make the challenge more fun! And that’s the purpose of a good gift for a diabetic: to help them establish a new healthy routine.

If they are already a walker or exerciser, there are other thoughtful and inexpensive gift ideas for exercise gear. There are some really practical and attractive waistbands for walkers or runners with discrete pockets to conveniently hold cell phones, house keys, tissues, and even healthy snacks. Another pragmatic gift for a diabetic for walking or running is an easy to hold water bottle: some have special hand holds, others attach to the wrist and some even attach to waistbands for hands-free exercise.

If interested in starting yoga, or already a devotee, yoga clothes are easy to find and always appreciated. Yoga pants and tops can be found in lots of fun patterns and colors, both lightweight for warm weather months and heavier weight for the cold.

#5. Exercise Equipment
Depending on your budget, think about giving a gift of a gym membership or a pack of yoga classes at a local studio. These would make excellent birthday gifts for diabetics! There is no better way to encourage exercise than in the group setting of a health club or yoga studio. If your recipient is already a gym member, consider hiring a personal trainer for 5 to 10 sessions. A trainer can breathe new life into a tired routine and help a person with diabetes keep motivated to continue their exercise program and even move to the next level. (While you’re gifting them, why not purchase yourself some workout classes and take the classes together).

Yoga Gift BasketAn organic yoga gift basket (like the one above) with an environmentally friendly water bottle, yoga belt, eye pillow and organic snacks of fresh and dried fruit and nuts is a great diabetic friendly gift idea for the yoga lover. Workout equipment for home or travel use is another thoughtful gift. A set of hand weights, exercise bands, travel yoga mat or block will help keep a person with diabetes engaged in their exercise regime even when they can’t get to the club or to group practice. (We also love these fun gift ideas for any yogi in your life.)

#6. Medical Supply Bag or Case
Besides adjusting to a new diet and weight loss program, a person with diabetes also has to find a way to carry around all their diabetic paraphernalia. Medical supplies such as blood glucose meters and monitors, lancet devices, glucose test strips, insulin bottles and needles need to be carried wherever the person with diabetes goes. A very considerate diabetic gift idea is a medical supply bag that can carry all the testing gear in as compact and attractive way as possible. Many diabetes websites have examples to choose from so you can find one that matches their style.

#7. Diabetic Reference Material
Especially for the newly diagnosed, a comprehensive medical reference book that explains everything you’d want to know about diabetes is a necessity. This gift may not be something that is immediately thought of as essential, but it’s guaranteed to be used again and again. A subscription to a monthly diabetic publication is another gift for people with diabetes that they might not think they need, but can be very informative. Publications range from medical and scientific, to lifestyle so you can choose the best match.

When thinking about what gift to get for a person who has diabetes, the most important criterion is to keep it healthy and healing!

10 Get Well Soon Gift Ideas Perfect for Anyone

When you are sick, what do you want? To get better, of course! But until you are healed, you want to be comforted and soothed. You want to be entertained and distracted. You want some practical help. The best get well soon gifts are those that will appeal to the wants and needs of the ill person. So with that in mind, we have organized 10 creative ideas for get well gifts under these key categories of need.

GET WELL GIFTS THAT ARE COMFORTING & SOOTHING

#1. Chicken Soup
Send or deliver a real comfort food, like chicken noodle or matzo ball soup. People who are sick often lose their appetites and have little energy for preparing something nourishing to eat. Chicken soup is easy to eat, hydrating, and has protein and carbs to keep the body going. This great gift is suitable to most taste buds and illnesses!

#2. Nutritious & Gourmet Gift Basket
Gift baskets filled with fun and nutritious foods will be gratefully received. Think Vitamin C packed fruits and juices, snacks and nibbles, like our Get Well Hamper with fresh seasonal fruit, delicious and exotic Clementine juice, and 3 hand-iced cookies that say “Get Well”, “Thinking of You”, and “Feel Better” for a sweet treat. We can also add The New Yorker’s Book of Doctor Cartoons for a little comic relief. These gourmet get well fruit baskets offer both comfort and a good distraction for your loved one.

If you want to be indulgent, send a gift of gourmet ice cream. We love the unique flavors and combinations we find with Jeni’s artisanal ice creams. And nothing soothes a sore throat like sweet and velvety ice cream!

#3. Warm and Snuggly Things
When we are sick, we like to curl up in our most comfy clothes: pajamas, sweat pants, well-worn sweaters. Or we like to wrap ourselves in comforters and soft blankets. If you can afford it, think about sending a luxurious gift of a cashmere sofa throw or shawl, or how about a cashmere sweat suit? If you are on a budget, a cuddly stuffed animal or Teddy Bear is a perfect gift that will bring warmth and a smile.

#4. Calming Room Sprays, Diffusers and Body Lotions
Aromatherapy can really help calm our minds, release muscle tension, open up our nasal passages and evoke pleasant memories. There are very specific scents you can choose depending on the purpose. For example, lavender is known to help promote restful sleep. A home fragrance mist or a soothing body lotion can make a lovely get well soon gift that can also be enjoyed after the recovery.

GET WELL GIFTS THAT ARE ENTERTAINING & DISTRACTING

#5. Books, Magazines, Movies, TV, Podcasts
It’s hard to keep your mind off your aches and pains, so distraction and entertainment are brilliant get well gift ideas! Drop an easy reading book or a selection of magazines at their door. Recommend some good movies you can get On Demand, suggest a TV series perfect for binge watching, or some interesting podcasts to listen to. A care package filled with these items will help pass the time while in confinement which can be supremely boring.

#6. Flowers
You can rarely go wrong sending a get well gift of flowers. Choose an arrangement with seasonal flowers that are bright and cheerful. A beautiful floral bouquet will draw the eye, symbolize life and renewal, and momentarily deflect attention from one’s woes. Flowers are also comforting. If it’s a long rehabilitation, consider sending a weekly flower delivery for the duration! (Note: be sure to avoid lilies as these flowers are often associated with death and funerals.)

#7. Visits
A face-to-face visit can be a great way to distract and entertain a person who is recuperating. But do be mindful. If a person is very ill, i.e. in the hospital, undergoing cancer treatment, recovering from a surgery, in chronic pain, etc. they may neither have the energy nor the interest in a get well visit. And remember the best get well soon gifts align with the wants and needs of the ill person — not you. If a visit is welcomed, make it short and sweet. Combine your visit with a comforting get well gift such as food, with a distracting get well gift such as movies or flowers, or with some practical support like help with a chore (see below). Sometimes physical contact can be very soothing to someone who is ill. You can take advantage of that during your visit by offering a foot or back rub, or by just holding their hand.

#8. Cards and Emails
When you can’t visit, or the person is too ill to receive visitors, an old-fashioned card or letter delivered by snail mail may be just the perfect get well gift that you can keep on giving. A note in the mail is a pleasant surprise these days and a great way to let the person who is sick know you are thinking of them. The best part is that the person can read them again and again. Email works too: it can be read and responded to when they feel up to it. Cards and emails can also be get well gifts of distraction and entertainment! Send some news from home or the office. Relay a funny story and make them laugh.

PRACTICAL SUPPORT GET WELL GIFTS

#9. Chores
Although certainly not a practical get well gift idea if you don’t live nearby, helping with daily and household chores is a truly thoughtful and unique gift that has a tangible effect. Offer to grocery shop, cook a meal, clean, walk a dog, pick up prescriptions and mail, pick up kids from school, etc. If you have a group of friends or colleagues that all want to help, organize a chart with chores and have people sign up. There are several online sites that you can do this with such as CareCalendar.org which make it easy to share.

#10. Company & Rides to Doctor Appointments
It’s not uncommon for a sick person to have lots of doctor visits scheduled during treatments, rehabilitation and longer-term follow-ups. Traveling can be particularly hard to navigate if the person is in pain or disabled or otherwise weakened. Offer to drive the person back-and-forth, or hire a cab service and travel with them to help getting in and out of the car. Having a friend in the waiting room can be very comforting too. This practical gift will not only enable you to spend time with your loved one, but it will show them just how much you care and are there for them.

The worst thing you can do when considering a get well gift is to ask the recipient, “What do you want me to do?” Don’t put the burden on them. Just offer something! Decide what kind of help you want to give, pick a thoughtful gift or gesture, and make it happen. They’ll appreciate it!

Gifts For New Parents That They’ll Actually Enjoy

Close friends of ours just had a baby! A shout out to beautiful cupid-cheeked baby Uma! Like most new parents these days, our friends signed up for a baby registry which made it easy for us to give them a newborn baby gift that we knew they wanted.But don’t hesitate to send a baby gift not on the registry, especially if it’s an item that you may have discovered by trial and error as a parent yourself: share that one toy that would infallibly sooth your cranky newborn, or that one mobile that magically mesmerized her. “Welcome New Baby” gifting solved. But what about the parents? New parents are desperate for sleep, nutritious food and adult conversation. But mostly they are short on time: time to take care of anything that isn’t directly related to their new baby. Here are 8 great gift ideas for new parents that will really be appreciated.

#1. Food
Eating becomes a “catch it as you catch can” endeavor when you have a new baby at home. One of the nicest and most thoughtful gifts for new parents is a good meal. Bring over some healthy home-made dishes that are divided into meals and can be frozen and defrosted as needed. Replenish! Or if you aren’t into cooking yourself, consider signing the new parents up for a food delivery service. Some services send fully prepared meals that only require heating; others send a simple recipe with all the ingredients to make the meal, which at least saves shopping for groceries.

#2. Gift Baskets – For Moms, New Parents, & The Baby
If you don’t live close enough to bring homemade food to the new parents, and you don’t want to commit to a subscription meal service, then a food gift basket for the new parents is just the ticket! Finding time to sleep can be hard enough, let alone finding time to cook. How about a breakfast hamper such as our Early Bird Breakfast Basket with artisanal bread, jam, granola, and Clementine juice, or our hearty Bagel Brunch Baskets with delectable smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese, capers and organic blood orange juice? These gifts are sure to please new parents who likely eat breakfast any time of the day or night!
 

A gift basket designed just for new or expecting moms, filled with all of the essential vitamins.

Nutrition is critically important for new mothers, especially if they are breast-feeding. It’s hard to make sure to get enough healthy food when you don’t have the time to put into shopping and food preparation. We have designed the Mother’s Nature collection, a line of healthy gift baskets specifically to address the nutritional needs of pregnant and nursing women. In three different sizes, we include fresh and dried fruit that contain many of the most essential vitamins and minerals necessary for good maternal nutrition, and a variety of healthy, easy to eat snacks filled with protein for energy.

You can also add a little present for the new baby to a gift basket for new parents! Our customers tend to include baby booties, and/or baby blankets in pink, blue or a neutral shade, or a soft and cuddly teddy bear to acknowledge the new arrival.

#3. Laundry Service
The diaper service has been engaged, but what about the rest of the family laundry? Find a laundry service that will pick up dirty clothes, sheets and towels, and deliver them back all cleaned, folded and pressed, and you have a good gift idea for new parents!

#4. Doula or Housekeeper
Doulas are breast-feeding specialists, but their expertise can extend into other areas of newborn child care and maternal health and well-being. Doulas are companions as well as mentors. They also typically will do light grocery shopping, prepare simple meals, and tidy up. Sometimes Grandma or Grandpa can fill this role, but often grandparents don’t live near-by or new parents don’t want the complications of a relative taking on these responsibilities. Doulas can live-in or visit daily for as long as needed. For more heavy lifting in maintaining a clean and tidy household, think about engaging a housekeeper for the new parents. Scrubbing a bathroom or scouring a stove top aren’t high priorities for parents of a new baby.

#5. Run Some Errands
Any chore that involves leaving the house can be a challenge for a brand new parent. Offer to do grocery store or pharmacy shopping, drop off dry cleaning, pick up older kids from day care/school, or walk the dog. If you want to visit the home, offer to do some chores, such as ironing or washing dishes, while you are there.

#6. Pet Care
Taking care of pets that need special attention, such as an elderly dog, a young dog that needs lots of outdoor running, or a cat that needs twice daily glucose injections, for example, can be an extra burden when all the focus is on the new baby. Offering to take a pet for a few weeks may be a great gift for new parents. Even if a pet doesn’t require additional care, they may suffer a bit from their owner’s distraction. You can also benefit from all the good energy a pet can bring to your own household!

#7 Short Story Books
Reading a book is almost impossible when you can only get through one or two pages at a single sitting. Short story books can be the perfect solution for new parents who love to read. There are lots of classic selections such as the short story collections of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Alice Munro, or Mark Twain, or you can chose the current year’s “The Best American Short Stories” which are consistently excellent. Another great option is the “Letters of Note” volumes, which print correspondence written in the near and distant past from famous people and average citizens, and in ordinary or extraordinary circumstances. Each letter is about a page and fascinating enough to hold your attention, at least for the time you have to devote to it!

#8. Parent Pampering
One of the best gift ideas for new parents is some pampering. The very last thing new parents are thinking about (even lower on the list than laundry) is taking care of themselves. Give a gift certificate to a nice restaurant near-by home and take care of the baby so the new parents have the chance to freshen up and share a few hours together out as a couple. It’s easy to forget the importance of your relationship with your partner when you become a family. Another good gift for new parents is a spa treatment! Send them a gift card to the local nail salon. And don’t worry: manicures and pedicures aren’t just for women any more. Men are going to nail salons in increasing numbers these days for care of their feet and hands. Facials or massages are also good options.

The point is to give a gift that reminds the new parents of what they used to enjoy before baby came into the picture. The needs and wants of the new parents are often forgotten in the flurry of attention that the new baby draws. Giving a gift specifically for new parents will be a delightful surprise and greatly appreciated. If you can, don’t just offer one homemade meal, one week of laundry or housekeeping service, or one day of errands or pet care. A personalized gift that keeps on giving over 3 to 6 months is the best gift you can give new parents.