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Its been 283 days, give or take, since our lives went into pandemic mode. At this point, you can’t blame family or friends for getting antsy, anxious, or even going batshit* crazy over never-ending social distancing. So what can you do to help their situation? Aside from radical acceptance and understanding, here are some gift ideas designed to lift their spirits and/or shake them out of their Covid disgruntlement.

1. Think a member of your household is slowly going mad from isolation? Why not get them the gift that helps probe their unconscious and get at their deep-seated feelings? You never know what might emerge from this couch time.

2.  Looking back, it sure would have been good to know what was coming in 2020. Why leave next year to chance? Turning to a trusty Ouija board to communicate with the spirit channel may help uncover what new challenges — and opportunities — await.

3.  As Todd Rundgren surmised, it’s hard to be anxious and depressed when playing the drums. No room in the studio apartment for a 16-piece kit?  Bongos are just the thing.  Need an instructor? How about world-class percussionist Sheila E. According to “E,” she’ll have a student grooving so fast, a job as a touring musician may be on the horizon once the pandemic’s over.


4. Nothing sends out good vibes like an authentic SuperOptimist t-shirt. Here’s one that offers a positive greeting to all those fortunate enough to come into contact with the wearer, even if it’s just family, zoom meeting colleagues, or pet iguana. Plus it’s accented with a pineapple, the most historically valid symbol of hospitality of any fruit or vegetable.

5. If the receiver of your gift has had it with the digital domain, what about a good book to while away their hours? “Sironia Texas” by Madison Cooper is one of the longest novels ever written at 1,731 pages. For a slow reader, this two-volume set about a small town during the early 1900s should provide enough distraction to make it clear through April.

6. And don’t forget yourself, as you settle in for another evening of Netflix, Prime, Hulu, Peacock, Youtube, Disney+, HBO Max, Sling, Twitch, Crackle, and Crunchyroll. A Danny DeVito pillow to hug to your chest when you realize it might be another 40 weeks until it’s your turn for the vaccine is just what you need to meet the moment.

Until next time, we wish you and yours glad tidings of great joy, no matter what the circumstance!

*BONUS SELFLESS GIFT: Bats have had a tough 2020, taking some of the heat for the virus that’s caused a world of hurt. But it’s not their fault that the Chinese handle them with such disdain. The fact is, it’s human interference with these helpful creatures that’s at the root of the problem. Hundreds of plant species rely on bats for pollination and insect-eating bats save farmers billions each year by reducing crop damage. Show these creatures vital to our ecosystem that there’s no hard feelings by giving a donation to batcon.org in your loved one’s name.

When you smile, don’t hold back.  Show as many teeth as you can.  See if the observer can count at least half your teeth when you beam at them.  A smile is infectious.  But rather than a nasty virus, you’re spreading mirth and merriment.*  And if you can smile even in the worst of circumstances, then you’ve truly mastered the secret to a happier life.

And don’t worry if you don’t have perfect teeth.* Many celebrities have incorporated their crooked smiles into eight-figure incomes. Kirsten Dunst, Steve Buscemi, and Ricky Gervais come to mind. “Are you havin’ a laugh?” They sure are!

Ricky Gervais: 'Before The Office I never tried hard at anything' | Ricky Gervais | The Guardian

*Even if you have poor dental hygiene, people will still return your smile, though they may back up a step or two. We recommend brushing and flossing and visiting the dentist twice a year.

Video Posts

This man’s body is saying that there is much to be grateful for. He interprets this gratitude by way of the dance. Free-form, improvisational, in the moment. His spirit is contagious, so much so that people are compelled to give him money. What is your happy dance? Are you willing to do it in public? If so, bring a hat to catch the currency people throw at you.