The Handbook
The Handbook

Not seeing people just sucks. End of. All anyone wants to do is sit in a pub with a big group of chums and chat for an entire week. However, we’re all being great citizens (apart from the 700 people who had a rave in Bristol) and staying behind closed doors. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to make an effort with our loved ones, though. In fact, it’s necessary to make even more of an effort with those living on their own or celebrating life’s milestones under lock and key.

While a card through the letterbox never goes amiss, here are some alternative ways to say “keep your chin up”. And if you send one, maybe you’ll get one back. That’s how good karma works isn’t it?

1. Puzzle Post

Puzzle Post is the brain-child of Bobbie and Will, a couple who spent lockdown creating scavenger hunts for family and friends. After multiple requests to make more for their family and friends, the duo transformed it into an official game.

The premise is that you send someone a message which is held in an online vault. The recipient receives a neat parcel of clues that they have to decipher in order to get a secret code that unlocks the vault. Think Escape Room, but at home.

The puzzles and clues have been painstakingly put together with ‘valuable’ documents, such as business cards, letters, invitations, and receipts – each with hidden answers or links to online clues. If you can’t answer them, you simply head to the website for some helpful hints.

They come in three different options. There’s a kids set that contains mission briefings and an invisible ink pen pertaining to an Agent Jones of the Secret Service. And two adult puzzles surrounding the mystery of a missed flight and a dodgy art deal.

Not only is this a better alternative to a postcard, it also provides a few hours of entertainment that doesn’t involve Netflix or Instagram.

Price: From £10.99

Not only is this a better alternative to a postcard, it also provides a few hours of entertainment that doesn't involve Netflix or Instagram. 

2. Rach’s Best Bakes

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And we think cake is worth a thousand pictures. Especially when they look as good as this.

Rachel set up her business in lockdown, too. After making cakes for friends and family, she decided to set up on her own. Her intricate creations range from the cute (unicorns and fluffy animals) to the heartfelt (nurses in uniforms made of icing).

And she’s been inundated with people wanting to send these sweet offerings as messages. For friends missing each other, parents unable to see their children, girls unable to celebrate a hen do, or siblings just wanting to be there for each other, it’s a great way to say hi from afar.

Price: From £18.00
Checkout her Insta too: @rachsbestbakes

3. Little Words Jigsaw 

Some people get down on bended knee, others say it with flowers. Instead, you could propose on a jigsaw puzzle. Or maybe forget the proposal and stick with a “Missing You” or something. Either way, you can stick any words onto this present and it’ll cheer someone up.

The pieces can get sent all joined up or – for a bit more fun – scrambled in a bag.

Price: From £17

4. Emma Bridgewater Mug

For anyone that drinks tea, coffee, hot chocolate or even hot Ribena, there’s the option of sending a personalised mug. You choose the pattern and the name or phrase and Emma Bridgewater does the rest (well, probably not her specifically, but her team of minions). From polka dots to dinosaurs, there’s something for everyone. All you do is have to choose the words (and don’t spell it wrong).

Each piece is carefully painted by hand, which makes it extra personal. Choose something bright, like this buttercup mug to bring out a smile.

Price: £25.95

5. Kindred Fires Candle

This message will last exactly 25 hours, because that’s how long this candle burns for. It’s made of natural soy and hand-poured into small batches in a Manchester workshop. The comforting gift comes with the phrase “Sending you a big hug” and then you add your own message underneath. 

To make sure it’s just right, pick from a list of mouthwatering scents such as dark pomegranate, candied pumpkin, or pink grapefruit and basil.

Price: £16

6. Bread & Jam Motivational Messages

Husband-and-wife team started the creative gift emporium Bread & Jam as a side hobby until they were inundated with orders. Now it’s a fully fledged business selling the most thoughtful gifts with hundreds of ways to personalise them.

Our favourite is this cute boxset of motivational quotes that come in tiny little test tubes, just like a message in a bottle. There is an option to send pre-written ones, but for a more personal touch write ten of your own.

Price: £19.95

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