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As the pandemic wears on, many of us are getting bored. We’re sick of Netflix, we’re sick of pyjamas — heck, even baking our own bread isn’t fun anymore. The thought of having to cough up (pardon the expression) exciting gifts right now seems more daunting than the latest COVID restrictions.

With all of that in mind, we’ve put together some gift suggestions that are a bit out of the ordinary, so that you’ll be able to bring non-boring bliss to your loved ones this holiday season.

Idea 1: For people who are bored with Netflix

If someone on your list spends their whole day staring at a screen, give them something new to watch: a pet. Sea Monkeys are smaller than fish, they hatch in front of your eyes, and require very little maintenance. Another fun-to-watch option is an Ant Farm. You get to observe the ants create tunnels and crawl around in their little plexiglass home. Sure, you can’t pause the action to get another snack, but at least you won’t run out of episodes.

Idea 2: For people who are bored with staying home

Is it possible to give a travel experience gift during a pandemic? Damn right. In fact, the pandemic has made it even easier to access some exotic offerings. Do you have an aspiring Zen master on your list? Get her a meditation class with a Japanese monk. For your artist, how about the chance to “discover Buenos Aires street art”? Airbnb now has tons of experiences on offer — check them out.

Idea 3: For people who are bored with jigsaw puzzles

Puzzles saw a big resurgence at the beginning of March. But by now, people are sick of even the most challenging 3000-piecer. So, what can we buy for someone who is sick of puzzles but loves to de-code? How about a stay-at-home Escape Room? There are a few companies online (like this one) where you can rent the mystery, or buy the full crate to re-enact as many times as you want. Check out what’s available in your gift recipient’s area (for example, this awesome one in Montreal comes in kid or adult versions).

Idea 4: For people who are bored with their beauty routines

With every day following the same routine, many of us are craving a change in even the smallest aspects of our lives. For the gift giver, this could mean giving a baby foot peel mask, which I haven’t tried yet, but it’s definitely on my pandemic to-do list. An adventurous friend might love Finnish eye stones to reduce puffiness, while another might get excited about luxury shampoo with an original scent like cedar sage.

Idea 5: For people who are bored with yeast​

In early spring, flour and yeast were impossible to come by as people kneaded their COVID-19 frustrations into rye, challah, and four-grain breads. Seven or eight months later, even the most avid bakers are looking for a change. What about a cookbook that celebrates a new aspect of baking? From making your own mochi (rice flour covered ice cream) to do-it-yourself cannoli, your favourite pastry chef will never be bored again.

Idea 6: For people who are bored with corporate life

If there is someone on your list who hates working for a company and dreams about starting their own business, get them a piece of entrepreneurial life with a gift from Kickstarter. On this web site, fledgling companies post their concepts and ask for financial backing. Opportunities for participation range from backing coffee presses to upcycled sneakers to first edition graphic novels. Your gift is supporting the start-up community, whether or not the project actually makes it to completion.

Idea 7: Charity is never boring

By donating to an organization in need, you’re giving a gift with a lasting impact. There are so many options. Food banks are really suffering; so are domestic shelters, agencies that fund the arts, and homes for the elderly, to list a few. Consider making a donation in honour of your friends and family, and send them a card letting them know. You’ll feel good, they’ll feel good, and hey — feeling good is never, ever boring.

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