Gift Guide

grid of holiday wrapped presents
Andrea Obzerova / EyeEm

16 Thoughtful Holiday Gifts For Essential Workers

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If you’re making your list and checking it twice, there are few people you definitely don’t want to forget this holiday season. These gifts for essential workers will show the teachers, doctors, nurses, servers, baristas, and grocery store workers how much you appreciate all they’ve done in 2020.

Nobody has had an easy year, but it’s been especially treacherous for those who have no choice but to go to work every day. Without the tireless work of essential workers, there would be way fewer sourdough loaves made, no takeout, no Amazon deliveries, and of course, no one to care for the sick. And while money or a gift certificate is always appreciated, you could make the gift a bit more personal by shopping from this list. From rich chocolates shaped like ornaments to mugs that will actually keep coffee hot for hours, to puzzles, books, or a CBD melt they can add to a bath, there is something here that is either super practical or will help them wind down after a long shift. Just remember that some workers, like those who are employed by USPS, aren't able to accept gifts over $20 in value. Read on for tons of gifts for the essential workers in your life, because this year has been hard, but it would have impossible without them.

Affordable Gifts For Teachers & Childcare Providers

It's nearly impossible to show how much you appreciate the teachers, nannies, or daycare workers in your life. After all, you trust these people to care for your child, and without them, you'd never have gotten a break from your kids this year, even if that "break" is mostly for work or errands. Whether you give them an insulated mug to keep their coffee or tea warm for hours (because it's not easy to finish a hot cup of coffee with busy kids around), a book to write down the hilarious things students say, a fun puzzle they can wind down with after work, or a plant with a "thanks for helping me grow" note, teachers and childcare workers will feel appreciated with one of these gifts. Between virtual school and keeping children masked and six feet apart, teachers deserve the world this year.

Practical Gifts For Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers are heroes, a true bright spot in a dark year. And while the applause at 7 p.m. was a nice gesture, a tangible gift for the holiday season is sure to be appreciated. Whether someone close to you is a doctor or a nurse, or your family was personally helped by a special healthcare worker, these gifts will express what words can't say. From a CBD candle to light after a long shift, compression socks that are actually cute, or a waterproof watch that's a favorite among the healthcare community, there's something thoughtful here for any doctor, nurse, or healthcare worker on your list.

Memorable Gifts For Restaurant Workers

If you've enjoyed a meal outside or gotten takeout from your favorite spot (it's such a treat to not cook every single meal) then there are probably some restaurant workers you want to thank. The server who has your order memorized, a bartender who makes the perfect cocktail, and the chef whose food feels like home will all appreciate the gifts on this list. You could gift gluten-free, vegan, Japanese crystal candy that's made with seaweed (and tastes delicious), a collection of interviews from restaurant icon, the late Anthony Bourdain, or just a good old gift card to a food delivery service and a CBD bath bomb, because chances are they just want to relax after a long shift without cooking their own meal.

Useful Gifts For Delivery Drivers, Grocery Store Workers & Anyone Else On Your List

If you're anything like me, you received way too many packages during quarantine and baked a ton of cookies. To thank the person who helped you find the flour, the person who safely delivered your online purchases (and realistically, your returns), the barista who knows your coffee order by heart, the librarian who found you the best book, you could shop one of these gifts that will be universally appreciated. Delivery drivers will love a headlamp for winter nights when they can't find a house number, and everyone could use a combo of yummy smelling sanitizer and a luxe lotion to keep hands clean and moisturized. Festive chocolates are always a win, and noise cancelling headphones will be a major help when they want to unwind but their family or roommates aren't in chill mode.