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Festive Holiday Décor Objects with a Face Mask

This holiday season is shaping up to be like no other.  While in normal times we might be planning to travel to see family or getting together with work colleagues or friends, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to reevaluate. Gatherings will be much more limited in scope or non-existent for some. Furthermore, the ability to shop for presents and deliver them in-person has been stymied by the pandemic. Stores have limited hours or are closing down entirely. Friends are hesitant to have you stop by to exchange gifts, even for a short while. This fact is causing a lot of stress and depression, but that does not mean you cannot connect with family and friends in other meaningful ways. There are a number of ways this holiday season to give gifts in a touchless way; gifts that give back and that continue to give long after the holiday season is over. We want to highlight some of our favorites:

1. Animated eCards that plant a tree

The ultimate no-touch gift will also bring a smile to the face of all recipients. And if you are worried about delivery delays, you can relax when ordering our eCards. Sometimes you don’t have a physical street address; with an eCard, all you need is an email address and the eCard is on its way with guaranteed delivery to the recipient’s email box on a date of your choosing. The Gifted Tree’s premium digital eCard not only includes the planting of a tree(s), but deliver an elegant, electronic gift tree planting certificate by emulating the experience of opening a traditionally mailed printed certificate. We create an animated online experience – not only planting trees but saving trees as well by not sending a paper certificate.

Click to View 12 Holiday Digital eCard Options

Sample Holiday Digital eCard Front

Ordering is made easy – choose from one of 12 holiday card designs, enter a personal message and the recipient’s email address. You can also have the eCard sent to your email address for you to forward onto the recipient. Schedule delivery for whenever you desire and check that gift off the list. The Gifted Tree’s premium digital eCard will be memorable and stress free yet with all the accolades sure to follow.

 

2. Donation to a Charity in Someone’s Name

Many charities are struggling to raise funds this year as they are not able to hold their annual fund-raising events. Virtual fundraisers are common replacements, but the results while something, are not bringing in the same amount of donations as normal. Make a donation to a charity of your choice this year and let the charity know it is in honor or celebration of an individual(s) or family. Most charities will notify the recipients of this fact so they will be aware of your generosity.

The Gifted Tree also has a tree charity donation program. Directly help the hard work of a worthwhile cause by planting your gift tree in our Trees for a Cause grove located in a U.S. National Forest. When you choose the gift trees in our Trees for a Cause program, The Gifted Tree will donate 10% of the purchase price to that organization to help fund its valuable programs. Choose from Our Military Kids, which empowers military kids by funding sports, arts and other enrichment activities when their parents are deployed overseas with the National Guard or Reserves, or recovering from severe injuries sustained in a post-9/11 overseas mission. Or choose to benefit Direct Relief, a humanitarian organization, active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies. As part of its COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts, Direct Relief is working in overdrive to get protective gear and critical care medications to as many health workers as possible, as quickly as possible, with emergency deliveries leaving daily for medical facilities across the U.S. In either case, the recipient will receive the charitable tree planting certificate tribute and be made aware of what the funds will accomplish to help these charities.

3. Local Shop and Restaurant Gift Cards

At some point the pandemic will be in the rear-view mirror and life will return to “normal.”  In the meantime, many local shop and restaurants in your area are struggling to survive. We want them to survive and be around when “normal” returns, and purchasing gift cards to these local establishments will help them survive by providing much needed cash now. Your gift recipient will be able to enjoy the bounty provided by your holiday gift cards when everyone is able to get back out. A win-win for everyone and something for your gift recipient to look forward to. Furthermore, your gift will provide a double bonus – not only will the recipient thank you when the gift card is received, but will think of you again when the gift card is redeemed.

4. Treats for the House-Bound

A number of us are excellent cooks or fabulous bakers. Some have specialties that are known around the neighborhood. Put that talent to good use this holiday season by preparing a meal or a dessert for the elderly to enjoy or those that are house bound with no family members in the area. Create and deliver the goodies, but notify the recipient in advance so you can just leave it on their doorstep, ensuring a contact-free handoff. A smile or thumbs up through the front door window will let you know your generosity is most appreciated. And while a safe hand-off is top of mind, also make sure to wear your mask while preparing the gift to ensure safe enjoyment.

5. Plant a Gift Tree

Planting a Tree sapling in Rich Soil

Planting a tree in honor or celebration of an individual(s) or family is the ultimate “green” gift that will continue to give long after the holiday season is over. The holiday season is also an appropriate time to remember those (including pets) who are no longer with us by planting a memorial tree in their honor. The Gifted Tree plants your holiday tree in 30+ plus countries around the world, one of which might be very meaningful to the gift recipient. Announce the holiday gift tree planting with one of our unique and creative tribute card certificates. From handmade paper to several framed options, all of them include the planting of trees. The benefits are numerous, and reactions are priceless, especially for those who don’t need another material thing. So order now, create a wow!

 

There you have it, a few unique holiday gifts to give during the COVID-19 pandemic. The year 2020 has been a struggle, but this holiday season, not only can you bring a smile to someone’s face, you can do it safely AND help make the world a better place.

Old painting of Women Writing a Letter sitting at a table

One of our most popular and revisited blogs was written over a year ago and focused on “How to Write a Sympathy Letter.” One of the most visited pages on our website offers a range of heartfelt sympathy messages to include on the tree planting certificate when one struggles to find just the right words. There is a good reason why folks search out help when writing a condolence card, because it is not a simple task.

Unfortunately, this task has gotten even more difficult with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic as we are all experiencing dramatic changes to our daily lives and regular routines. Helping those mourn has become complicated as we can’t gather to say goodbye, we can’t embrace the bereaved family and we can’t join as a community to celebrate a live well lived. Not only is it a difficult time and a difficult task, but it seems that just about everyone knows someone who has died. After reading a recent article in The New York Times by Katherine Rosman, it got me thinking that perhaps it was a good time to revisit the subject of how to write a sympathy card, especially in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic .COVID-19 pandemic virus cells

Even at a time of perpetual Zoom gatherings and virtual hugs, the grieving process landscape has dramatically been altered. One of sad effects of the coronavirus is it’s keeping us from physically comforting others during the times they are most desperate for a compassionate touch.  It has made it even that more important to reach out and connect with someone close to you. Here at The Gifted Tree, we do that by planting memorial trees (and especially during these times, trees make a great alternative to funeral flowers.) The planting of the tree brings great comfort at a time of grieving and the ability to include a personal message on the certificate, as well as the optional accompanying card, is an ideal way to express your sentiments. Keep in mind that by sending a physical card, as opposed to text, not only does the tree planting certificates provide immediate comfort, but it is a wonderful keepsake to look back on at anniversaries and other times of reflections.

So, if you are struggling as you try to construct a sympathy message, realize this is a tough task. Man struggling to find the right words for a sympathy cardHere are some suggestions (whether communicated on the tree certificate itself or via the separate card enclosure) for expressing sympathy clearly and supportively to the bereaved. As Ms. Rosman states in her article:

  • Keep in mind that it is important to consider the tone of your message and it is okay to convey an air of solemnity, even as you express personal warmth. You want to keep in mind the seriousness of the situation.
  • Be direct and do not meander. Start with the reason you are writing, such as I was so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother.
  • Be gentle and instead of using the word “death” you might want to substitute the word “loss” or “passing.”
  • If appropriate, explain how you knew the person, how well you knew the person and the role that the person played in your life. You might want to include a short memory of the deceased. The reader will cherish that memory.
  • Acknowledge unfamiliarity. Some of the most comforting condolence notes are sent not because we knew and loved the deceased but because we care about the survivor(s). In this case, reflect on your affection for the person you are writing to as it relates to the death of their loved one.
  • Acknowledge current circumstances. Given the extraordinary ways that COVID-19 is interfering with end-of-life interactions and mourning rituals, it is appropriate to recognize this if you’re moved to do so.
  • Don’t stress about writing a long message. Short messages are just as powerful and in most cases, better received.
  • Offer a wish for the future and conclude with a caring sign-off that is appropriate to your relationship with the recipient.

Mother and Daughter embracing and comforting each other

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is forcing people to forgo human-to-human interaction which runs counter to all our instincts. While difficult to write a condolence message, sometimes just getting started is the most difficult part. Using some of the above suggestions can hopefully be the jump start you need, and you don’t have to be Shakespeare. Your memorable and simply presented message to honor a life well lived will stand out and have a lasting impact, especially when it is accompanied by the planting of a tree. As one customer stated: ““The tree planting and card message comforted me in a way I never expected they would.”