Separation from those you care about in the face of a grave pandemic isn’t easy to weather for anyone, much less social-centric Southerners. To make this frightening time a bit more bearable, we’ve gathered a few mail-order ways to send tokens of comfort and love.
When in doubt, send sweets from Red Truck Bakery in Warrenton, Virginia, where their bakers are shipping all manner of baked goods—rum cakes, Kentucky bourbon pecan pies, cranberry-orange muffins—across the country and giving first responders discounts to keep their energy up for the front lines. redtruckbakery.com
Choose one of the charming Southern state puzzles from this Nashville company to foster hours of family time. Go easy on them with wait times, though—they’ve been swamped with orders during the pandemic, understandably. truesouthpuzzlecompany.com
The comforting-as-a-hug cotton blankets made in South Carolina by Covered in Cotton, a former Made in the South Awards winner, make a lovely gift for isolated elderly friends, parents, neighbors, or anyone else in need of warmth and TLC from afar. coveredincotton.com
Enjoy the sun and plant a pollinator like this and hundreds of others shipping right now for spring from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs in Virginia. Gardening gives great lessons about the circle of life and the importance of bees in the ecosystem (and flowers are a wonderful thing to water and watch as the days go by). brentandbeckysbulbs.com
Distraction is healthy right now, especially in the form of a game that tests your Southern know-how, like Garden & Gun’s Bless Your Heart game that recently came out. Sample question: “In what enchanted springs and state park in Florida can visitors watch live mermaid performances?” If you didn’t guess Weeki Wachee, then bless your heart and pull another card. Still eager to brush up on your Southernness? You can bundle the game with any and all of the full stable of G&G books—Good Dog, The Southerner’s Handbook, The Southerner’s Cookbook, S Is for Southern, and Southern Women. ggfieldshop.com
Even if you can’t go on a far-flung exotic vacation, you can send vacation vibes to someone with a Pawleys Island rope hammock for their backyard or patio or porch from the Original Hammock Shop, an institution on Highway 17 that first opened in 1938—many a beachgoer makes a pilgrimage there every summer. hammockshop.com
This former Made in the South Awards winner in Georgia crafts all manner of self-care goods, from lotions to oils and body scrubs that are guaranteed to offer escapism from our current situation, all without any toxic chemicals or synthetic fragrances. oneloveorganics.com