Updated: May 26, 2020
I don't mean cookies from the convenient store. I mean cookies for the people working every day, interacting with hundreds of strangers, handling germ-toting cash, and constantly wondering if the next person through the door is the asymptomatic carrier who's going to change their life. I mean a way to say "thank you." The same goes for vendors in the market, sanitation workers, grocery store employees, delivery crews for food and anything we might Favor, Uber, Drizly, DoorDash, Waitr, . . . The stripping away of non-essential services during the quarantine has had the fantastic consequence of highlighting the essentials that many of us take for granted every other moment of our life. We should express our gratitude with thank you's and more, not just during this pandemic, but for every single day from here on.
The last time I baked cookies was for Easter Brunch in 2019. Each year without fail, my Mexican friends will at some point begin asking their foreign friend from the north what a rabbit has to do with Jesus and I'll make up a story that's entertaining to me at that moment and see how bizarre I can make it until they don't believe me any more, and then I'll refer them to something along the lines of this article.
Not because I'm lazy, but because when I went to look for the pictures of the cookies I made for Easter I found all the pictures of my baby bunny and I thought it would be cute to make a short tribute video for her and that turned into a two-day, 12-hour project which ate up all of my writing and research time and ended in a healthy cry-sesh and now I must move on to other things; here are "10 Ways to Say 'Thank You'" (subtext: "thank you" for basically risking your life to accommodate my non-essential craving for snacks and more backup bulk hand sanitizer) which includes my example of "cookies." That reminds me—I've hidden some recipes around this site. Somewhere you'll find one for my grandmother's absolute favorite...
10 WAYS TO SAY THANK YOU
COOKIES, obviously. Or some other baked good. Baking takes time, and time is measured in love hours. Check out one of my favorites below.
FLOWERS My dear friend and sometimes collaborator, AnaNewYork, had coincidentally called to tell me about Flowers4Heroes, a flower delivery service specifically for professionals and volunteers on the frontlines of the COVID patient care scene. I'm sure they'd deliver to anyone, if you say please;)
FOOOOOOD I have worked most years of my life stuck at a desk or a counter or in a kitchen. Most jobs give you very little time and/or options for seeking out variety and food ruts form. Give a gift card for food delivery like Uber Eats, GrubHub, Postmates, or if you're feeling fancy or extra grateful, go all out with a subscription to something along the lines of Hello Fresh or Lunch Karma.
MUSIC Words cannot express how the gift of Spotify Premium changed my music life. If you happen to live in India, which is Very Possible Nowadays as they make up 17.7% of he world's population (I could seriously use some real Indian food right now and for the last 9 years since I left NYC), you're in luck! A monthly Premium account is the equivalent of US$1.70. The Philippines is a close second at $2.52. Ugh now I'm craving Halo-Halo. I think I'll make that today...
DEEP CLEAN For their car, their house, their body... The last thing that anybody wants to do on their time off is the stuff that they have to do. Give them the gift of a real day off. Ask around for individuals or small businesses that offer these services and you'll be helping twice as many people.
TASK RABBIT GIFT CARD This one is kind of in the middle between 3 & 5 on the list, but deserves it's own spot. Help them get shiz done. It doesn't have to be Task Rabbit (I'm partial to bunnies, though). Here's a list of their 9 biggest competitors.
ASK THEM OUT! Take them out to dinner. It's a chance to finally wear your fancy face mask in public and a great way to break the ice if you've had a secret crush for too long. Or just meet up for a break one day.
AIRBNB EXPERIENCES ONLINE They won't even have to leave their home, or put down their favorite handheld device. The platform is new, a response to the halt in travel that devastated the entire tourism industry. Most experiences are under an hour and between US$10-US$15.
BOOZE It doesn't have to be too over the top, but just a nice bottle of something they wouldn't normally buy for themselves. Almost everyone has that sacred just-out-of-budget bottle of something or other. Bonus!: Alcohol kills COVID.
WORDS Just say "Thank you" and mean it. Tell them why you're thanking them. It's so rare that people speak to each other with this kind of intention that for me it would be the best out of this entire list accompanied by a Spotify Premium. Plus there is some really interesting research around the practice about help, health, and society.