Craft For The Soul

Ten Nice Things To Do For The Favourite People In Your Life

August 11, 2015

You know, we often get caught up living our lives in survival mode, especially at this time of the year when it’s cold (in Australia, at least!) Survival mode is safe and static. It keeps things on track. I get that. I do.

Eventually, though, it’s a good idea to bust out of those comforting (boring) habits and shake things up. It’s not good for anyone to stick to the same path all the time. It limits our happiness and creative opportunities. Much better idea to divert sideways from the (survival) path sometimes. Pick some daisies, so to speak.

A good way to start doing this is by hatching some nice plans for your favourite people. Not only is this just a great idea generally, it has the added bonus of breaking the sluggish spell of survival mode, shuffling life about in ace ways.

Maybe you want to do that? Here’s a list to get you started. Think of your friends and faves the daisies you would gladly divert for. Let’s go.

Ten nice things to do for the favourite people in your life

1. Make them soup! My friend brought me some soup yesterday and it was not only super thoughtful, it was delicious! (There was the added bonus of seeing her dink her cute daughter on the back of her bike. Wins all ’round!) Soup! So nice!

2. Write a letter. There is nothing nicer than getting a lovely, long letter in the post. The kind jam-packed with news and chatter. You can go super-fancied up and make your letter an art form, or you can just write three or four pages of wordy delight. Or just send a postcard even, if you are a bit pushed for time? Mail is nice.

3. Send flowers. For no reason. Or for a very obscure reason? Once I sent flowers to someone for wearing a daring outfit (gym clothes!) to a party I was having. It was an important party and she was super busy moving house, but she still fronted up in her sweats, on the run. That deserves flowers. (PLUS she was pregnant. TOP MARKS for being a rad non-flaking friend!) Maybe you can think up other little-known reasons to give flowers to your faves? Obscure flowers are really nice. Pals in sweats are nice too.

4. Ring pals up. Have a proper chat about everything and nothing. Do it often. Don’t just rely on social media or email to stay in touch. Make actual chats part of your life. (You could even lie on the floor and chat inside your bedroom door, a la when we were teenagers and phones had cords? Or not. Just whatever works for you. Nice.)

5. Buy pals sneaky coffee from afar. Really. Find out their regular cafe/pitstop and pay for a week’s worth of coffees. Because that’s a cute thing to do and free coffee is a treat. If you are a bit rich you could throw in a donut too? Or a toasted sandwich? Those are nice.

6. Make pals something. This can take a little while , I know, but it’s a really personal and precious thing to do. I do this a lot. When I am making the thing, I am thinking of the person. It’s like a making meditation on their radness. Every little bit of the made thing is a kind of shrine to the friendship. In a non-alarming way. Nice.

7. Help pals out. We are all so busy, we sometimes forget to step in, in real life style, when people need it. A like or brief comment seems enough. But it’s not. Don’t wait for the white flag to go up. Keep your spidey senses on alert. If someone’s having a shit time, bake them a cake, teach them to cook your best recipe, do their shopping for them, leave something pretty or delicious or useful on their doorstep, cook them dinner, pop by and offer a shoulder to cry on. That’s more than nice.

8. Tell them they’re your favourite. And tell other people too. Talk about the people who matter most to you freely and openly and often. Spread the friendly word. There is not enough affectionate chatter in this world. It takes people like us to do something (nice) about that. Make your friend a banner or a flag, even. Go nuts.

9. Lend pals things. If you have things they need and you are not using them, lend them to your pals/family member. This can include cars, clothes, books, money. Really. We are all so tight with our hard-earned stuff. If you can help someone you love out with something that’s lying about, unused, then DO THAT. Nice.

10. Surprise them! With an unexpected lunch date. A thoughtful-yet-inexpensive gift. An expensive gift. A bottle of champagne delivered to their office. A tray of ready-to-plant seedlings and some fresh-baked scones on a sunny afternoon. A gift for their pet. Don’t stand on ceremony/privacy all the time. Do a pop-up cute thing and surprise your nice pals when you can!

Okay great. That’s a good list to get us started, right? Do you want to add anything to it? Go for your life! Nice.

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Main image: My mug collection in the latest issue of Frankie Magazine. Photo taken by Hilary Walker.


  • Reply Jack Harris November 3, 2020 at 11:08 AM

    I love this article, I really get off on being nice to people. Especially my own mother, Leanne. Thank you Pip another smashing article!

  • Reply jane Conquest-Mcdyre August 13, 2017 at 9:01 AM

    Awesome words of advice. Thanks . get out of your own head and be nice!

  • Reply Therese May 23, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    It always makes me feel better when I do nice things for pals, so win, win. Thanks for the timely reminder Pip!

  • Reply Bec August 18, 2015 at 8:12 PM

    This list is full of nice and cute things. I want to them all!

  • Reply Hilary August 17, 2015 at 7:24 PM

    That’s really cheered me up Pip. I’m struggling a bit at the moment but now I’m going to send some flowers to a friend
    10, 000 miles away who’s just had an operation – such lovely ideas in your list. There’s nothing like kindness and we all need lots! And I’m feeling better already….thanks for your inspirations, and blankets!

  • Reply Jen August 16, 2015 at 6:02 PM

    Great reminder and awesome tips! Such a Pip-like post, and why so many of us love your blog.
    I really like gardening, so I love helping friends with a garden task they hate and have been putting off (like weeding the path before a rental inspection, or chopping back that unruly plant taking over the garden) – usually with a cup of tea and having a chat whilst we do it. It’s fun to catch up that way, we get to be outside in the sun, we all feel productive, and they stop having the guilts about putting the dreaded task off. (This might come across weirdly. But I promise it’s not weird, it’s great!)

  • Reply Sarah August 16, 2015 at 3:48 PM

    you are just wonderful 🙂

  • Reply Pia August 12, 2015 at 7:18 PM

    As Jewel once said, “Only Kindness Matters”.
    Thanks for the awesome reminder.


  • Reply Nicole August 12, 2015 at 12:09 AM

    Such great ideas! Only this week I made a surprise gift for a friend who lives on the other side of the country! I think I am going to make a habit of it now. I’ll pick a different friend each month!

  • Reply Mel W August 11, 2015 at 11:59 PM

    You have inspired me to make something for a few friends now. A few people I love are going through tough times right now and I am going to send a tiny spark of brightness to them ASAP. Thanks for the reminder to share the love with the ones I love.

  • Reply Allison August 11, 2015 at 11:15 PM

    My friend rang up last Week and said, ‘I’m coming around to babysit on Friday. Go out!’ and she wouldn’t let us say no. So we put the kids to bed, went out for a beer and choc pudding and talked about not much and it was DELIGHTFUL! This is my number one thing you can do for parents. Send some pals out for breaky one Sunday, or a sneaky drink or a movie. It was the best!

  • Reply Jane @ Shady Baker August 11, 2015 at 8:30 PM

    Ally nailed it Pip…you are super nice and I love your blog too, even though I don’t always comment 🙂

  • Reply Kate @ One Small Life August 11, 2015 at 7:48 PM

    “It’s like a making meditation on their radness. Every little bit of the made thing is a kind of shrine to the friendship. In a non-alarming way.” = BEST <3

  • Reply Melanie August 11, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    Number 6 – I love to make and I especially love to make things for others. Lately, I’ve been concentrating on the baby boom in my circle of friends, but when I get the time, I make small presents for my pals 🙂

  • Reply Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid August 11, 2015 at 6:37 PM

    What a lovely list! I love the idea of sneaky coffees from afar. I love making soup but find it’s so sloppy to transport, but I make up for it with baked goods instead. And fudge. Because fudge makes everything better!

  • Reply Nell Ward August 11, 2015 at 5:03 PM

    This is an awesome list Pip! One thing I like to do is a “Pick me Up” bag with a crafty magazine, a block of chockie and some homemade biscuits in a little bag. Perfect for friends that are feeling blah! We also have a garden full of David Austen roses so most of the year I try to put together little posies for just about any occasion. At this time of year you only get daphne and lavender and the odd geranium but hey, any flowers count!

  • Reply Reannon @shewhorambles August 11, 2015 at 4:46 PM

    I especially love giving food to my friends. I love thinking of something of their favourite food & then making something along those lines for them. Or even making double batches of something I love to share.
    If I know a friend is unwell or stuck at home with sick kids & im heading into town I’ll always send a quick text to see if they need anything. I think small things like that are much better than grand gestures but that might just be me?

  • Reply Ally t August 11, 2015 at 3:27 PM

    Dear Pip
    You are super nice
    And your blog is my very favourite!!!

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