Sometimes the people in your life need a little pick-me-up. Sometimes you just feel like showering the people you love with gifts to let them know that you care. Busy moms and professionals may not have time to run to the store or wait in line at the post office, but there are still many ways you can show your affection and foster the relationships around you. Below are some suggestions for simple, free, and thoughtful ways to brighten someone’s day.

Baked Goods

They say the path to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. There’s something about homemade baked goods that just warms the soul. Conveniently, most recipes for brownies, cookies, and cupcakes make way too many goodies for one person. This means you can spoil a couple of friends and have some treats leftover for yourself too.

To add an extra touch, wrap up your homemade gift with materials you already have lying around the house. Cut brownies into bite-sized morsels and package them in mason jars, or line up five cookies, roll them in brown parchment paper, and secure with kitchen twine on each end. Add a handwritten note and leave the treat where your loved one will discover it.

Notes & eCards

Warm wishes from the heart are another way to let someone know that you’re thinking of them. For loved ones who are nearby, you can leave a cute little note on a notecard, a whiteboard, or even the bathroom mirror. For those that live faraway, take advantage of all the digital solutions that are now available.

Before the rise of digital technology, if you wanted to send a quick hello to a friend, it was hardly worth the time or cost of postage. Today, you can email, text, or instant message someone at any time, and they receive it almost instantaneously.

Instead of just a plain email or Facebook message, personalize an eCard with your special message. There are sites that now offer free digital cards that have the look and feel of paper greeting cards. You can upload a photo, customize the design elements, and schedule your eCard to be delivered at a specific date and time. Taking a little extra time to send your message in a digital greeting card will make the experience of receiving it that much more special.

Flowers & Fresh Produce

Brightening someone’s day can also be as simple as brightening the space they live in. If you know a good spot to pick wildflowers, put together a beautiful seasonal bouquet for your loved one. Leave it on the doorstep, use it to decorate the kitchen counter, or deliver it to the office.

If you’d rather give a gift that can be used, opt for fresh produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables can brighten up a room as effectively as flowers, and they are edible! What’s not to love about that? Heart and stomach, remember? You can support your local farmers market, get your friends some healthy delicious food that can double as a decoration, and show that you care all at the same time.

These are just a couple of simple ways to let people know that they are important to you. Gifts and outings are great, but they’re not always feasible. Sometimes it’s the small, unexpected gestures that mean the most. Making every day special is important. So share a brownie, some fruit, or just a simple message with someone you love today. Their thanks alone will be well worth the effort.