Really a tray is a basic helper, saving you lots of trips back and forth, gathering everything you need in one place. It is another example of spending a few minutes planning might save you lots of time and trips in the end!
A tray also says "nurturing" especially delivered to someone not feeling well, over tired or miserable. A little gathering of things to eat and drink, a flower, tablets to take or what ever is needed.
Nurturing could be breakfast in bed, a tray of tea in the sunshine on a nice day. A tray to sit next to someone too busy to stop or a studying student. What a lovely thing.
Nurturing can be just a cup of tea in a pretty cup and a few minutes to sit and enjoy it. When I am under the weather I will tend to make up a tray so I have everything gathered next to me.
A year ago I made some it towels and pit holders from pretty materials. Some of it was old curtains. They have been so handy, lining trays, picnic baskets, covering food etc. as the really nicest ones have never been used to wipe dishes! This one with a little bird is my favourite...
If you are short of trays an ornate frame backed with felt becomes a tray or even a shallow box. I have seen all sorts of things turned into trays beautifully. Op shops are full of them even silver plated ornate ones which look like luxury plus! The non slip mating people use in caravans etc is amazing stuff and if someone really is in bed unwell or needs that extra support that works so well to stop things sliding around. Perhaps good for children too. It can be cut just to size. Cheap shops have it for abut $2 a roll.
I really like gift baskets and themed gifts. Imagine making up a pretty tray with accessories like a cup and saucer, a pretty plate and vase, teabags, sugar cubes and pretty things as a gift. Tailored to suit someone nicely it would be really sweet. I collect so many things in op shops. My prettiest plates are op shop ones I have paid 50c for! Added treats like tea bags, flavoured coffees, chocolates, biscuits, gorgeous tea spoons... so many of us would love a gift like that!
Something about a tray says tender loving care. If you need that make one up for yourself or treat someone to a little delivery of love and make their day.