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There are two stages of last-minute gift giving:
You limit your selection to items with two-day or next-day shipping that say they’ll “arrive by Christmas.” You’re kind of freaking out, but are cradled by Amazon Prime’s guaranteed delivery dates.
You wait too long to even depend on expedited shipping and have to opt for a digital gift. You’re sweating and wondering how bad it is to tell someone their gift “got lost in the mail.”
Consider a digital gift that gives them some sort of experience: Disney+ or Netflix for streaming without stealing your password, a ClassPass subscription so they can finally try a Peloton bike, or a subscription to Rosetta Stone are all ideas that feel way more personal than showering them in Starbucks gift cards. (Though if they really like Starbucks, by all means, buy that damn Starbucks e-gift card.)
Their first order from a gifted subscription probably won’t be delivered by Christmas, but the knowledge that they’re getting a gift every month is even better.
If they’re still pissed that they’re not a Verizon customer and can’t take advantage of the “get a year of Disney+ on us” deal, you can swoop in and gift them the same thing. Gifting a year-long subscription is only $69.99 (a better deal than paying monthly), and they can have up to seven profiles and four simultaneous streams on that one account.
There’s nothing more lonely than being snowed in without wine. A Winc Wine subscription lets your wine-loving friend skip inconvenient trips to the liquor store and welcome a box of wine (starting at three bottles) monthly right to their door instead. All choices are customized by Winc’s team after a rigorous taste quiz, and if they don’t like a bottle, Winc uses the info to make a better suggestion the next month.
MasterClass — Buy one class for $90, gift one for free
That one skill that your loved one always talks about wishing they had is probably the theme of a MasterClass online course. MasterClass doesn’t offer just any online courses — they’ll be coached by people more exciting than a professor. Natalie Portman teaches acting, Jane Goodall teaches conservation, Gordon Ramsey teaches cooking, and so much more. For a limited time, you can gift a class for free when you sign up for one yourself.
Ah, the humble gift card. For the times when you simply need a no-brainer gift that you know they’ll use, an Amazon gift card is a guaranteed win.
Whether they’re a cycling nut or trying to finally follow through with that New Year’s resolution, the sign-up process for fitness classes is always chaotic. Unless they have ClassPass. They’ll be able to choose from things like Peloton, boxing, hot yoga, and more via the app. ClassPass is available in over 80 cites and their membership can even switch locations when they travel. Classes are “priced” in credits, and vary depending on the time, location, popularity, and equipment.
Gifting to someone who’s a makeup version of Ron Swanson with tools? Birchbox. Someone who’s never been inside a Sephora? Birchbox. Over the holidays, you can gift a special version of this monthly hair and beauty box with 15% off all subscription cards with code BESTGIFT15.
The idea of using clues to escape a fake locked room within a time limit is fun. Sure. The knowledge that there’s an entire horror movie based around getting stuck in one is not as fun. The Escape the Crate subscription box on Cratejoy brings the problem-solving adrenaline of an escape room to their home and has over 100 five-star reviews. Boxes ship bimonthly with a new theme and clues each time, and you can use code ALCATRAZ on Cratejoy to get 20% off your first order.
Long commutes can get boring even with hours of music playlists on deck. A subscription to Amazon Audible expands their entertainment options tenfold, is much cheaper (and lighter) than buying physical copies of books, and hearing Michelle Obama or Jonathan Van Ness’ voice is a comforting on the way to work.
Hear us out: Gift cards aren’t as impersonal when you’re able to guess their favorite restaurant or store. They also make lovely “thank you” gestures to those people you don’t know well but you feel deserve a gift — like a teacher or the friendly mailman. Giftcards.com has a sweet variety of discounted gift cards, saving you up to 25% from places like Sephora, Panera, and Starbucks.
The percentage of us who actually remember the language skills we learned in high school is low, but that doesn’t mean learning a new language is off the table. Rosetta Stone is one of the OG language-learning services, known for its deep dive into accent pronunciation, culture, and not pressuring you like the Duolingo owl. 10-minute lessons from Spanish and French to Russian and Vietnamese can be accessed on a desktop or via the totally redesigned app. For a limited time, you can give a lifetime subscription for $199 (that’s $100 off).