By Tracey Dowdy
It never fails. You think you’ve wrapped up – pun intended – the last of your holiday shopping. Then you’re invited to participate in a virtual Secret Santa, a friend or coworker drops off an unexpected gift, or plans change, and you’re suddenly short a present.
Take heart; all is not lost. And, since 2020 has changed the way many of us shop and transformed our homes into spas, entertainment venues, playgrounds, and restaurants, your options for that last-minute present have never been better.
If tea is their bag, consider Sips By, or for the coffee lover, choose Trade, which allows you to customize your coffee selections from top roasters. Choose Flaviar for the whiskey lover in your life or a wine subscription for the aspiring sommelier. There are boxes for pets and their people, fashionistas, health and wellness, self-care, beauty, and even boxes designed especially for vegans and carnivores. If you haven’t a clue what they’d like, Mouth offers the “gift of good taste.” Now, who wouldn’t love that?
An Audible membership is another great option for readers and non-readers alike. Even if they don’t enjoy reading, Audible allows them to listen while they work out, commute, fix dinner, or relax at the end of another long day. Choose from a one, three, six, or 12-month subscription, and each month the recipient will receive a credit to use toward an Audible audiobook — existing members will get all of their gifted credits at once. A Bookshop gift card supports indie booksellers, and small bookstores, one of the many businesses hit particularly hard this year. Choose an amount between $25 to $500, which can be spent at different bookstores through the Bookshop portal.
Since we’re all eating at home more but still trying to juggle work and manage our unofficial second jobs as teachers, consider a meal subscription like Hello Fresh, Daily Harvest, Blue Apron, Plated, or Purple Carrot (which specializes in vegan food). Membership plans vary, but each ships recipe cards and pre-portioned ingredients to your house in insulated packaging. They only send what you need, so there’s no food waste or leftovers.
Keeping all those plates – literal and figurative – spinning is exhausting. A subscription to Headspace, Calm, or Aura apps is a thoughtful gift for anyone trying to go into 2021 with a healthy mindset. Each has different strengths, but all will help settle your mind, take control of spiraling thought patterns, and help you fall asleep at night. Pro Tip – Matthew McConaughey narrates “Wonder,” one of Calm’s Sleep Stories selections. A bedtime story from McConaughey? You’re welcome.
One of the best gifts you can give is a MasterClass subscription. With over 70 classes from famous teachers like Neil Gaiman, Gordon Ramsey, Margaret Atwood, Judd Apatow, and Anna Wintour, your giftee will love sorting through which experts stories, skills, shortcuts, failures, and successes they want to explore.
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits, and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.