In a perfect world, we'd get to be with the people we love most when gift-giving time rolls around. But sometimes we can't be there IRL, no matter how much we want to give a thoughtful birthday gift, a Mother's Day gift, or a gift just because. Enter: Virtual gifts you can order online. Online gifts that are sure to make a splash include messages from their favorite celebrities, bottles of wine or delicious food, or subscriptions and memberships so they can do more of what they love (on you, of course). When you want to spoil the person who means the world to you, consider one of our favorite virtual gifts, below. (And when it's time to give your digital gift of choice, don't forget to hop onto a Zoom call and get everyone to join in the on the party.)
A Virtual Wine Tasting
If your friend is a wannabe sommelier, they need to take an at-home wine tasting class to improve their skills. Simply choose a winery that fits your budget and personal wine preferences and Priority Wine Pass will handle the rest. It hosts one-on-one group tastings and even offers food and chocolate paring options!
A Spice Membership
Home chefs, listen up! Raw Spice Bar is here to make your friend's food taste amazing. They offer three, six, and 12-month subscription plans and send an array of handcrafted spice blends right to their front door.
An Indoor Plant
Indoor plants have been shown to boost mood, increase creativity, and reduce stress. Gift these luxuries to your friends and family through ProFlowers, which has a selection of plants for new plant parents.
"Adopt" Them a Kangaroo
The World Wildlife Fund now lets you symbolically adopt an animal as a part of their ongoing efforts to save endangered species' from around the globe. Plus, they get a sweet stuffed toy that looks like the animal they've adopted!
Book of the Month
If you speed through our #ReadWithMC book club picks, then you should check out Book of the Month. At under $10 a month, the service picks out five reads each month; you choose which one you want to read. Choose to gift a three-month membership, a six-month membership, or a year. They'll need to make some room on their bookshelf.
A SkillShare Membership
Know someone who's always trying their hand at something new? A Skillshare membership will help them figure out what to tackle next. You can choose from a three or six-month membership plan and gifts can be redeemed over time, so there's no rush for them to figure out what they want to try.
A Classic Card
Postable is one of my favorite tools when I know I don't have time to buy, sign, and mail a card. You choose the design of your choice and message, and they'll do the rest. Yep, that includes the printing, stamping, and the mailing—all for under $5.
An Art Subscription
If your friend is a fan of constantly re-doing their home decor, give them the gift of doing it with ease. An ArtCrate subscription allows them to work with an interior designer to find their new favorite piece of art.
A Peleton Digital Membership
Why would your special person work out at the gym when you can gift them a Peleton membership? And no, they don't need to have a bike in order to participate! Peleton actually has tons of classes, from outdoor running to yoga.
A Cameo From Their Favorite Celebrity
Have a friend who raves over a certain celebrity? A Cameo is the ultimate virtual gift. Stars ranging from The Bachelor's Chris Harrison to the stars of Netflix's Cheer will create a 60-second personalized message for your friend. Depending on who you choose, it can get expensive, but seeing your friend's reaction is priceless.
A Beauty Box Subscription
Beauty junkies, this gift is for you. Fit Fab Fun lets current members buy an additional box for a friend. Or, buy 'em a full-on membership if you know that they want a monthly box for themselves.
A Monthly Candle Subscription
NEST New York offers two different six and twelve-month subscription services. One includes a different candle delivered right to their door every month, while the other includes a candle and a reed diffuser. The candle-lover on your list is going to thank you.
A Wine Delivery Subscription
Gone are the days of perusing the liquor aisle in search of something that not only tastes awful but might contribute to a couple of late-night Tinder swipes later. There are tons of great alcohol delivery services out there, but my personal favorite is Winc. Four bottles of tasty wine without breaking the bank, delivered to my door or a friend's? Sign me up!
A Beauty Subscription Box
The world of beauty is massive, and finding "the one" can be a series of trial and error. Ease that pain by gifting your loved one a beauty subscription box (we listed some of our favorites here) for one month, three months, or more. I love Skylar's Scent Club, which delivers a rollie fragrance that you choose yourself. Unsure which scent to gift first? They even have a scent quiz you can take, so the right kind of smell gets delivered to their door.
Vinyl Subscription Service
VINYL POST Record Club is possibly the cutest thing ever. Every month they'll mail a 5" x 7" postcard that doubles as a record featuring one song of an up-and-coming artist and a sweet little message from the band to your friend's door. Watch your loved one's record collection grow in no time.
Food Delivery Gift Card
Support your local restaurants and the prospect of dining on the couch with a food delivery gift card. Hundreds of hometown favorites are listed on Grubhub, ranging from Thai to American favorites.
Some of the world's best in comedy, photography, filmmaking, cooking, and more are sharing the art of their craft over on MasterClass. The streaming platform offers videos from these creators that you can watch to learn more. Right now, the service is offering a deal where if you buy one annual membership, you'll get one free.
A Rosetta Stone Subscription
Remember at the start of quarantine, when you and your friends swore, you would better yourself by learning a new language? If you want to stick to that promise, language-learning favorite Rosetta Stone is now offering lifetime membership for their service for $200. A deal this good won't last forever, but your knowledge of a new language will. *wink wink*
A Streaming Service Membership
Give the gift of a membership to HBO GO, Disney+, Hulu, or Netflix, and never hear from your loved one again! Ha, I kid. They'll call to say thank you and ask what you recommend for them to binge-watch.
A Grocery Store Delivery Service
When I feel like pampering myself, I'll get my groceries delivered using Instacart. It saves me time and some extra dollars, too. You can gift your friend all of their favorite foods as a surprise, and especially right now, it'll help them keep safe while giving someone else a job. So, in the end, the couch potato in you is indeed a hero!
If you have one of those friends who says they don't have time to sit down and read, may I suggest an Audible membership? Featuring thousands of your favorite titles, never have a boring commute (is it weird to say I miss it?) again. The sleep timer feature on their app has been life-changing for me.
A Meal Delivery Service Subscription
Not everyone has mad cooking skills, no matter how much they watch the Food Network. (Guilty!) Meal delivery services like HelloFresh can change that, though. Gift three to five mouth-watering recipes each week to your friend's door, all the ingredients and instructions included. It's that easy.
A Virtual Gym Membership
One thing that's great about the 21st century is that you don't have to leave your house to get a good workout in. There are tons of apps that will make sure your friend breaks a sweat and not the bank. Choose from our handy-dandy list of workout apps here.
A Coffee Subscription Service
If you have someone on your list who really loves trying out new types of coffee, why not sign them up for a subscription service? Humblemaker Coffee has tons of options, from cold brew to regular beans.
Get Them Organized
Every month, this service from Silk + Sonder delivers a box designed to boost your creativity while keeping you calm. Each box includes a journal, habit tracker, a calendar spreads and a year of their monthly issues. The pieces are modeled after bullet journals, so you'll look cute while keeping your life in check.
A Meal From Their Favorite Restaurant
Welcome to the future: you can now live in LA and enjoy pasta from New York City thanks to Goldbelly. Restaurants from all over the country offer meal kits that you can order online and receive in a few days time.
A Spa Gift Card
Everyone needs a little self-care every now and again. Heyday has spa locations in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia and offers gift cards on their site.
A Pilates Class Subscription
You might not be able to gift them an at-home reformer, but that doesn't mean they can't get their stretch on at home. The Pilates Class offers yearly and monthly subscription options that includes access to weekly classes at any skill level.
A Box of Roses That Lasts for a Year
Venus et Fleur has garnered cult status for their selection of rose boxes that smell amazing for an entire year. Each box comes in a bunch of different colors, so you're bound to find one that they'll love.
A Craft Beer Subscription
This is perfect for your friend who lives for unique beer. Each box from the Craft Beer Club highlights two beers two different breweries from two different regions in the United States. Your friends can learn about where and how the beer is made, the different notes and each, and fun facts about the breweries.
The Gift of Sleep
A better night's sleep looks good on everybody. Calm is here to make that happen. Whether they want to get lulled to sleep by Harry Styles every night or simply need help winding down after a long day, any person on your list would love a gift card.
Gift a Getaway
Got a friend or couple who could really use a few days away in a sweet mini-home that's surrounded by nature? Getaway offers gift cards worth up to $500 so you can help them get out of town.
The Gift of Glam
Glamsquad is here to make all of their beauty dreams come true. Buy them a package deal where they can get several blowouts and makeup applications over the course of a few months, or gift them a one-time gift card if they've got a big event coming up.
A Glasses Gift Card
Warby Parker offers gift card options worth up to $295, which cover the latest and most high-tech glasses on their site. But, there are a few other versions that cover things like a single pair of regular glasses, too.
A Museum Membership
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. home of the Met Gala, offers membership gifts on their website. You can grant your artsiest friends access to opening night exhibitions, extra viewing hours, or early access to every new exhibition. Not in New York? Select your favorite local museum and buy a membership for them there.
A Relaxing Spa Day
SpaFinder offers gift cards at thousands of different spa anf fitness locations across the country. All they have to do is put in their zip code or city to find a participating location. This is perfect for your sister who just moved away or your best friend who just relocated for her new job.
A Year of New Underwear
Update their underwear drawer with a MeUndies subscription. Come for the massive range of styles, stay for the cute limited-edition sets.
An Interior Design Service
It's time help your friend spruce up their space. This gift from Modsy pairs your friend with an expert interior designer to bring their design dreams to life. You can choose from single or multi-room packages.
Help Them Find a New Hobby
Now they can choose their own new hobby thanks to CourseHorse. The site offers tons of classes broken down by city, so there's nearly endless options to choose from. Buy this for your sister who is always down to try something new.
A Monthly Plant
If your best friend is determined to turn her apartment into a greenhouse, gift her a monthly subscription to Horti. Each box with comes a plant, information on how to keep it alive, and a pot to keep it in.
A Donut-Making Kit
If you've got the next great home baker on your list, we have the perfect gift for them. Send this mini donut-making kit from Doughnuttery to help them on their way. Each kit comes with four different signature doughnut sugars, a depositor an instruction manual. You'll be jealous you won't be able to be there IRL.
A Monthly Sock Subscription Service
They're probably not focused on the contents of their sock drawer, but it's high time that they start curating it. SockFancy's subscription plans—you can choose a month-to-month option or dive in for a year-long one— will keep their feet warm all year long.
Their next meal is on you thanks to Doordash. This is the perfect gift for someone who can't even boil an egg, or the busy parent who simply runs out of time in on the weeknights.
A Sentimental Keepsake Book
This gift from Storyworth creates a customized memory book, so it's perfect if you're spending time away from your loved ones this season. Every week, Storyworth sends your family member a question, and they answer with a memory or anecdote. At the end of they year, they receive a bound book of all the memories and stories that were shared.
A Workout—for Their Face
FACEGYM is the workout designed exclusively for, well, your face. They have brick and mortar locations in New York City, London and Los Angeles, but also offer personalized online classes. Each workout helps remove tension in the face and leave you looking sculpted and glowing. They sell at-home massage kits on their site, too, so you can get your face in shape in between classes.
An At-Home Pottery Kit
Each one of these boxes from Crock'd comes with enough material to make two cups each, and is designed for a family of three or four people.
An Etsy Gift Card
If they want to support more small businesses this year, there's really no better way to do that than through Etsy.
A Virtual Cooking Class
Williams-Sonoma offers tons of different classes that teach everything from cocktails to the perfect pie crust. Gift them one of their classes to jumpstart their at-home cooking career.
Birchbox is one of the original beauty subscription services, so why mess with a good thing? These are perfect for your younger sister who is just dipping her toes into the makeup world. Start them off with a 3-month subscription and go from there.
An At-Home Manicure Kit
Olive & June makes these seasonal manicure to gift your friend who's seriously missing the salon right now. The Winter Box includes everything you would need to get your nails looking perfect: eight shades of polish, remover, cuticle serum, a few different tools, and a glossy top coat.
Find Them A New Hobby
They'll make sweet, sweet music in the new year thanks to you—and this gift from Fender. You can gift your musically-gifted friend six months of classes with the click of a button.
Bianca Rodriguez is the Commerce Editor/Writer at Hearst Magazines Digital Media, where she covers fashion, beauty, home, and more. She likes long walks through shopping malls, a good book, and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.
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