When the holiday season rolls around, life gets exceptionally busy. Work events, parties, and errands seem to take over our lives right before the holidays, so finding time to get together with your friends and family may not be the easiest thing. In a perfect world, we'd get to be with the people we love most when it comes time to exchange gifts. But sometimes we can't be there IRL, no matter how much we want to be. But thankfully we live in a world where you can do just about anything online, even gift-giving.
If you can’t be there to give a gift in person, look no further than these virtual gifts you can order from the comfort of your own home. Online gifts that are sure to make a splash include messages from their favorite celebrities, bottles of wine, the best warm socks, or subscriptions and memberships so they can do more of what they love (on you, of course). Whether it's a gift for your boss or a beauty advent calendar for your make-up-loving bestie, there’s something for everyone to check off your list. When you want to spoil the person who means the world to you, consider one of our favorite digital gifts, below.
Digital Food and Drink Gifts
A Spice Membership
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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.
Cookies from Levain Bakery
There are about a million and one different options when it comes to gifting food and drinks, but you can't go wrong with cookies from Levain. The signature NYC bakery serves up delicious, gooey cookies that will be a hit for anyone on your list. Choose to gift either a four, eight, or 12-pack that includes favorite flavors like Chocolate Chip Walnut and Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip.
A Luxury Wine Subscription
A professional-grade wine subscription that will impress even the fussiest wine drinkers, this quarterly wine subscription from Decanter comes in two tiers: Everyday Excellence and Rare Luxuries. Featuring top-scoring wines from a team of expert judges, this subscription promises an exciting variety including bottles you won’t easily find elsewhere. Basically, the perfect gift for someone who loves to host. (PS. You can get 10% off if you subscribe through Marie Claire!)
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 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.
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.
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.
An Incredible Cocktail
If your friend is the type who would rather mix up their own drink than head to the bar, a Shaker & Spoon box is the gift for them. Each subscription box has three recipes and enough ingredients to make up to 12 drinks (liquor not included).
Digital Fitness and Wellness Gifts
Personal Training Sessions
Whether your loved one is a fitness newbie or a gym fanatic, everyone can benefit from a personal trainer. FYT offers in-person or virtual training sessions that are completely personalized. You can choose to gift four, 12, or 24 personal training sessions.
A Peleton Digital Membership
Why would your special person work out at the gym when you can gift them a Peloton membership? And no, they don't need to have a bike in order to participate! Peloton actually has tons of classes, from outdoor running to yoga.
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 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 the best fitness and workout apps.
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.
Digital Beauty Gifts
The Perfect Shade of Lipstick
There's nothing worse than buying lipstick only to come home and realize its shade is completely off. Instead, ensure your beauty-loving friend has the perfect shade with a lipstick-building experience at Lip Lab. There, your friend can create her own lipstick (or balm!) with the help of on-site Color Experts who help in finding the most complementary shade.
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 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.
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 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 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.
A Personalized Facial
There's nothing like the gift of self-care, and a gift card from Heyday goes a long way. At one of Heyday's locations, your bestie will get a one-on-one evaluation from an esthetician to come up with a handcrafted facial to target their skin's needs. After their personalized facial, your friend will leave with glowing skin and a new grasp on maintaining their at-home routine.
Digital Gifts for the Culture Fan
A Night of Live Entertainment
There's nothing like a concert or show to turn an average weekend into a great one. But, as all entertainment lovers know, tickets to shows do not come cheap, which is why a gift card to StubHub is the perfect gift for your concert-loving bestie. You can buy tickets on StubHub to just about every live event across the country including concerts, plays, comedy shows, and sporting events.
Tickets to the Movie Theater
Some people (including myself) strongly believe that movies are meant to be enjoyed at the theater with a bucket of buttery popcorn and a large soda. These are the kind of people that deserve AMC's A-List Pass. This pass lets you see up to three movies a week at any AMC theater, making it the perfect gift for movie lovers.
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.
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 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 contestants to Netflix stars 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 Year's Worth of Spotify Premium
Why not gift something that your friend is already paying monthly for? Save them that monthly bill and gift Spotify Premium for an entire year. Unlimited skips and streaming make for the perfect gift for just about everyone.
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.
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 Max, 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.
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 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.
Find Them A New Musical 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.
Digital Fashion Gifts
A New Wardrobe
Fashion fans can't resist buying themselves new pieces every season, but you can help your friend out with the expenses with a Stitch Fix gift card. Think of Stitch Fix as a virtual stylist. You take a style quiz on their website and they send you pieces based on your results. If you fall in love with a piece, you can even buy it to keep in your closet.
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.
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.
A New Piercing
I love a good earring stack as much as the next fashion girl, so I would love the chance to expand it with a new piercing. The piercers at Banter know exactly what they are doing and how to make you feel comfortable before the needle comes anywhere near you. They can also pierce other body parts such as your nose or eyebrow and have a stunning selection of jewelry for your new piercing, too!
Digital Gifts for the Pet and Plant Lover
Easier Plant Care
As someone who can barely keep a snake plant alive, I know plant parents take their job seriously to keep their precious babies alive. With a paid subscription to Planta, their job is made tons more easier. Not only does the app keeps tabs on watering schedules, but it can also diagnose sick plants and assess the lighting of a room.
"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!
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 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.
Fresh Flowers Every Month
A fresh bouquet of flowers makes for the perfect addition to any room. Send your loved one the gift of fresh flowers with BloomsyBox, a monthly subscription that sends colorful blooms right to your front door. Each bouquet contains 18 to 32 stems and arrives within five days to ensure maximum freshness.
Digital Gifts for Anyone on Your List
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 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.
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.
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 Fun Date
Give your couple friends something unique to do on their next date night with Happily's Datebox. Each box contains a date night based on the couple's personalities, likes, and dislikes. Dates include cooking classes, wine tastings, and arts and crafts.
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.
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.
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 Family History Lesson
Ancestry is the coolest way to learn more about yourself and where you come from, making it the perfect gift for anyone who's curious about their family tree. Choose from three different tiers—U.S., worldwide, and All-Access, which includes military records—and either gift a 6-month subscription or a year.
The Gift of Relaxation
After the year everyone went through in 2020 (and let's be honest, 2021 too), your loved one could probably use a little extra R and R. Headspace is an app that provides guided meditations, breathing exercises, and sleep tracks.
A Year of Exploring Nature
If your friend is a nature lover, the National Parks Annual Pass is a no-brainer gift. For $80, the pass allows entrance into over 2,000 federal recreation sites, meaning your loved one will never have a shortage of nature to explore.
After these last few years, everyone on your Christmas list could use some self care. With a Massage Envy gift card, that could be in the form of a personalized massage, facial, stretching session, or facial. There's over 1,000 Massage Envy locations across the U.S., so you really can't go wrong with gifting some much-needed TLC.
An Old-Fashioned Greeting Card
Sometimes the most simple ideas are the way to go. Forget email if you're planning on sending out holiday cards. Instead, send a letter through snail mail with Postable. Simply choose a card from their hundreds of options and write a message, then Postable will send your recipients a request to input their mailing address and take care of shipping.
An Uncommon Experience
If all else fails on this list, gift your loved one an Uncommon Experience. Activities range from Scandinavian baking to astrology charting to painting, so there's bound to be something that tickles your friend's fancy. Experience gifts come with a class led by an expert instructor and everything you need to do the activity.
Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. She likes lounging about with a good book and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.
- Brooke KnappenbergerEditorial Fellow
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