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While virtual gifting is the refuge of last-minute shoppers given its no-shipping-required nature, digital gifts aren't just for procrastinators. They allow you to get creative and give your loved one the gift of a unique experience that'll last far beyond the occasion at hand, whether it's their birthday, your anniversary or Christmas.
While there are endless options for electronic gift cards out there, when it comes to virtual gift ideas, you'll also want to consider the best subscription boxes and services, which can offer access to special classes, curated product bundles and more. Plus, one of the best parts of gifting a digital subscription service or gift certificate is that it allows you to pick the exact amount you want to spend, making it easy to stick to your budget.
Here, our gift editors have gathered up a whole list of the best virtual and digital gifts for your best friends, beloved mom, impossible-to-shop for boyfriend and everyone else on your list. So this year, don't stress about when stores will be open — every gift on this list will arrive instantly in their inbox the second you press "purchase." (Even better: Often you can also choose which day you want it to be sent, so they can receive it on Christmas Day with no shipping delays.)
Self-Care Subscription Box
Give her everything she needs for a night of all-out pampering with this monthly self-care subscription box. In addition to a mood-boosting activity, each box comes with up to eight wellness-focused gift items, including bath bombs and face masks, to encourage more "me-time." Choose from one-, three-, six- or twelve-month subscription options.
For three months or a full year, your loved one can experience less stress, better sleep and a personalized exercise routine if you sign them up for a subscription to this popular meditation app. For more than a decade, Headspace has offered members access to its vast library of guided meditations, music tracks designed to build focus and workouts meant to align mind and body.
Gifting mecca Uncommon Goods recently started offering virtual gift experiences, and there are so many great options, including live mixology classes, flower arranging sessions and more. Browse dozens of Uncommon Experiences to find the one that's just right for your loved one.
If your favorite bookworm wants to give listening to the latest reads a try, an Audible Premium Plus membership is the way to go. They'll get full access to the Plus Catalog, which includes thousands of audiobooks, podcasts and original titles, as well as a credit for one title per month, including new releases and bestsellers. Choose from one-, three-, six- or twelve-month subscriptions.
Original Subcription Box
Send a colorful, floral surprise their way each month with a BloomsyBox subscription. Each bouquet of 20 to 32 stems arrives within five days of being picked for maximum freshness. You can opt for a month-to-month plan, or prepay for a three-, six- or twelve-month subscription.
The craft brew connoisseur in your life will be thrilled to receive this gift! Opt for a gift card or sign him up for pre-paid beer subscription, and he'll get a monthly delivery of 12 or 24 craft beers from around the world plus tasting notes (choose from three-, six- or twelve-month plans).
Gift Subscription Box
For the right person (read: a devoted plant parent!), nothing says "I love you" like a new addition to their collection. The Sill has an impressive variety of houseplants to choose from, grown to the perfect size for safe shipping. The brand offers three-, six- or twelve-month subscription box plans, with options to focus on easy-care plants, pet-friendly varieties or orchids.
For your movie buff BFF or your TV-obsessed sibling, Hulu gift cards can be purchased on Amazon (as well as Best Buy and Target among other places) in amounts of $25, $50 or $100. To redeem their gift card, they just have to head to Hulu and enter their code. Easy!
History by Mail Subscription
If your loved one is a history buff, this is a great subscription gift for them. Each month, they'll receive replicas of historical documents, such as Albert Einstein's correspondence with FDR and Rosa Parks’ police report when she refused to give up her seat. Six month subscriptions start at $40.
Because they're never too old to learn new tricks, MasterClass gives them access to the minds of today’s top performers, athletes, entrepreneurs, and creators with over 180 on-demand video classes across 11 categories. There are hundreds of experts to choose from, including Steph Curry and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
RELATED: Is MasterClass Really Worth It?
Single Serve Pie Gift Box
No matter where they live, they can experience the joy (and sugar-high) that these mini pies bring. This box of four pies, which are made and shipped in Austin, Texas, highlights the bakery's most popular flavors: pecan, apple, cheery, and Texas Two-Step (pecan and chocolate brownie).
FabFitFun is one of the original subscription box services for women. Give her a gift card towards an annual subscription, or pay for a few boxes upfront (quarterly boxes cost $59.99 each). At the start of each season, she'll receive a box packed with up to $200 worth of goodies that showcases the latest products in beauty, fashion and home, all based on her preferences.
This year has proven that we're all finally ready to get back to traveling! Airbnb gift cards can be used for any stay or experience the brand offers, and they never expire.
Choose Their Own Adventure eGift Card
Giving someone a Virgin Experiences gift card is like giving them a real-life Choose Your Own Adventure book. The site offers experiences ranging from spa treatments and wine tastings to sky diving and race car driving — you name it. Plus, these gift cards never expire.
Online Design Services
If they've just moved into a new house or apartment, treat them to a virtual design package. One of online interior design service Havenly's designers will work with them one-on-one to create a plan, including a 3D rendering of their chosen room or small space.
Snack Box Subscription
If they love to snack, this is the gift for them. Each month, they will receive a box filled with delicious Japanese snacks and treats. You can pick from a one-, three-, six- or twelve-month subscription. There's even an adorable Hello Kitty and Friends version!
Since scent is so personal, let the gift recipient pick a fragrance that they actually like. Scentbird makes it possible for them to sample different options until they find their signature scent: Simply pick a three-, six-, or twelve-month gift subscription, and then they get to pick out travel-size fragrances from top brands like Burberry, Marc Jacobs, and Gucci.
A coffee subscription, like this one from Blue Bottle Coffee, is the best way to help java junkies perfect their at-home cup of joe. Customize the subscription to match their tastebuds by selecting from among categories like dark roast or cold brew, or just go with a classic three- or six-month whole bean plan.
Candle & Reed Diffuser Subscription
You can’t go wrong with a good candle or reed diffuser, and Nest New York makes some of our all-time favorites. Their monthly candle and reed diffuser subscription is an indulgent luxury they probably wouldn't buy for themselves, but will be oh-so grateful to receive.
Custom Couple Portrait Line Drawing
If you missed every shipping deadline for holiday delivery but still want to get a unique and thoughtful gift, turn to the Artroom Expo Etsy shop. It creates custom works of art which are sent to you or the gift recipient via a downloadable link for DIY printing and framing. The best part is that they're able to turn around most orders within a week.
For the person that loves to get their sweat on, gift them access to their favorite fitness classes with a ClassPass gift card. Who knows, you might even give them a boost of motivation to try something new!
Virtual Wine Tasting
A virtual wine tasting is a fun activity for friends and family who aren't able to gather in person — especially if you've got a burgeoning sommelier in the group! Sign your gang up for an event on a day everyone's available.
The practice of journaling offers some major health benefits, so get them started with the practice by signing them up for Silk + Sonder's guided self-care journal subscription service. Every month, they'll get a curated journal full of prompts, planning pages, intention setting activities and more.
Found: the perfect membership for the craft-lover in your life. With Craftsy, they can learn how to make just about anything money can buy — embroidery, sewing, knitting, baking, you name it — with their own two hands. You can gift a monthly membership for $10 or an annual membership for $97.
Food Delivery Gift Card
If you don't really know them on a deep and personal level, you can't go wrong with a food delivery gift card from GrubHub.
Book of the Month Club
This book club, which was relaunched in 2016, originally dates back to 1926 — so it's safe to say they have a pretty good track record when it comes to choosing can't-put-them-down reads! Sign your loved one up for a three-, six- or twelve-month plan, and they'll get to choose which books they receive from a carefully curated selection.
Give them the gift of a once-in-a-lifetime experience with a StubHub gift card. It's just as exciting as getting them physical tickets to a concert or event, but this way they can pick the act themselves and a date that works for their schedule.
It's hard to go wrong with an Amazon gift card since the online retail giant offers, well, basically everything. You can send any amount between $25 to $2,000, and then sit back and enjoy the fact that your present will definitely not be re-gifted.
For less than $10 a month, they'll get unlimited access to all of their favorite sports events, exclusive movies and so much more for an entire year. You can purchase a digital voucher for them to redeem online, but just keep in mind gift subscriptions are only for new ESPN+ subscribers.
Style Gift Card
Make your favorite fashionista's dreams of a personal shopper a reality with a Stitch Fix membership. The subscription service sends new outfits to their door each month, based on their style preferences and price range. On the flip side, it's also great for the fashion troubled who aren't a fan of shopping for themselves. You can purchase gift cards in amounts ranging from $20 to $2,000.
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