Creative Alternatives To In-Person Holiday Shopping
With both FedEx and UPS reporting strained capacity1 leading into the 2020 holiday season, gifting a digital subscription can help you avoid delivery delays while still warming the hearts of your family and friends.
- For the eternally curious on your list, you could try a year-long MasterClass2 subscription with its endless array of celebrities offering how-tos in their industries.
- For the fitness fanatic, check out one of the many available fitness subscriptions from companies like Peloton,3 Daily Burn,4 and P.volve.5 All offer highly cost-effective -- and socially-distanced -- alternatives to the gym.
- For those wanting to expand their language skills, online services like DuoLingo6 and Babbel7 can get a loved one going in a new language in no time.
- For parents with young kids on your list, check out Epic! Books8 to keep kids learning while having fun with digital books, or Green Kid Crafts,9 a STEM learning box available for kids ages 2-10.
For entertainment fans, you can gift a subscription to Netflix or Disney+ to keep them up-to-date on the latest TV shows and movies.
And don't forget digital favorites like newspapers and magazines to round-out your giftgiving at a low cost. There's a digital subscription out there for almost everyone.
If you want to gift something tangible, subscription boxes could be the ideal answer. With so many monthly and quarterly boxes to choose from, it's easy to find a match for that special someone. From self-care and beauty favorites like FabFitFun10 and Birchbox11 to snacking favorites like Universal Yums12 and eco-friendly choices like GreenUp,13 the possibilities are endless.
These days, there is a subscription box for almost everything. To find your ideal box, do a web search for a hobby or passion, and add the word "subscription." You'll discover an array of price points and options to help you choose the perfect gift.
For those on a budget this year, a charitable donation could make for the ideal universal gift and include everyone on your list.
There are two ways you could go about making a charitable donation in someone's name. You could make a single donation to a cause and send a notice to everyone on your list that you're making the donation instead of individual gifts this year. You can also make individual donations to charities for each person on your list that align with each person's favorite causes.
The best part about making a charitable donation as a gift is that you control the budget and still play a role in making an impact.
While big plans might be on hold due to financial strains and travel limitations, you can still help a loved one get closer to their big goal with a savings contribution gift.
From vacation funds to college savings and first cars to first homes, a little cash as a gift can go a long way when you infuse it into a savings account. You'll give the gift that keeps giving because of compound interest -- and help those you love know that while dreams might be on hold, they've got an extra boost to help turn those dreams into realities when the time is right.
Finally, you can help invest in a loved one's future with an investment gift this holiday season. Investment gifts don't have to cost a lot, either. There are sites that specialize in helping people gift a single share of stock like Stockpile.14 You can also gift stock directly through a brokerage account. And for those with education on the brain, consider opening a 529 plan for a loved one or contributing to an existing plan.
Thinking outside of the box opens you up to a number of gift-giving opportunities that help you stick to your budget and keep your family safe.
Important disclosure information
This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.
- Thomas Black, "FedEx, UPS prepare for challenges of a holiday season during a pandemic," Star Tribune, published October 16, 2020, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Masterclass, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Peloton, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Daily Burn, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- P.volve, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- DuoLingo, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Babbel, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Epic! Books, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Green Kid Crafts, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- FabFitFun, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Birchbox, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Universal Yums, accessed November 6, 2020 Back
- Green Up, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
- Stockpile, accessed November 6, 2020. Back
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