Creative alternatives to in-person holiday shopping
Holiday shopping for the 2020 season will likely look a lot different than in years past,
but that doesn't mean it can't be equally as exciting. While you might not be interested
in pushing through crowds at the mall or gifting in-person "experiences," you can
still delight your family and friends with some creative gifting.
Here are five innovative holiday gifting ideas that will allow you to skip the stores, avoid
shipping delays, and possibly even save a little money.
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
For the fitness fanatic, check out one of the many available fitness
subscriptions from companies like Peloton,3Daily 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
to snacking favorites like Universal Yums12 and eco-friendly choices like
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.
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