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While the best way to celebrate any holiday is with the ones we love, being together isn't always an option. And these days, even getting them their gifts on time can be a challenge. With shipping delays and shortages, the idea of a digital gift is more appealing than ever.
Over the past couple years, we've gotten super cozy at home and mastered the art of the Zoom call. The upside? Virtual gifts are cooler than ever. There's now an endless supply of immersive experiences and classes to be found online that make incredible gifts for the entire family. From digital gifts that teach new and impressive skills to sending along wishes from their favorite celebrity, a gift that lands in their inbox instead of on their doorstep no longer looks like you just threw in the towel.
Even better? There's no wrapping required.
We've rounded up some of the best digital gifts and subscriptions for everyone in the family. Explore them all below!
Streaming service memberships
From family movie nights to post-bedtime television binges, there's never been a better selection of entertainment right at your fingertips. Beyond the usual suspects like Netflix and Hulu, there's an endless selection of streaming services that make fantastic gifts for the entire family.
- Disney+ From Disney classics and Star Wars to educational Nat Geo documentaries, there's something for literally every family member here. ($7.99/month 79.99/year or sign up for the Disney+ Bundle and get Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+ for 13.99/month!)
- HBOMax Sure, there's plenty of steamy series to binge after the kiddos go to bed (Hello, Insecure!) but there's also an impressive collection of kid-friendly favorites like Sesame Street, Studio Ghibli and more. ($14.99/month)
- SlingTV If they regret cutting the cord, SlingTV is where its at. The cable-esque service allows subscribers to stream live TV from their favorite channels like Nickelodeon, Disney and even the Hallmark channel (cheesy holiday marathon anyone?) for less than the cost of traditional cable plans. (Starts at $25/month
Subscription gifts for kids
Subscription gifts for adults
Online classes & digital education gifts
Though the novelty has probably worn off, it's still pretty incredible what we can learn in the comfort of our own homes. From mastering a new language to sweat-pumping workouts the gift of knowledge is always in style.
Motherly's Birth & Postpartum Classes Motherly strives to be there for mamas every step of the way—from pregnancy to birth and everything that comes after—and what better way to do that than through classes designed to help you prepare your body and mind for the journey ahead? We have teamed up with some of the best experts in the fields of pregnancy, birth and postpartum wellness to provide courses that give both expecting mamas and those who’ve already welcomed their baby the support they need to navigate the biggest challenges of motherhood. They all provide supportive, non-judgmental, expert-driven and woman-centered advice and insight and make the perfect, thoughtful gift for the mama-to-be in your life!
Outschool Connects kids with pros/teachers that cover everything from singing to coding, cooking, acting, LEGO masters, karate, dancing, musical instruments, art, sports–anything you can think of really– in their live online classes. (Seriously, there's over 100k+ offerings!) Sign up for specific ongoing classes or opt for a gift card so they can choose. Prices vary.
Lovevery Parent Courses We're big fans of the expert-backed play things from the Montessori pros at Lovevery, so it's no surprise we were thrilled when they recently launched their parent classes! Topics include things like tummy time and baby-led weaning to help take the guesswork out of your little one's first year.
Boon Experiences With classes and workshops on topics such as Entrepreneurship, Climate & Conservation and Cooking & Cuisine, Boon Experiences do more than just enrich the giftee. Their philanthropic model gives 40% of the cost back to the charity of your choice. Prices vary.
MyYogaTeacher offers live (not pre-recorded) group and private yoga classes online, led by expert Indian yoga teachers for kids and adults. The teachers also interact with students to help them learn safely and have fun! Plans start at $49/month.
Rosetta Stone The gold standard of language learning, Rosetta Stone offers the opportunity to learn 25 different languages in just a few minutes a day. Their immersive approach makes it easy to learn even on the go and is simple enough that even kiddos can use it. Plans start at $7.99/month
CLI Studios Bust a move right in the living room with thousands of recorded, live, and interactive dance classes taught by 300+ world-renowned instructors. Think of the Tik Tok fame that awaits! $199/year
MasterClass Ever wished you could learn to cook with Gordon Ramsay? Master your make up technique with Bobbi Brown? Tell stories with LeVar Burton? Well, you can! With an impressive collection of experts in all kinds of fields (David Sedaris! Tan France! Issa Rae!) MasterClass is the online curriculum you wish you had in college. Plans start at $15/month
Skillshare There's something for every creative at Skillshare. These easy-to-complete online classes are taught by creative industry rock stars like Jonathan Van Ness and Roxanne Gay and cover everything from how to prioritze self-care to writing your memoir. Plans start at $32/month
Peleton Going to the gym to work out is so 2019. Gift them the gift of at-home sweating with Peleton. They don't need a bike to make the most of their wide range of classes from outdoor running to pilates. Plans start at $12.99/month.
Fender Whether they're just starting out or already rockin', Fender offers over 3K+ lessons, chord challenges and access to instructors that will inspire them all year long.
The Pilates Class Melt stress, relieve tension and get stronger, longer and leaner with Pilates instruction right at home. With over 140 videos and a brand new weekly workout each week, they’ll find a workout for every mood. $29/per month.
FaceGym A workout, but for your face. Learn tension releasing exercises and how to use the tools that will keep you glowing. $15 per session of $75 for 30 days unlimited.
Williams Sonoma With an array of cooking, baking and hosting classes, Williams Sonoma is a great bet for the culinary aficionados in your life. Prices vary, and some even include accompanying books.
Virtual experience gifts
It's hard to put a price tag on the value of experiences. And just because it's a little harder to get out and about these days, you can still gift the ones you love some unforgettable at-home adventures with these digital gifts.
57Hours If they love a good adventure, they'll love 57Hours. From mountain biking to back country skiing, 57Hours pairs you with the best tour guides in the world to explore like a local.
Alice's Table They may already be the hostess with the mostest, but there’s always something new to learn. From arranging a stunning bouquet to assembling an almost too gorgeous to eat charcuterie board, she can hone a skill right at the dining room table with a virtual workshop from Alice’s Table. Not only do they send everything they'll need right to their doorstep, but the workshop itself is loaded with tips and tricks that they’ll carry with them long after it’s over. (Did you know if you don’t have fresh flower food that vodka will do in a pinch??)
Pasolivo For the foodies on your list, you can't go wrong with an evening of at-home sampling the most delicious olive oils, balsamics and spices from California-based Pasolivo.
Cameo You've wished them a Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday for years. But you know who hasn't? Their favorite celebrity. That all changes with the (often hilarious, sometimes inspiring) personalized videos from Cameo. Choose from thousands of comics, athletes, musicians and actors to send them custom well wishes they'll never forget.
Modsy If they haven't rearranged their house twice in the past couple years, are they even living through a pandemic? Modsy is a super cool solution to their next home refresh. The service uses a combination of AR and a real-life designer to help give their space a stylish face lift. And to make it even easier, you can shop the final design through their platform for exclusive discounts.
WWF Give a gift that families love and support animals around the world with World Wildlife's symbolic species adoptions. Choose from a wide variety of species and the giftee will receive a photo, adoption certificate and even a cuddly plush pal to match.
Priority Wine Pass Sure, they've had plenty of nights at home with a bottle of wine, but not a night like this! Ignite their inner sommelier with a fun at-home tasting event. Prices start at $75/shipment.
Airbnb Experiences Whether they want to expertly plan their next IRL adventure, "visit" the Vatican, or roll pasta with an Italian grandma, Airbnb Experiences offers tours and lessons hosted by people all over the world.
Subscription-based apps to give as gifts
Calm Calm offers an array of calming sounds and mediations for sleep, quiet time and even stretching. Each track is created to help you relax or sleep. Bonus: There's white noise on there, too—perfect for baby.
Spiritune Change your mood anytime, anywhere with the personalized, science-driven playlists from Spiritune which combine the principles of music therapy and neuroscience to help you feel better, focus and relax.
Planta For the plant lover with a black thumb, Planta will help keep their green babies alive and thriving with personalized water and feeding schedules delivered right to their phone.
1Password Making "forgot password" a thing of the past with a secure and convenient 1Password membership
Dancely Getting the wiggles out is easy with Dancely! Designed for kiddos age 2-8, this app puts a dance party in your pocket (or on your TV). Choose from over 100+ instructor-led videos and kid-friendly songs featuring songwriters who have written music for companies such as Marvel, Netflix & Disney for screen time without guilt. $5.99/month
Luca & Friends Combining educational screen time with movement, the AI-enabled Luca & Friends is an immersive way to teach littles everything from grammar and math to balance and coordination. The educational app is ideal for kiddos ages 4-8.
Homer An educational app that's tailor made for your little one? Yes please. Homer's lessons and activities are personalized to your child's age, interests and skill levels to provide them with engaging, playful learning. And it's not just math and language on the menu! The content also includes important subjects like social and emotional learning and creativity as well.
HearHere Road-trippers will love having HearHere as their personal tour guide. With over 9,000 stories about distinctive landmarks along any US journey narrated by celebrities like John Lithgow and Kevin Costner it may even change the whine of "are we there yet?" to "we're there already??"
Best online gift cards
Gift cards get a bad wrap as the easy way out, but we have to disagree. They don't take up extra space and allow the giftee to get exactly what they want–even if they didn't know they wanted it in the first place. That said, Amazon and Target are great, but they're not very inspired are they? Check out some of these unique alternatives and watch as you earn a spot as the most thoughtful gift giver of the year.
Bookshop Help them support their local bookshop with a Bookshop gift certificate! Available in any amount, they can redeem at one of thousands of small book stores all around the country.
Etsy You could spend the better part of December choosing the right handmade gift, or you could let them do it themselves.
Getaway A nature escape delivered straight to their inbox? Yes please. If they're in need of some unplugged time, send a gift certificate they can redeem for the long weekend they've been dreaming about.
GrubHub Or you could treat them to their next delivery night!
HelloFresh With pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step instructions, everyone loves when Hello Fresh is in charge of dinner.
Hungryroot Powered by AI, this personalized grocery service will help them eat healthier and deliver the goods right to their door.
Instacart Be the holiday MVP by not only paying for the groceries but delivering them to the door as well.
Lowe's The perfect gift for new home owners or anyone who's ever had to change a light bulb. (So, everyone.)
Parachute With hotel-worthy bedding, the coziest loungewear and even stylish decor, the "I'd rather be home" crowd will love a Parachute gift card.
Shopbop Stylish, designer-loving giftees will love a gift card to the luxury purveyor which carries women and menswear from cult-loved brands.
Swimply This pool rental service lets you rent local pools by the hour. Think Airbnb, but for swimming pools. It's all the convenience of a backyard pool, but none of the work.
SpaFinder Gift them their next manicure, pedicure, facial or massage by giving them a Spafinder gift card they can redeem at thousands of locations all across the country.
The Sill They don't have to have a green thumb to appreciate the gorgeous potted plants from NYC-based The Sill.
Steam If you've got a gamer on your list, you can't go wrong with a Steam gift card. With thousands of games to choose from there's guaranteed to be something they've been wishing for.
Ulta Beauty lovers will always appreciate a chunk of change to spend on anything from perfume to makeup.
Uncommon Goods Easily one of my favorite online places to find a unique gift, the selection at Uncommon Goods can get pretty overwhelming. Let them pick something out themselves with a gift card!
Whether you're expecting in months or mere days, let Motherly guide you with our registry featuring curated collections of essentials for you and baby. Click here to check out Motherly's essential registry guide.
A version of this story was published December 6, 2021. It has been updated.