The Non-Thing Gift Guide – Gifts for people who have everything


Supply chain issues, global warming, the tons of things we’ve all accumulated – it turns out there are many reasons not to buy more for loved ones this holiday season. Instead, give something that you know will be used but not land in the trash or get new gifts for their next white elephant. Maybe it’s a service nearby (think: massage or facial), a membership in your favorite museum, or a gift card and reservation for a new restaurant. And if you’re still at a loss, there are 12 more ideas below.

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Language courses

Has a quarantined friend planned to brush up on their high school French? Give them away SHOP BABBEL


Training courses

Due to the pandemic, most training studios still offer virtual courses, meaning you can give away a subscription no matter where your recipient lives. A few to try out: Alo moves, which offers barre, Pilates, and HIIT; The abdomen, Jessamyn Stanley’s Online Yoga Classes for Body Positivity Advocate; and Socanomics, Dance fitness workouts inspired by the Caribbean carnival.


Reading the natal chart

Similar to Airbnb, Uncommon Goods offers a range of experience giftsincluding this class where an astrologer will make your personal forecast for the year ahead. Essential for your BFF who is constantly checking their co-star app.



Personalized celebrity videos

A few years ago, instead of a physical gift, I got mine Gossip aunt-loving roommate a cameo by Zuzanna Szadkowski, aka Dorota herself. It was so popular that I plan to keep buying cameos – personalized video messages from your favorite celebs – when I don’t know what to get. Pro tip: Chigs from The great British baking show *is there.



Talkspace therapy

Everyone can benefit from a little bit of advice. You can now give away a one-time video session or unlimited messages via Talkspace, the online therapy platform. Just be sure to read through Talkspace instructions on the respectful dispatch of a therapy e-card before the purchase.



Membership in interior work

This is for your friend who loves interior design who has sent you one too many inspo photos. To speak provides a range of tools to help anyone – novice or expert – design and do a room freshening up. Joanna Gaines who?



MasterClass subscription

The solution for all the hard-to-buy people in your life, MasterClass has 100+ online courses taught by some of the best in the world so everyone can dive deep into an established hobby or discover a new one. Maybe start with Alicia Keys for songwriting and producing?



Jackbox games

Chances are you tried your hand at Jackbox during those dark days of quarantine, but the online games – which can be played by people in the same room or across the country – are still holding up months later. Buy a new pack as a ray of hope for the cold winter days to come.



The Shine app

Co-founded by two women of color who felt left out of the mainstream wellness industry, this mental wellness app offers daily meditations and an inclusive online community. Give away an annual subscription to everyone who focuses on self-care in 2022.



Patreon membership

Is there a podcaster / YouTuber / writer / musician that your loved ones are obsessed with? Well, that person probably also has a Patreon, which is a subscription-based platform that allows developers to offer additional content for a premium price. A place to start: The popular podcast Crime junkie publishes additional episodes for Patreon members only.



Newsletter subscription

Finally something good for your inbox. You can subscribe to hundreds of newsletters through Substack, including Ask Polly, an extension of Heather Havrilesky’s popular advice column, or Hung up, formerly, formerly vulture the weekly brooding of writer Hunter Harris on anything to do with pop culture.


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