You put a lot of effort into choosing the right Christmas or other type of holiday gift for each person on the list. Unfortunately, that gift you so carefully selected is in danger of ending up in a drawer, the back of the closet, or in the goodies set aside for the first yard sale of the spring.
When you have someone on the list who seems to have everything and really doesn’t need one more shirt, sweater, or small kitchen appliance, what can you do? One approach is to think virtual when you start shopping. Here are five ideas to help you get started.
Vinyl may be making a comeback as a niche product and CDs are still easy to find, but what do you get a friend who no longer wants music in those mediums? Consider purchasing MP3 downloads and giving them as gifts. They’re easy to buy, quick to download, and something your loved one can save to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Even when they’re somewhere with no signal, they still get to listen to their tunes.
Some services allow you to make the purchase and then send an link via email or text that your loved one can use to download the music directly. In other cases, you can download it yourself and place the tracks on a jump drive. With the latter, you have something physical to wrap and put under the tree.
The gift of an eBook works a lot like purchasing MP3 files as gifts. Many vendors will gladly send an email or text containing a link to download the purchase. You can also do the job yourself, place it on a jump drive, and wrap it up to go under the tree.
Remember if your loved one uses a particular type of reader, it’s still possible to purchase eBooks from other sources and they can upload them to their online libraries. They can also use apps on tablets or smartphones to store a virtual library on SD cards. No matter where they go, they have a book on hand to pass the time. Best of all, the books take up no space at home.
Virtual Gift Cards
You like the idea of virtual gifts, but music or books won’t cut it for someone on your list? No problem! There are all sorts of virtual gift cards to consider. Maybe your friend would love a year’s subscription to Netflix? There’s a virtual gift card for that. How about meals at a favorite restaurant? Get a virtual gift card that can be saved on a phone and scanned at the register.
Remember you can always spring for a virtual gift card that your loved one can use on major sites like Amazon or eBay. They add the balances to their online accounts and use them at will. That way, you know they will enjoy whatever is purchased with your gift.
More and more people are moving away from restrictive smartphone services that require two-year commitments and impose penalties for early termination. Instead, they are opting for pay-as-you-go plans. If someone on your list has gone this route, think about purchasing a block of minutes as a gift.
You can get cards that supply service for anywhere from a month to a year. Like the person a little? One month of free service in the reserve is fine. Love the person to death? Give the gift of a whole year of smartphone service. All you need to know is which provider the loved one uses and you can order a physical card. They can log into their accounts or use an app on their phones to upload the service package and be set.
Digital Magazine Subscriptions
Reading magazines on a tablet is the only way to go for some folks. They don’t like having print copies lying around once they are done with them. Digital magazine subscriptions allow you to ensure your loved one has their favorites delivered to them electronically every month for one, two, or even five years. They can store them on SD cards if they like to collect them, or delete each issue once they finish with it. In any case, the magazines are always handy and take up no space.
You have more options for gift giving today than at any time in the past. Best of all, you can offer gifts that are sure to please and won’t find their way to the back of a drawer or closet. Consider these ideas and try a few of them this Christmas. You may find they are a bigger hit than anything you’ve given in a long time.