Virtual Gift Guide: 4 Unique & Accessible Digital Presents
I gotta level with you guys: I’m pretty bad at gift shopping. I tend to wait until the last minute, not only because of my busy schedule but also because I’m extremely indecisive when it comes to shopping for people. Even though I absolutely love gift giving and even tend to sometimes shell out a ton of money for people each year, I then put a lot of pressure on myself to give the best gift.
But of course, the other sad reality is that I don’t have endless money to get everyone the perfect gift. Especially this year, being a recent graduate and making a living from freelancing has taken a toll on my holiday budget. Luckily I’m a big believer in finding unique ideas for gifts — you don’t always need to get the most expensive product if you’re not able to, and it’s all about the thought that counts. And honestly for me, along with the luxury of getting bath-bombs, essential oils or jewelry, I ultimately want to get a gift for someone that will leave a real impact as well. Some alternative gift ideas can be as simple writing letters to each other (that’s what me an and my three girlfriends are doing this year to avoid spending a lot), drawing or painting a homemade card, or creating something like a hand made decoration. But eventually I started to think — wait a second, there are so many amazing things to buy on the internet that are easy to use, accessible and don’t require any shipping and handling!
There are tons of digital products popping up that are becoming more and more popular. And as Spotify’s annual Wrapped playlists have proved, even a simple collection of song that defined your year can be a special present we hold dear. What I also tried to do was pick these gifts that are are being created by small, independent companies or creators, because that’s always a plus for me. So I’ve put together a list of things that, although aren’t something you can physically hold, may be something your friends could use to either help create their projects, improve their business and hey, maybe even help achieve some of their 2019 goals. Oh, and the best part? If you’er a last minute shopper like me, a lot of these will be available instantly, no endless hours waiting by your mailbox for Santa.
For the Social Media Lover | Branding kits
All across the internet, more and more internet and social media gurus are sharing their expertise and want to teach you how to work on using the digital world to our advantage. Pretty Thing LLC is a marketing agency is based out of NYC and LA and provides everything from social media audits to website designs. And until December 31st, they’re doing special deals on a lot of their services including branding forms, audits, and even creative consulting sessions. I feel like this is a really meaningful gift if you know someone who is trying to start a business, get into content creating/influencer marketing or need to just boost their social media brand for whatever reason. Not only are most of these deals affordable, they are process very quickly and your loved one will get a sense that you really appreciate them and their goals.
2. For the Photographer: Pre-sets
If you go on somewhere like Etsy, you can find endless accounts and individuals who create pre-sets and other digital masterpieces for you to use. The one I’ve had my eye on as far as a full on shop is Lou Marks Photo that has a large variety of pre-sets to choose from. Most of these are for Lightroom so keep that in mind before buying — again this would be an ideal gift for the photographer or filmmaker in your life who likes to experiment with colors on their photos. It doesn’t even have to be a surprise (I personally have no shame in sometimes just sending something to someone asking, will you like this? before I make the purchase), you can just ask if this is something your friend would enjoy and then offer to pay for a couple.
This is another independent branding site that I found that is actually having some discounts on some of her presets! Check them out!
3. For the Stress Ball | A Meditation App Subscription
This is one of the pricier options, but if you want to really do something special for a loved one, I think this is something that could really be useful. These apps have proven to be extremely helpful in improving mindfulness and the slow steps to mediating. I’ve tried a lot of different apps including Calm, Aura and Headspace and they all have a lot of good stuff to offer from guided meditations, sleep stories, calming music and a schedule to keep track of your meditation habits.
Headspace’s free trial and it was my favorite of the three. It talks about mindfullness and meditation in a very approachable way and the different sessions are easy to play wherever you are. If you know someone who has been trying to get into meditation and haven’t had the time or expertise, getting a subscription for a month or two for a loved one to try out can be the perfect gift. Heaspace’s current most popular package is $7.99 per month, which is one of the most affordable I could find, and they even have special options for gifting it to someone else.
4. For the Wannabe Yogi | Online Yoga Class
Whether your loved one is already regularly practicing yoga, or is looking for an excuse to finally get on the mat, I think this is a fantastic gift idea. Obviously going to real life class at a studio is wonderful and I definitely encourage everyone to support your local studios, but sometimes it’s more comfortable and accessible to start at home. My friend recently showed me Practice With Dana, which is an online studio where she takes you through a virtual yoga class and teaches you about fundamentals that are both intermediate and advanced.
Right now her price is at $25 a month, but she even has a “Choose What You Pay” program where even if that’s not affordable she gives you alternative options. This would be a great gift for someone you know who either loves yoga, isn’t able to afford classes and maybe feels more comfortable doing it at home. Just buy them the first month and see how they like it — maybe even join them in a couple classes!