Digital Gifts are all the rage now. They take no time, require no shipping, and provide solace for those of us who are gift-wrap-paper challenged. Some may even argue that they are a green alternative to the material demands of holiday gift giving. So whether you are strapped for time, want to save trees, or you wrap boxes like a T-Rex with gloves, digital is a great option for everyone. Here is a list of some of my favorite ways to give digitally.
The All-In-One Digital Gift
Amazon Prime is a great Swiss Army Knife of digital gifts. Amazon Prime offers streaming movies, ebooks, music, free shipping on online purchases, and games for one annual fee. It is also accessible from almost any device that connects to the internet. You can also give an Amazon gift card and buy literally anything (including Swiss Army Knives) without the hassle of getting out of your pajamas.
The Game-Lovers Instant Gift
for people who love to play games. Steam has digital board games, party games, action games, and even movies. If you have a gamer friend in your life and you want to buy them a game, but you are not sure what they play, you can just get them a gift card on Steam. Steam is a universal game engine that will let you play any PC game on any computer. All you need is internet access. Just go to the Steam website, pick out a game, select the gift option at check out and send the gift by email
. Here are few suggestions for casual parties
, most popular pg-13
, most popular kid games
. Or you can just give a gift card
One of a Kind Virtual Caricature Gift
Create an avatar of them to use on social media and in online profiles. This is another example of a small item that can really go along way. From Facebook to Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, you name it there are literally hundreds of places a good avatar can be used. Getting an avatar is fun too! It’s kind of like the modern version of getting a caricature drawing done.
Have a custom avatar drawn
or make one for free.
A Virtual Stocking-Stuffer
Design a funny poster for them to be used as a desktop wallpaper. Wallpapers are something simple and fun that they can use at work or at home or on any computer or device. Its a great small gift with a lot of thought and personal flair. Its like a virtual stocking-stuffer, perfect as an accessory gift or just a little something to let someone know you are thinking about them. Give a custom drawn or designed computer wallpaper.
The Gift of a Good Story
So you are a terrible writer, but you love to tell a good story? Have a copy editor write or edit your story. You can write a story about your friend, preserve a great memory, talk about your friendship, about your love story, or anything you can think up — you can even make up something crazy. Once you are done and are beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea after all, hand that mess over to a pro who will artfully turn your jumble of word salad into the Crème Brûlée of short stories.
Give the gift of a good story.
Cliff’s Notes for Lovers Letters
Love letters are hard to write. I have tried to put my heart on paper so many times; I am embarrassed to admit it. Unfortunately, despite all my efforts, I have nothing to show for it since, sadly, I am no poet and most of my work ends up getting filed in the recycle bin. Sometimes you just need a little help. There is no shame in getting some help, especially if it helps you say the things you need to say to the one you love. I like to think of it like baking a cake. People will love it whether you made it from scratch or from a mix. What matters most is that you put your heart into it.
Send the love letter you always wanted to send,
Puppet-gram — yes any message you have to share can be made at least 20% better when delivered by a puppet. Say I love you, say Merry Christmas, or say anything you want. It’s adorable and hilarious coming from a muppet, puppet or, for a creepy twist, try the ventriloquist marionette.
Who wouldn’t want a puppet video for a gift.
Ebooks, so, so, so many ebooks…
Just another of the many, many, many ebook streaming service that gives users unlimited access to avid reader access to a gajilion books to read. It’s easy, it’s cheap and its a good gift. Another book service to consider gifting is Scribd
. The digital library offers ebooks just like the rest for a monthly fee. All of these services are based on monthly access to the books so you don’t have to pay by-the-book, however, once you stop your subscription you lose access to your books since you never “own” any of them.
How to give just one special ebook
If you prefer to read-for-keeps alternatively you can order individual e-books (learn how to do that here) and deliver the gift by email. This method is nice because if feels a little more personal to pick out a few special books for someone.
The Box o’Bacon Subscription Gift
The Goldbely subscription box
($39-$649). Every month, they’ll get hand-selected feasts and you can pick the theme, bacon of the month, pie of the month, cake of the month, bacon of the month, cookies of the month, sandwich of the month, Bacon of the month…did I mention bacon of the month? Whatever you pick they will love it.
Digital Massage… it’s a pun!
No double entendre here. You can order a set of skilled hands for a massage with Priv
who will schedule a body expert straight to your home, that is if your home is in Los Angeles, New York, or London. For the rest of us living outside of the mega cities you can always get a gift card to Massage envy
which you can find pretty much anywhere.
The Paper-Free Magazine Subscription
e-magazines and it is a lot like Netflix of magazines. You can gift the service by the month.
Flexible Instant Gift Cards
is the flexible gift card kind of like a visa gift card but with a little;e more personal of a touch. You can select a variety of options and suggestions for your giftee to pick from but in the end they get to pick just what they want and you get to send it via email or text.
Surprise Luxury Gift Box
it’s $100 worth of full-size luxury products curated by editor-in-chief Lisa Sugar of Popsugar. The products include items like in beauty products, fashion items, home goods, fitness tools, and chic foods.
iTunes Gift Cards
gift card, one of the original mainstream digital gifts. It’s only good for people who own Apple products but its a small luxury Apple-loving people tend to like to spend money on. If you happen to be and apple person you can even send a specific app or a song straight from your phone
to your giftee.
A Digital Mixed-Tape
Spotify gift cards
unlimited access without ad interruption to all the songs you could ever want to hear. Add a personal touch by creating your person a digital mix-tape by creating a play list for them and sharing it to their account.
An Instant Gift for the Couch Potato
all great digital gift options if you are looking to give the gift of streaming movies, music and tv.
An eGift your Comicon Friends will Love
10,000 new and classic comics in Marvel’s online archive need I say more? Its a fantastic way for comic book lovers to indulge in unlimited access to every comic line in the marvel universe and it starts at just $10 a month.
Give the Gift that Gives Twice
The old standard, give the gift of a donation to a cause your giftee would love to support but with a twist. Did you know some charities only give pennies on the dollar of your donation to the groups they say they support? If you give to a cause be sure to check them out on a charity review site
first and make sure your gift truly supports the cause they believe in. It’s a great way to give twice with one gift.
The Most Surprisingly Original and Completely Useful Gift on This List…
Give a website
. Hear me out it sounds like a strange gift but it can actually be a really thoughtful and useful gift. Does your giftee have a talent, a small business or a club/hobby they are involved in? You can put together a simple one page site or have a whole eCommerce built just for them. Help them get exposure, help their business look more professional and find more customers, help their club or team find new members and sponsors. We are living in a time when everyone has a website, even the little kid selling lemonade on the corner has a website where you can pre-order and accepts credit card payments on-site with Square. Having a website is such a great way to get and stay connected with the people that matter. Because, as you know, here at Design Web, building custom websites just happens to be what we do best…