There was a time, believe it or not, when nearly all gifts were bought in person. And while many still are, we also recognize that venturing into your local brick-and-mortar store during the holidays can feel like an undertaking in and of itself, as can shopping online given the potential for unforeseen shipping delays.
Fortunately, you have options. There are now plenty of online memberships, e-gift cards, subscription boxes, and other digital gifts that can be procured and delivered without ever stepping foot inside a physical retailer or making that last-minute run to the post office. Some, like a subscription to Marvel Unlimited or Headspace, can be delivered instantaneously, while others let your loved one pick out the perfect puzzle, bag of coffee, or plant on their own time.
We can’t guarantee all of the Verge-approved picks below exude the same earnest sincerity as a homemade gift might, but there’s bound to be something here to delight nearly everyone on your wish list.
Audible Premium Plus
Despite the meteoric rise in podcasts over the past decade, an Audible subscription can still be a cherished gift for anyone who never seems to find the spare time to read. They remain one of the best companions for long drives and commutes, whether you’re hoping to finally get caught up on the new Britney Spears memoir or jump headfirst into the latest horror tale from Stephen King.
Starting price: $15 a month
If your giftee dreams of traveling the world, Universal Yums can give them a taste of it. Literally. Every month, members receive a box of snacks from different countries, ranging from Belgian creme bulee bonbons to Indian samosas. They’ll also get a booklet filled with trivia so they can immerse themselves even more in the culture.
Starting price: $20 a month
Let’s face it: we could all do with a bit more relaxation in our lives. A Headspace gift card can provide your loved one with access to hundreds of expert-guided meditations designed to help them de-stress, improve their creativity, and sleep more peacefully. The app even offers some workouts geared toward improving emotional well-being, making it a great gift for meditation gurus and complete newbies.
Starting price: $38.99 for three months
Your giftee might be good at a lot of things — hell, maybe even great — but there’s always room for improvement. Thankfully, a MasterClass subscription can help them fine-tune their skill set, whether they’re looking to beef up their cooking chops, solidify their style, or finish that Aaron Sorkin-esque screenplay they’ve been talking about since The Social Network came out in 2010.
Starting price: $120 for 12 months
There are a lot of things that make the world go round, but for many of us, coffee is near the top. Trade’s finely curated subscription program uses a simple quiz and some algorithmic magic to match gift recipients with one of more than 450 different types of coffee from across the country, providing them with a personalized palette of light, medium, and dark roasts to pick from.
Starting price: $50 for three bags
New York Times All Access
We know The Verge is your go-to source for all things news-related, but there’s nothing wrong with a little supplemental reading, right? A subscription to The New York Times gives you unlimited digital access to the paper’s ace reporting and analysis as well as delicious recipes, exclusive podcast episodes, and — of course — the ability to play a little game called Wordle.
Starting price: $60 for 12 months
Eater Wine Club
Whether your beloved is an aficionado or merely dabbles in wine, our sister site, Eater, offers a wine club subscription that automatically delivers a batch of hand-selected wines to your door every month. Each box contains either two or four bottles, depending on the subscription, and is curated by a pro from an Eater-beloved city.
Starting price: $70 for two bottles
Even with its recent price hike, Disney Plus remains one of the best values in streaming if you have kids. The popular service is brimming with animated and live-action programming, much of which is culled from Disney’s own cable networks and vault of classic titles. It’s also the only way to keep up with the latest happenings in the MCU and Star Wars... provided you don’t have a sadistic affinity for physical media.
Starting price: $7.99 a month
Gaia GPS Premium
Gaia offers some of the best topo maps available, though you won’t be able to take advantage of them as easily in the backcountry without paying. A Gaia GPS Premium subscription lets you create routes and record your various outdoor activities in a similar fashion as the free version, except you’ll also be able to download them for offline use.
Starting price: $60 for 12 months
Unless you’re studying botany or happen to work at a nursery, a green thumb isn’t a guarantee. Fortunately, Horti’s curated monthly subscriptions make learning proper plant care easy, whether you’re a fan of hardy succulents, pet-friendly ferns, or exotic calathea varietals that showcase the natural foliage of the West Indies.
Starting price: $105 for three months
Book of the Month
There are oh so many books in the world but not enough time to vet them all. That’s where a Book of the Month membership comes in handy. Each month, members get to choose a hardcover book from a small, carefully curated selection of classics and newer bestsellers, making it the perfect gift for bibliophiles who find stocking their own library a challenge.
Starting price: $59.99 for three books
Silk and Sonder Guided Self-Care Journals
From reducing stress and boosting creativity to helping you accomplish goals, the benefits of journaling are endless. A Silk and Sonder subscription will help your giftee make a habit of it by delivering themed journals containing trackers and guided exercises each month. They’ll also get access to community events, virtual classes, and a program that will guide them through the journaling process.
Starting price: $24.95 a month
Humans aren’t the only ones who deserve a little love and affection come the holidays — which is where Meowbox comes in. Each feline-friendly subscription box is designed to keep your cat entertained and, as such, is chock-full of crinkle balls, feathered creatures, and a host of other high-quality toys sourced from various artisans. They even include a treat, as if a heavy dose of catnip weren’t enough.
Starting price: $32.95 a month
We all know the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen better days. Fortunately for nerds everywhere, there are plenty of tremendous superhero stories to explore with Marvel Unlimited. A monthly subscription grants you access to over 30,000 digital comics dating as far back as the late 1930s, letting your giftee delve into the origins of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man or whoever their favorite B-list villain is at the moment.
Starting price: $69 for 12 months
Jiggy Puzzle Club
Outside of yoga and meditation, there are few things in life as zen as poring over a good puzzle. Luckily, Jiggy’s Puzzle Club makes it easy to do so, allowing you to choose a 500-piece puzzle from a seasonal selection before each shipment goes out. It’s a great gift for the dissectologist in your life, whether they know the slang or consider themselves a jigsaw novice.
Starting price: $102 for three puzzles
Atlas Tea Club
New month, new country. The Atlas Tea Club is a revolving door of flavors and facts, each rooted in a pair of single-origin teas from different parts of the globe. Each small-batch varietal is loose-leaf, too, and comes with tasting notes, steeping tips, and a cute postcard that offers a bit of history about the region from which the tea is sourced.
Starting price: $55 for three months
Have a loved one who saw the Eras Tour and is now an aspiring guitarist? Fender Play can help beginner and intermediate players build core skills and techniques through thousands of bite-size video tutorials, allowing them to learn everything from basic chord structures and theory to how to fingerpick with the best of them.
Starting price: $149.99 for 12 months
Say it with a Sock
Everyone needs socks, which also happen to be an incredibly stealthy way to express your personality without broadcasting your guilty pleasures to the world. A Say it with a Sock subscription is a simple way to bolster your wardrobe with a variety of cotton crew socks, making it an ideal gift for someone who isn’t afraid to wear a mid-calf ninja, cassette tape, or alligator to the office.
Starting price: $6.50 a month
Whether your loved one uses music to study, motivate themselves on a run, or kick out to the latest Dua Lipa track at a party, a Spotify Premium subscription is a welcome gift that will help them do it all. Ad-free memberships start at $10.99 a month and grant unfettered access to millions of songs, podcasts, and even audiobooks without interruption.
Starting: $10.99 a month
Goldbelly ice cream
Who doesn’t like ice cream? Goldbelly’s monthly subscription might be pricey, but it’s one foodies of all ages will appreciate. Once signed up, you’ll receive up to six pints of ice cream or 24 ice cream sandwiches a month, all sourced from small creameries throughout the country. The ice cream comes in all kinds of flavors, too, from your run-of-the-mill vanilla to a rich hazelnut brownie.
Starting price: $269.85 for three months
Xbox Game Pass Ultimate
Gifting someone a few months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate grants them access to hundreds of quality titles across Xbox and PC — including Starfield, the latest Forza Motorsport, and some of the biggest games of the year. There are also surprise hits like Lies of P and indie works of art like Cocoon, making it quite the curated collection of games.
Starting price: $16.99 a month
KiwiCo Kiwi Crate
Kiwi Crates are less about screens and more about providing hands-on learning opportunities for kids. Each box contains a clever project rooted in topics such as art, science, and engineering, with detailed instructions and materials for building everything from a DIY pinball machine to a miniature rocket you can launch with your foot.
Starting price: $4.95 a month