Once upon a time, gift cards were considered to be somewhat impersonal gifts. You know, the kind of last-minute option you grab for someone you maybe don't know all that well: A Starbucks card for your kid's gym teacher that you pick up on the way to school; a generic pre-paid Visa for the teenage niece you haven't seen since she was five; a mall gift certificate for the babysitter who only comes once every other month. But there are plenty of more personalized,
unique gift cards you can buy online that will make everybody on your list feel like you took time and effort to choose a present just for them (even if it only took you five minutes and a couple of clicks, and most of those minutes were spent finding something for yourself).
In truth, you don't need to be super well-acquainted with someone to get them a gift card that will make them say "I had no idea she knew me so well!" Some needs and wants are simply universal, while others are pretty easy to guess; for example, any mom is going to love anything that gives her an excuse to spoil herself silly for a day. Plus, getting someone a gift card might just be the only guarantee that they won't return their present, because they get to do some of the choosing themselves — and they have the option of using it at their own convenience. In fact, you'll probably be tempted to get at least one of these for yourself! (Okay, maybe all of them.)
Keep scrolling to check out some of the most unique gift cards that make the best holiday gifts.
For the Friend Whose Year Was Stressful AF
One Month of Virtual Therapy ($156, Talkspace)
Know somebody who could use a few extra coping skills this year but doesn't have the time (or the extra dough) to spend in a therapist's office once a week? Talkspace online therapy matches clients to the right therapist, then offers counseling via any laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Everything is confidential thanks to banking-grade encryption, and no in-person visits are required (though video calls are an option).
For the Busy Bibliophile
A 3-Month Audiobook Subscription ($45, Audible)
Any bonafide book lover with no time to read actual books will love an Audible membership, which gives lit lovers the chance to catch up on their favorite titles while commuting, at the gym, doing housework... you get the picture.
For the Celebrity Wannabe
On-Demand Beauty Services (From $50, Glamsquad)
What could be better than the gift of a personal hairstylist, makeup artist, stylist or nail technician sent straight to her door? This one is guaranteed to make your BFF feel like a Kardashian for a day.
A Month of Unlimited Online Yoga Classes ($18, YogaGlo)
With over 4,000 virtual classes available at every level (meditation classes available, too!), a subscription to YogaGlo will bestow all the benefits of this ancient practice any time of the day or night.
For the GoT Fan Who's Always Asking for Your HBO GO Password
HBO E-Gift Card ($5-$500, HBO)
Because it's annoying to have to keep giving out your password every time there's another important series premiere, this is the perfect time to treat your binge-watching buddy.
For Somebody Who Really Needs to Take a Break Already
At-Home Massage (From $109, Soothe)
If you've ever daydreamed about a magical massage fairy appearing at your friend door after a hard day, you know what an amazing gift this one would be (sessions can be booked as late as midnight!). Choose from deep tissue, Swedish, sports, couples, and prenatal.
For the Friend Who's Pretty Sure She Might Be Royalty
DNA Testing Kit ($99, Living DNA)
In case you hadn't noticed, getting your DNA tested is all the rage these days. Help clear up those burning questions for a friend who wants to know more about her roots (is she descended from royalty
really??) with an easy-to-use DNA kit. Living DNA's is billed as the "most advanced" test available, so you know they're getting top-notch results, without having to haul herself to some sketchy lab.
For The Person Who REALLY Needs A Vacation
($25-$200, Airbnb Gift Card ) Amazon
Give your pal with the surplus of frequent flier miles a reason to use them with a gift certificate to the popular homesharing platform (even better, get one for yourself too. When was the last time you went on a vacation together, after all?
Spa Services ($25-$500, Spafinder)
A perfect choice if you want to give the gift of pampering but aren't sure what someone likes (or what the best spas are in their area), a gift card from Spafinder can be used at thousands of locations, and it never expires!
For the Aspiring Foodie
Gordon Ramsay Masterclass ($90 per class or $180 for a year-long all-access pass, Masterclass)
Cooking show addicts will devour the chance to brush up on basic skills and become a truly accomplished "home cook" under the online tutelage of Gordon Ramsay himself. Plus, this gives you a reason to invite yourself over for dinner.
For the Friend With Zero Time to Clean
Housecleaning Services (Any amount, Molly Maids)
Way better than offering to come over and clean up yourself, this unbelievably useful gift is ideal for a new mom, busy professional or anyone else who hasn't had a chance to dust since last Christmas.
For the Live Music Lover
StubHub Gift Card ($25-$1,000, StubHub)
Concert tickets are always a great gift, except what if you aren't sure of your friend's schedule (or taste in music)? With a StubHub card, she can figure out the details for herself... and hopefully bring you along.
For the Couple Who Needs a Night Out
Open Table Gift Card ($20-$150, OpenTable)
Better than a certificate to a specific eatery, a gift card from Open Table gives recipients the option of choosing from over 3500 locations!
For the Home Decor Diva
Interior Design Services (From $79, Laurel & Wolf)
Whether they're looking to overhaul the look of their home or they've just moved into a new place, those with an eye for design will love the gift of services from Laurel & Wolf, which matches clients with online designers who'll customize a plan for their space, tastes and budget.
For the Couple Who Really Needs a Night Out, Part 2
Babysitting Services ($25-$200, UrbanSitter)
There's nothing quite so magical as the gift of childcare for an overworked, overextended parent — especially childcare that can be redeemed at any time, like when the regular babysitter cancels last minute.
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