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.
1For the Friend Whose Year Was Stressful AF
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).
2For the Busy Bibliophile
6For Somebody Who Really Needs to Take a Break Already
7For the Friend Who's Pretty Sure She Might Be Royalty
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.
8For The Person Who REALLY Needs A Vacation
10For the Aspiring Foodie
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.
14For the Home Decor Diva
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.
15For the Couple Who Really Needs a Night Out, Part 2
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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