The Non-Thing Gift Guide — Gifts to Get People Who Have Everything

a collage of different logos for the companies talkspace, babbel, underbelly, airbnb experiences, and uncommon good experiences


Supply chain issues, global warming, the hoards of stuff we’ve all already accumulated—turns out there are plenty of reasons to avoid buying your loved ones any more Things this holiday season. Instead, give something you know they’ll use, but won’t end up in the trash or being regifted for their next White Elephant. Maybe it’s a nearby service (think: massage or facial), a membership to their favorite museum, or a gift card and reservation for a new-to-them restaurant. And if you’re still stumped, find 12 more ideas, below.

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Language Courses

Have a friend who spent quarantine planning to brush up on their high school-level French? Gift them Babbel, a language-learning app that provides online classes, games, videos, and podcasts to help them learn up to 13 languages. Gift subscriptions range from $42 to $199, offering an option for most budgets. C’est magnifique.



Workout Classes

Due to the pandemic, most workout studios are still offering virtual classes, meaning you can gift a subscription, no matter where your recipient lives. A few to try: Alo Moves, which offers barre, pilates, and HIIT; The Underbelly, body positivity advocate Jessamyn Stanley’s online yoga classes; and Socanomics, dance-fitness workouts inspired by Caribbean Carnival.


Birth Chart Reading

Much like Airbnb, Uncommon Goods offers up a number of experiential gifts, including this class, where an astrologer charts your personal forecast for the upcoming year. Essential for your BFF who’s constantly checking their Co–Star app.



Personalized Celebrity Videos

A few years ago, in lieu of a physical present, I gifted my Gossip Girl-loving roommate a Cameo from Zuzanna Szadkowski, aka Dorota herself. It went over so well that I plan to keep purchasing Cameos—personalized video messages from your favorite celebs—whenever I’m stumped on what to get. Pro tip: Chigs from The Great British Baking Show *is* on there.



Talkspace Therapy

Everyone can benefit from a bit of counsel. Now through Talkspace, the online therapy platform, you can gift a one-time video session or unlimited messaging. Just be sure to read through Talkspace’s guide on respectfully sending a therapy e-card before you purchase.



Interior Design Membership

This one’s for your interior design-loving friend who’s DMed you one too many inspo photos. Spoak offers a suite of tools that will help anyone—novice or expert—design and execute a room refresh. Joanna Gaines, who?



MasterClass Subscription

The solution for all the hard-to-buy-for people in your life: MasterClass offers 100+ online classes taught by some of the world’s best, letting anyone dive deep into an established hobby or pick up a new one. Perhaps start with Alicia Keys on songwriting and producing?



Jackbox Games

Chances are you dabbled in Jackbox during those dark days of quarantine, but the online games—which can be played by people in the same room or across the country—still hold up months later. Purchase a new pack as a bright spot for the cold winter days ahead.



The Shine App

This mental wellness app, co-founded by two women of color who felt left out of the mainstream wellness industry, offers daily meditations and an inclusive online community. Gift a year-long subscription to anyone focusing on self-care in 2022.



Patreon Membership

Is there a podcaster/YouTuber/writer/musician your loved one is obsessed with? Well, that person probably also has a Patreon, a subscription-based platform where creators can offer up extra content at a premium price. One place to start: The popular podcast Crime Junkie releases extra episodes to Patreon members only.



Newsletter Subscription

Finally, something good to hit their inbox. Through Substack, you can gift a subscription to hundreds of newsletters, including Ask Polly, an extension of Heather Havrilesky’s beloved advice column, or Hung Up, former Vulture writer Hunter Harris’s weekly musings on all things pop culture.


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