8 Non-Product Gift Ideas

Here we are folks, with my final (and favorite) gift guide of 2019. There are 9 days until Christmas, and if you’re still looking for last-minute presents, consider something from my list of 8 non-product gift ideas. Not only are they more sustainable options (no shipping, gift-wrap, or product itself), but many of them are quite meaningful too. I would love to get any and all of these in place of a more traditional gift!

1. Headspace: I have had a lot of trouble sticking with meditation, yet every friend, family member, and therapist I’ve ever had insists that it will do wonders for my anxiety. Even though I know that logically, it’s hard for me to make that time for myself daily for something that I just don’t seem to be that good at. But I had a change of heart over Thanksgiving when Jackson (my little brother) told me how much it has helped with his sleep. He has been doing the kid’s bedtime meditations almost every night for 6 months now and he is able to fall asleep much faster.

A subscription to the app would make a great gift for anyone, but I love the idea of buying the Headspace family plan as a gift to yourself and your whole family because it will give the gift of meditation to up to six people (including the kids!) in one plan. Or get a family plan as a gift for your group of girlfriends and commit to meditating together.

2. UNICEF Market: You can donate lifesaving supplies to children in need all over the world in the name of a loved one with the UNICEF market. They have a lot of life-changing gifts like school in a box ($205) to help at least 40 children continue their education during conflict), deworming tablets for 1000 children ($40), thermal fleece blankets for 5 babies ($33), and a two month’s supply of therapeutic food for malnourished kids ($55).

You can search gifts by causes you or the person you’re gifting are passionate about and UNICEF will send a note to your loved one and deliver the charity gift to the children who need it most. This is such a beautiful way to show your love for someone else. If any of my family or friends are still looking for a gift for me and you’re reading this, please buy it here!

3. Classpass: With Classpass, you can save up to 70% on workout classes so gifting a membership (they start at $9/month) to anyone in your life who likes to get their sweat on would be a great gift. Or they make it really easy to gift any amount that can be used towards whatever class they want. Classpass is available all over the country now, but if it isn’t available at any studios near you, think about a gift card to a spin class, Orange Theory, a yoga studio, or dance class.

4. YNAB (You Need a Budget)Our accountant got us hooked on YNAB last year. It’s budgeting software that changes the way you look at money. They help you set achievable goals so it feels like you’re always winning instead of restricting yourself. I personally love and recommend it for a recent college graduate, someone looking to save for their first home, or anyone struggling with debt. You can gift a yearlong subscription ($83) here.

5. Name a StarThis is kind of a fun one that I’ve always wanted an excuse to do. You can name a star visible anywhere in the world after someone special (starting at $20). It would be such a cute gift for a new mom or for a romantic partner. Once you register the star, you can check out where it is at any point on their registry. It’s kind of silly and gimmicky but also sweet and thoughtful for the sentimental ones on your gift list.

6. Massage: Truly you can never go wrong with a great massage. I would take a massage over a material gift any day of the week. They can be pricey so if you’re on a budget, go to a local nail salon and get a gift card for a 20-30 minute massage. The $12 10-minute massages were my biggest indulgence right after I had Amalia. It’s amazing what only 10 minutes can do.

7. MasterclassLearn creative writing from Margaret Atwood, makeup and beauty from Bobbi Brown, cooking techniques from Thomas Keller, tennis fundamentals from Serena Williams photography from Annie Liebowitz, shooting and scoring from Stephen Curry, the art of magic from Penn & Teller and so many more. They have over 70 classes and each class is made up of 24 lessons so it seems pretty in-depth. I’ve never personally taken a Masterclass but would love to (especially the art of home cooking with Alice Waters). The all-access pass is $180/year which would be a really amazing gift for anyone looking to learn more about anything and everything. Otherwise, you could buy one specific class for $90 each.

8. Donation: A monetary donation to a charity that someone cares about is always a good idea. The inLieu app allows you to donate any amount in someone else’s name to the charity of your/their choice. It makes gifting a donation easier than ever. Another cool thing you can do is create an event that directs your friends and family to donate to a specific charity. So if you have a holiday party and want donations instead of a hostess gift, you could ask for that.

Thank you to Headspace for sponsoring this post. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own. Photo by Julia Dags.

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  1. LOVE LOVE this post. Such creative ideas- I love the way you think! I’ve been gifting experiences for years for the same reasons you mention. My blog’s gift guides have similar ideas, with an emphasis on children. <3

    12.16.19 · Reply
  2. annette said:

    You are right…Best gift list! Let’s get rid of the stuff, for those who are blessed to have enough stuff. Let’s give health and wellness or skills to our loved ones and give to the many many people and causes that can use our help.
    Loved all your ideas…
    Wishing you and your family a peaceful holiday season

    12.16.19 · Reply
  3. Erica said:

    These are such great ideas! I’m looking into the budgeting app for myself and as a gift. For the Headspace subscription, is the pricing different for a family plan vs. the annual subscription? I couldn’t find the info on their site. Thank you!

    12.16.19 · Reply