It makes me uncomfortable how materialist the holidays have become (or always were?). The pressure to give a gift can often turn into random clutter that the receiver appreciates but doesn’t really need (or wants). This year, my dad and I are skipping the gifts and instead, planning a vacation for 2019 – adorable, I know. I definitely see a wave of people who would rather opt for something more sustainable, but it’s much easier bulk order gifts online than it is to think about an experience you could give. Hopefully this gift guide will help you think of the perfect gift that doesn’t come in a box.

VACATION. Think about what your friend or family member is really into and book a trip around it. If they love to cook, plan a trip to Italy and learn to make pasta (bring me along too when you go). If a trip like that is out of the budget, just think about what you could do in your own city. It’s about the experience, not how extravagant it is.

SUBSCRIPTION // MEMBERSHIP. Nothing says Happy Holidays like a Netflix or Amazon Prime account. Seriously though, think about a membership your friend or family already pays for (or wants) and take that off their hands for a month or year – whatever you can swing. Even a gym membership could be cool. I’m actually not sure how this would come across to the person receiving the gift, but just as long as you’re not body shaming – a paid gym membership would be pretty helpful, am I wrong?

PAMPERING. Book a massage, facial, mani/pedi, acupuncture, chiropractor, or a full spa day for someone. It will be a much-needed relaxation for the holiday season.

TICKETS. Concert tickets, a Broadway show, basketball game, museum, or even a yoga festival – a ticket is an easy gift for someone looking for experiences over material items.

BUCKET LIST. If you’re really close with the person and know their bucket list, try to make one of these happen. Skydiving, taking a painting class, competing in a pie eating contest, you get the point. Get creative.

SCHOOL. Ew. Just kidding, school is fun and I’m a nerd. If the person you are gifting has recently been talking about learning a new skill or language think about paying for a course on that subject.

WINE TASTING. What’s better than a day of wine tasting? Wine tasting and cheese, that’s what.

Check out my Self-Care Gift Guide and Home Decor Gift Guide