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Holiday shopping season is in full swing. So how far have you gotten?
Hey, we’re not pointing fingers. We feel the same way. There’s a level of universal fatigue from the year we’ve had, and we’re not as go-go-go as usual on the gift-shopping front. If playing Santa feels more bah humbug than ho ho ho this year, why not go the foolproof route of giving gift cards. The right pick for the right person can be even better than something in a big box, meticulously wrapped.
Gift cards are having a moment right now: You can score one for practically any brand out there—from fashion to food delivery—tailoring your choice to your recipient. And folks can shop online right away (without setting foot in a store), staying calm and contactless as they select a worthy 3D manifestation of your love.
Most merchants let you choose between a digital gift card emailed to your recipient, a pretty gift certificate you can print out, and a good old-fashioned piece of plastic. Some even give you the chance to customize gift cards.
The poetry, though, is in the picking. Here are 28 ideas you may not have thought of that will make the folks on your list feel merry and bright—and will let you finish your holiday shopping, well… right now.
This essential retailer simplifies the process of buying footwear by carrying a seemingly endless inventory of favorite name brands, from Uggs and Asics to Clarks and Crocs. But shoes aren’t Zappos’ only claim to fame; your gift recipient can also turn that card into a handbag, a cozy blanket, clothes (including items from great size-inclusive lines), and more.
Shop it: Zappos Gift Card, $10 to $1,000, zappos.com
A top player in the luxury bedding industry, Brooklinen has a strong following. Everyone’s gaga over the brand’s luxe sheet, duvets, and cozy loungewear. As the company’s grown, it’s introduced affordable modern furniture and wall art, too. Plenty to choose from at whatever amount you want to give.
Shop it: Brooklinen Gift Card, from $50, brooklinen.com
The name Sorel is synonymous with rugged winter footwear that’s also high on style. The brand’s snow and rain boots have tough, weatherproof outers and chunky, treaded, all-terrain soles—and they all bear the signature polar bear logo. Your recipient can also shop warm and fuzzy slippers, sneakers, and—looking forward to next summer—even sandals.
Shop it: Sorel Gift Card, $25 to $500, sorel.com
Baublebar is a Mecca for jewelry of all styles, from dainty stackable rings to statement-making hoop earrings. The site includes a range of price points, too. They have fine jewelry for fans of solid gold or gold vermeil, but they also carry lower-end fashion jewelry for folks who like to switch it up on a whim. Baublebar also makes custom items and carries an assortment of fashion-forward face masks. In addition to buying printed or digital gift cards, you can design your own physical gift card!
Shop it: Baublebar Gift Card, $10 to $1,000, baublebar.com
The activewear giant carries everything needed for outdoor adventure—or simply to brave the cold: fleeces, down jackets, beanies, joggers, hiking boots, and more. They even carry cute, outdoorsy accessories like an insulated wine tumbler, camping cookware, and all kinds of bags and backpacks. Great for your outdoorsy friends.
Shop it: Columbia Gift Card, $25 to $500, columbia.com
You don’t always have time to cook healthy meals. Some people can’t make it to the supermarket lately or have had their hands extra full this year. Instead of resorting to packaged foods or takeout, consider Freshly meal deliveries. You just choose the amount of family members to feed and the company will cook, wrap, and deliver scrumptious dishes straight away.
Shop it: Freshly Gift Card, $52 to $114 for 4 to 12 meals, freshly.com
Lockdown has made homebodies of us all, but there are still Zoom calls, outdoor dining dates and just wanting to look and feel great in general. That’s why makeup and skincare are the ideal gifts for beauty junkies right about now. Stila is beloved for its high-quality cosmetics, from sparkly eyeshadow palettes and brozers to silky smooth lip glosses and more.
Shop it: Stila Gift Card, $5 to $5,000, stilacosmetics.com
Known for some of the best prices possible for top-shelf skincare products and cosmetics, Dermstore also carries haircare, bath and body care, and even men’s products (a shaving set for the holidays? Sounds downright jolly!). Dermstore carries the brands that are most beloved by dermatologists and estheticians, including Skinceuticals, Sunday Riley, Olaplex and so many more.
Shop it: Dermstore Gift Card, $25 to $200, dermstore.com
This one-stop shop for luxury bedding and bath products — think buttery soft sheets, pillows, duvets, towels and more—recently decided to get in on the bed-in-a-box mattress game, too. In 2019, Parachute launched a 100-percent organic cotton coil mattress that starts at $1,300. The brand also sells chic home accessories like candles and dinnerware. When you buy a five-pack of Parachute’s cotton face masks, they’ll donate a pack to charity.
Shop it: Parachute Gift Card, $50 to $500, parachutehome.com
In the world of beauty, it’s hard to find a brand more esteemed than Ulta, and for good reason. Shoppers can get their glam on from head to toe thanks to the brand’s exhaustive inventory of products to pamper their skin, nails, and hair, plus makeup from their most-loved brands, from Bareminerals to Mac. A great gift for the glam girl.
Shop it: Ulta Gift Card, $25 to $250, ulta.com
From newbies like Elsa and Stitch to classics like Mickey and Minnie, Disney’s most cherished characters are all right here—and Disney’s online store carries a dizzying array of toys, figurines, games, apparel and more devoted to them. They even carry Disney Park-inspired products — nice stand-ins until the parks open to the public again — as well as whimsical face masks. Kids will love this card.
Shop it: ShopDisney Gift Card, from. $25 to $500, shopdisney.com
For the pet-lover on your list: This retailer carries everything Fido or Fluffy’s heart could possibly desire, from food and treats to toys, leashes, bowls, and cute clothing. Your friend can use the card on anything, from the practical (kitty littler) to the indulgent (a holiday outfit for their dog).
Shop it: Chewy Gift Card, $25 to $100, chewy.com
Now might not be the best time to visit a spa — or it might not even be possible depending on where you live — but the great thing about a Spafinder gift card is that it never expires! And that might be great incentive for someone you love to score a massage, facial or any other kind of spa treatment in their area when the world re-opens. Until then, a Spafinder gift card can also be used on site to buy luxe products by brands like SpaRitual and Pure Fiji.
Shop it: Spafinder Gift Card, $50 to $500, spafinder.com
There’s no end to the quirkiness you’ll discover at Uncommon Goods — after all, it’s right there in the name. A gift certificate (of course they don’t even call it a card) can score you things as mildly whimsical as wall-mounted chess boards and beer-chilling coasters to items that are totally out there in the best possible ways — things like velociraptor garden sculptures and smartphone-controlled paper airplanes. Let your freak flag fly!
Shop it: Uncommon Goods Gift Certificate, $5 to $1,000, uncommongoods.com
When in doubt, Amazon (if that’s not an actual saying it needs to become one, stat!). The internet’s biggest and most exhaustive mega-store sells gift cards too, and they can be used to redeem anything from clothing and housewares to electronics and e-books. And because Amazon is known for its industry-best prices and quick, convenient delivery, there’s nothing not to love here.
Shop it: Amazon Gift Card, from $25, amazon.com
If you want to support independent artists this holiday season, a Red Bubble gift card is the way to go. The site sells all kinds of quirky stuff emblazoned with the designs of creative individuals. Think wall art, smartphone cases, aprons, throw pillows and even fun socks. The options are effortlessly unique and unbelievably affordable. If you prefer you can pick a design first then see which products are available in that print.
Shop it: Red Bubble Gift Card, starting at $20, redbubble.com
Home improvements are one way to be productive with time when you’re socially distanced, and Lowe’s is a prime resource for everything a homeowner — or home dweller — could possibly need. Building products, fittings and fixtures, furniture and accessories and pretty much anything else under a roof — or in a backyard — can be found at this superstore. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
Shop it: Lowe’s Gift Card, $50 to $200, amazon.com
Whether the gamer in your life uses a Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch or a gaming PC, they’re bound to find something fun to play at Jackbox Games. Most games are sold in bundles — or “party packs” — and feature selections trivia games, drawing games, party games and more. Standalone games are available too starting at just $10.
Shop it: Jackbox Games Gift Card, $5 to $30, shop.jackboxgames.com
Got beauty on the brain? Sephora has tons of products to make you feel pretty, pampered and posh. Makeup, beauty tools, hair care products and so much more from brands like Benefit, Drunk Elephant and Philosophy are practically oozing from the digital shelves, just waiting for a spot in your makeup bag or vanity. There’s a reason this chain is so well-known — just browsing their inventory is like waking up on Christmas morning.
Shop it: Sephora Gift Card, $10 to $250, sephora.com
Eyeglasses and sunglasses from all your favorite premium brands can be found right here — and delivered to you in as fast as two days. Eyebuy Direct has a huge inventory of Ray-Ban eyeglass and sunglass frames, and the site also carries brands like Oakley and Rflkt. Of course you can also get your hands on mid-priced frames and choose by face shape, material, gender and more.
Shop it: EyeBuyDirect Gift Card, $25 to $100, eyebuydirect.com
This household name is appealing to anyone who loves cozy clothing, rustic home decor, outdoor adventure gear or an iconic nautical tote bag. Shoes? Slippers? L.L. Bean has those too — and there’s nothing quite like an authentic fleece from this beloved brand. The great outdoors is even greater with an L.L. Bean gift card.
Shop it: L.L. Bean Gift Card, starting at $25, amazon.com
You can keep it in your wallet or load it onto your app, but a Starbucks gift card will have your caffeine craving satisfied no matter where you are. Fancy coffee can feel like an indulgence, but a sweet gift like this will make a venti soy latte with an espresso shot feel like guilt-free treat any day of the week. Of course, you can pick up a scone or a cake pop while you’re at it, too.
Shop it: Starbucks Gift Card, $25 to $100, amazon.com
Ordering takeout is way too easy these days. Make it even easier for someone you love with a Grubhub gift card. The meal delivery service works with more than 300,000 restaurants in more than 4,000 cities. Search by restaurant or cuisine — or get even more granular searching by food item. Whatever you crave, you can find it on Grubhub.
Shop it: Grubhub Gift Card, $25 to $500, grubhub.com
The resource for sustainable, well-made, sophisticated basics, Everlane makes it easy to love shopping with them. Not only are their items effortlessly chic — we’re talking sweaters, denim, dresses, bags and more that will make you feel high end overnight — but the brand makes it a priority to give back, raising money for hunger-fighting nonprofit Feed America.
Shop it: Everlane Gift Card: $25 to $200, everlane.com
It’s like Amazon for dogs and cats — and bunnies, too! Petco carries more than 100,000 products for furry friends. Treats are just the tip of the iceberg, but there are enough to fill a fireplace stocking to the brim this holiday season. And if Spot has been a good boy, there’s no reason why not.
Shop it: Petco Gift Card, $25, amazon.com
Sweaters, fleece, flannel — all the everyday coziness you can think of is all right here at this treasured mid-priced retailer. Build a wardrobe for the entire family and throw in face masks to match, all in one shopping spree. That’s how affordable and cute Old Navy products are! The company is even incentivizing customers to pick up their purchases by donating $10 to job opportunity nonprofit This Way Onward every time you do.
Shop it: Old Navy Gift Card, $25 to $50, amazon.com
Love comfy, walkable shoes? Honestly, who doesn’t? Allbirds has mastered the art of producing stylish, supportive footwear, and they have the fan base to prove it. Slip-on sneakers made of merino wool, boat shoes built to conform to your foot and water-resistant running shoes are just some of their prime offerings. Clothing and face masks are also available — as are insoles to make your comfy shoes even comfier.
Shop it: Allbirds Gift Card, $55 to $150, allbirds.com
This activewear brand is all about outfitting people to move freely and comfortably so they can keep their endorphins pumping. Outdoor Voices makes cozy, high-quality, supportive yoga pants, sports bras, joggers, jackets and more. You can even shop by fabric, and there are many specialty materials to choose from, including fabrics that are moisture-wicking, lightweight, water-resistant and recycled.
Shop it: Outdoor Voices Gift Card, $25 to $300, outdoorvoices.com
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