1. The gift of knowledge

Busy female graduate doing her research with laptop in class
Creativa Images / Shutterstock

When the lockdown began back in the spring, many of us began using all that excess time at home to master new pursuits (and to help us take our mind off, well, the global pandemic).

The possibilities are endless: music, tech, art, business and just about everything else. You can find a variety of websites out there that cater to them all, with high-quality video tutorials to aid your studies.

With Masterclass, you can learn from the best (Gordon Ramsay will teach you to cook); Coursera offers academic courses that can even lead to a university degree; and Udemy is stocked with more than 80,000 courses.

You can usually buy individual classes or a monthly or yearly subscription, giving you plenty of options for the voracious learner on your list.

2. The gift of fitness

Fitness online home fitness workout class live streaming online
MIA Studio / Shutterstock

It’s been a difficult year for our physical health. Besides a dangerous new virus spreading across the country, gyms are still closed in many places, too.

With winter weather starting to get in the way, how are your health-conscious friends going to get their workout fix? Sure, you could go all out on expensive equipment — or you can give them a home workout subscription that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars.

You can get great deals on streaming workouts — like Total Gym TV — using the Capital One Shopping browser extension.

This money-saving software will instantly check for better prices at other stores while you shop on Amazon, automatically apply any available coupon codes and even earn you Capital One Shopping Credits you can put toward gift cards.

3. The gift of gab

Two architect workers sitting at their cozy workplace surrounded with many papers and modern electronic devices
WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock

It’s never too late to learn a new language, even if travel restrictions limit our opportunities to use it right now.

Learning to speak Spanish or Mandarin or Arabic is no simple task, especially for those starting from scratch. To make it easier, give your friend or family member access to some language-learning software like Rosetta Stone.

Right now Capital One Shopping shows you can get nearly 50% off a one-year subscription for unlimited languages. The recipient can choose to thank you in Japanese, Swedish or any other language they fancy.

4. The gift of entertainment

The new Disney+ streaming service

Is your city caught in another COVID-19 shutdown? That leaves you a lot of time to cozy up with Netflix this season.

But the streaming giant isn’t the only game in town. There are plenty of alternatives that your friends and family may not have discovered yet.

Disney+ carries all the classics, plus brands like Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic. HBO Max is your home for HBO content and non-HBO content like Rick and Morty and Friends. Peacock takes its name from NBC’s peacock logo. The new streaming service is filled with NBC shows, obviously, like SNL and Law & Order, but it also includes other Comcast-owned material like E! and Bravo.

5. The gift of gaming

Teenagers playing video games at home
Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

You probably have more than a few gamers on your list this year, but spending hundreds of dollars on multiple PS5s isn’t exactly feasible.

Here’s the next best thing: PlayStation Plus. The subscription gives users access to online multiplayer, free games every month, the ability to share your gaming sessions with friends, up to 100 gigs of online storage and discounts on the PlayStation Store.

You can find similar subscriptions for Nintendo or Xbox aficionados, while PC gamers have all kinds of options through Steam and other online stores. If you're looking to gift subscriptions through Amazon, Capital One Shopping will instantly check for better prices at other stores and apply any available coupons.

6. The gift of flavor

Bottle Of Wine In The Basket
KPG_Payless / Shutterstock

A bottle of wine is one of those perfect gifts: it’s great for any occasion, scales to fit all budgets and you can always use more.

While you may not be able to share a glass of Sauvignon Blanc with your friend or relatives this year, you can set them up with a wine basket or wine club subscription.

If you search through Capital One Shopping, you can find big discounts, generous credit opportunities and free shipping on gifts from Wine.com.

Want a truly unique gift idea? You can even get wine selected by experts just for them.

7. The gift of serenity

listening relaxing music at home, relaxed man in headphones sitting in deck chair in modern bright interior
Song_about_summer / Shutterstock

We can all agree it’s been a difficult year. The pandemic, the recession, an especially polarizing election; it’s a lot of stress to fit into just 12 months.

Why not give someone a mindfulness app to help? For once, our smartphones can be a tool for tranquility, instead of agitation.

There are a ton of options: The Mindfulness App, Headspace and Calm are some of the most popular, offering guided meditations, relaxing ambient noise tracks and helpful daily routines.

Free versions are available, but when you buy the premium apps, you can unlock even more features to bring peace to those important people in your life.

8. The gift of security

internet security and data protection concept, blockchain and cybersecurity
Song_about_summer / Shutterstock

Know someone working from home? Of course you do; the pandemic has changed the way we do just about everything, and many Americans are still trying to settle into remote work.

Those on your gift list may have all the latest home office accessories, but what about their cybersecurity? Even ignoring all that sensitive work data, many of us are leaving our own private information and finances vulnerable to cybercriminals.

The best way to surf the web privately and securely is using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN will hide your IP address, protect your data, block you from accessing malicious websites and even unlock Netflix shows and YouTube videos that are only available in other countries.

At time of writing, Capital One Shopping shows you can get massive discounts on two-year plans with NordVPN.

9. The gift of shopping and shipping

Amazon package with logo
Kraft74 / Shutterstock

Shopping online for someone that loves online shopping? There’s no better gift than helping a super shopper save a few bucks.

Amazon Prime is easy to gift and will run you $119. In addition to free two-day shipping, the subscription includes all the great content on Prime Video and discounts at Whole Foods Market.

And now that Walmart+ has launched, there’s competition in the retail giant membership realm.

You might have to jump through some hoops, as there isn’t an easy way to give a membership. It’s worth the effort, though, as a $98 annual subscription comes with free same-day delivery and a load of other perks.Oh, and don’t forget to tell them about the Capital One Shopping Credits you can earn on certain Walmart purchases.

About the Author

Ethan Rotberg

Ethan Rotberg


Ethan Rotberg is a staff reporter at MoneyWise. His background includes nearly 15 years as a writer, editor, designer and communications professional. He loves storytelling, from feature writing to narrative podcasts. His work has appeared in the Toronto Star, CPA Canada and Metro, among others.

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