Figuring out the perfect Christmas gifts can cause you quite a bit of stress. As usual, however, the pCloud team comes to the rescue with a comprehensive list of digital gifts for your friends, family and loved ones.
The holiday season is quite wonderful – lots of good food and mulled drinks, lovely conversations with family and friends, exchanging thoughtful presents… But picking meaningful gifts can be a challenging task, especially if you’re shopping for people who have – well – everything. You postpone and postpone until you realize you’ve missed the Christmas delivery window and you’re screwed… Well, not so much.
We usually tend to think in terms of objects and physical items when Christmas shopping – but digital goods can bring just as much joy. Plus, they are much more sustainable! And they get delivered to inboxes immediately so they arrive on time for Christmas! Ah, what a wonderful world we live in…
But without further ado, our list of last-minute gift ideas, a gift guide if you wish.
#1: The gift of cloud storage
A pCloud account with 500 GB or 2 TB of cloud storage would be the perfect gift for pretty much anyone – a designer or photographer who can use it for work and for fun, for a parent who has hundreds of pictures of their kids, for a student who can use it for schoolwork, for Gladis from accounting who’s always trying to send you huge attachments by email… Literally anyone can benefit from this gift, be it to back up their phone photos and videos, increase their computer hard drives or simply enjoy the ease of sharing.
Useful tip: Right now, you can also add the gift of security by purchasing a combo bundle of storage space and pCloud Crypto (our client-side encryption service) and only pay 50% of the price.
#2: The gift of music
Music is a universal language, and is always a good gift – especially if the recipient can choose the music themselves. A subscription for an online music streaming service like Spotify or Google Play Music will make anyone smile, but you can also choose to give a particular song or album on iTunes for example.
Useful tip: If you are not sure about the recipient’s music taste, go with a subscription or store credit – this way you literally can’t go wrong.
#3: The gift of reading books
Everyone has that friend, or maybe sibling/cousin/parent/kid who likes to keep their nose in the books and expand their worlds through reading. What better gift for them than an e-Book for their Kindle, Nook, or tablet?
Useful tip: If you’re not sure what e-book reader does the recipient own, go with a book from the iTunes store or give Google Play store credit.
#4: The gift of video on demand
Watching TV may not be the most stimulating activity of all but it’s definitely relaxing and enjoyable – so why not give the gift of comfortably unwinding with an episode of a favorite TV show or a movie? Whether you choose Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime Instant Video, a subscription would be much appreciated.
Useful tip: You can also look into screencasting hardware to go with the VOD subscription.
#5: The gift of giving
Getting stuff for yourself is amazing but giving and helping others feels even better. There are so many causes and charities worth supporting, and most of them would allow you to make a donation in someone’s name. One such example is KIVA – a short-term microlending platform empowering people to “start or grow a business, go to school, access clean energy or realize their potential”.
You can support wildlife protection, environmental causes, medical and/or scientific research, culture and art preservation projects, education, anti-poverty and clean water effort – anything, really. Plus, in many countries such donations can be written off taxes, so yay for helping!
Useful tip: Make sure to pick a cause the recipient cares deeply about – this will make the gift extra special.
#6: The gift of apps
Whatever activity you think of, at the end of 2016, there’s an app for that, we guarantee it. Shopping for a dog lover? There’s an app that helps you track your pup’s health and activity. The friend who just started taking piano lessons? There’s an app. Note-taking apps for those forgetful friends or relatives of yours? Check. Just pick a sleek-looking app and purchase it off the app store as a gift.
Useful tip: While you’re on the app store, make sure to check out the free pCloud app, which will make your life so much easier.
#7: The gift of food
Everyone likes good food, right? Then why not gift the people you care about a food box subscription? There are plenty of these available on the market, depending on your location, and they range in taste as well: “manly” snacks, weird Japanese candy, vegetarian or vegan – there are options for the taste of any foodie.
Useful tip: There are also food box subscriptions that offer to send you ingredients and recipes so you can actually cook the meal yourself. These may a be a great option for the ones who know their way around the kitchen.
#8: The gift of productivity
Need a gift for that scattered-minded, not-too-organized friend or relative? Why not order a premium subscription for a note-taking, productivity or time-management solution for them! Some of the apps we use and like are Todoist and Wunderlist for task management, Evernote for notes and ideas, Toggl for time tracking and pCloud for file organization and sharing (that last one really surprised you, didn’t it).
Useful tip: If you’re wondering which app to choose, go with pCloud. You can never go wrong with pCloud.
#9: The gift of staying in touch
Something that many of us won’t even think of gifting is phone – or rather, Skype credit. This, however, is a wonderful way to tell someone “I want to stay in touch”. What a perfect present choice for parents whining the kids don’t call more often!
Useful tip: Skype lets you personalize the design of the credit you purchase, so you can make the gift even more festive.
#10: The gift of live shows
We already mentioned giving music, but you can take things a notch further and order concert tickets online. Trust us – your music-fan friends will jump with joy, and will always associate you with that amazing concert that they saw.
Useful tip: Don’t limit yourself with famous pop/rock bands – you can always get opera or theater tickets too!
#11: The gift of online press
Do you know someone who loves reading New Yorker Magazine articles? Or perhaps you dad has a favourite newspaper? Why not give them a subscription for these? This way your friends and family will get to enjoy their favorite issues over and over again, and they’ll have you to thank for this.
Useful tip: If you’re feeling particularly generous, you can splurge for a subscription both for the printed and online editions.
#12: The gift of getting around
Nothing says “I care for you and want you to get from point A to point B safe” like gifting Uber credit. It may seem trivial, but this present will be greatly appreciated in time when the recipient needs transportation.
Useful tip: Uber gift cards can also be used for the UberEATS service, which allows for food delivery via Uber.
#13: The gift of travel
We are guessing that there are people who don’t like to travel in existence – but we have never met one of them. Giving the people you love airfare vouchers will probably be unexpected but very much enjoyed.
Useful tip: Airplane tickets are expensive but you can always only cover a part of one, or go for a low-cost air carrier.
#14: The gift of printable home decor
Many artists will offer the opportunity to order their work online and receive a printable file. It is then up to the recipient to print out the art and hang it in their home. You can then combine such a gift with a voucher for a framing service to make it complete. Alternatives include calendars, printable origami templates, posters, games, party printables, etc. Our favourite place for such purchases is Etsy.
Useful tip: Another option is to order a personalized piece of art – you can for example have a favourite picture transformed into a painting, or order a digital portrait out of a selfie. The Fiverr platform is a great starting point for such services.
#15: The gift of image editing and design
Can’t figure out what to buy for your aunt who’s into crafting and DIY? Well, we have a solution: you can get a subscription for an image editing or design service like PicMonkey or Canva. There are many such services that are extremely easy to use, so the gift receiver doesn’t even need to be tech savvy.
Useful tip: Pair this present with a pCloud subscription so they have plenty of space to store the beautiful designs, photos or collages they create.
#16: The gift of beauty
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it can also be in a cosmetic subscription box, for example. The so-called beauty boxes are a nice way to try out new cosmetic products with no commitment – so why not order a Birchbox membership (or a local alternative) for someone? This way, you’ll be the reason they always look radiant!
Useful tip: Beauty boxes are available in male and female variations.
#17: The gift of energy
We don’t know about you, but the pCloud HQ often runs solely on caffeine and silly ideas that we then transform in cool stuff. Why not give that gift to someone you love? There are plenty of coffee subscription boxes out there so just find one that works for your area and hit “purchase”.
Useful tip: Make sure you’re not gifting a coffee subscription to a tea person!
#18: The gift of learning
Do you have a niece or nephew who’s just a tiny little bit spoiled and insists on getting a shiny new iPhone 7? Well, they sound like perfect candidates for another gift: the one of learning. Enroll them in an online class on a subject of your choosing – they may not exactly love it that your present involves homework but one day they’ll be thankful.
Useful tip: A subscription for learning resources is a wonderful gift for adults who like learning anyway.
#19: The gift of games
While a present in the form of online course voucher may not be universal, but who doesn’t like playing games! Just head over to Steam for example and choose between action, MMORPG, sport, strategy, etc. games. If you’re shopping for someone who’s not into computer games, you can head over to any of the app stores and get them a mobile game to pass the time on their daily commute for example.
Useful tip: You can pair a Steam game with a controller and Steam Link for maximum effect.
#20: The gift of blogging
This is a rather peculiar gift so it may not be suitable for everyone – but it would definitely get your more eloquent and expressive friends or relatives super excited. Buy them a personalized domain name (we usually shop at GoDaddy) and be the nudge they need to start their very own cooking/photography/travel/etc. blog. Add a web hosting subscription, and you’ll make a future blogger/ website owner incredibly happy.
Useful tip: Offer to help with setting up the whole thing – lend a hand for a WordPress installation, share blogging know-how and so on.
#21: The gift of health
This suggestion actually includes a few others that we mentioned above: you can give a healthy food subscription box, or a sports app, or sign the recipient up for a recipe website, get them a health magazine subscription, or even order a gym membership/personalized training plan.
Useful tip: Make sure your message to your close ones is “I love you and I care for your so I want you to be extra healthy!”, rather than “I think you could lose some weight”.
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This concludes our 2016 holiday gift guide. We hope we’ve been helpful, and we hope you enjoy quality time with friends and family. Ho-ho-ho!