• Race to a Cure Authors

Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas

With the holidays right around the corner, the time has officially come to start thinking of gifts to give to your loved ones. But during a time when shopping in-person might be a bit risky or inefficient with busy schedules, do you need help coming up with gift ideas? Well, look no further! Here’s a guide with gift ideas for any occasion!

(Image is courtesy of Unsplash)

Online Gifts

In the age of technology, online gifts are probably the most accessible to find, especially regarding the diverse range in prices and items. From clothes to food and cash to masks, there are so many different types of online gifts to get your friend, family member, or teacher!

  • E-gift cards: One of the most low-maintenance but effective gifts. So many shops offer online gift cards. Choose your gift receiver’s favourite place to shop for clothes or their favourite fast food meal. Or, better yet, a more general gift card to a diverse website like Amazon or Uber Eats. The possibilities are endless!

  • Online cards: Sometimes, it’s more about the thought in your gift instead of just its monetary value. The internet is full of different e-card making sites—Canva, Smilebox, or Paperless Post—where you can curate a heartfelt message for your loved ones to let them know you care about them.

  • Memberships or Subscriptions: Do you know someone who’s been eager to purchase some time of subscription service or embers? For example, Netflix, Disney+, a virtual gym membership, a gaming membership, or a makeup subscription box? Well, now’s the time to let them have it! You can purchase a certain time of membership for a friend or family member and offer them a month (or more) of virtual happiness! Check out different niche membership here: https://mashable.com/shopping/best-digital-gifts-and-subscriptions/ or https://www.lastminutegifts.net/topic/e-gifts/

DIY Gifts

Remember those youtube videos with DIY gift giving ideas that you could supposedly make with items around your house? The ones that looked super easy but were also super complicated to do? Well, now that you’ve probably matured from your DIY Youtube phase (or are still in it), you have probably gained the skills and the patience to complete such projects. Here are some doable yet creative ideas for DIY gifts:

  • Care box/package: These are customizable boxes or packages that you can personalize with items based on an individual’s preferences; this can include snacks and candy, beauty and skincare products, stationery, accessories, and more!

  • Gift swap: Get together (virtually) with a group of friends or family, and organize a gift swap! This trend is sometimes known as the “Target Gift Swap” (in the US); you pick certain categories, and you must buy items for another person within the category. Examples include an item that is their favourite colour, their favourite food or drink, or an item that reminds you of them.

  • DIY Crafts: Feeling crafty? Get into the DIY spirit by watching some DIY youtube videos or online tutorials to create thoughtful gifts such as homemade candles, scarves, bracelets, or bookmarks! You can find more information here: https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/20-cheap-awesome-diy-gifts.html.

Physical Gifts

If it is safe to do so, try supporting small businesses that offer gift-like items as a way to purchase one-of-a-kind gifts while helping your local economies. These can include:

  • Pastries or sweets: Buy a treat from a neighbourhood bakery that offers authentic and handmade delicacies. Then, drop it off at the door of the gift receiver!

  • Tech-related gifts: With everyone being glued to their screens, look for something that can improve their everyday experience. For example, a laptop case, a laptop desk, a pair of blue light glasses, a new phone case, or a portable charger. If you choose to do this, make sure you know the dimensional requirements of your gift receiver’s tech items.

  • Photo frames or photo collages: Personally, this is one of my all-time favourite type of gifts. In this digital age, we often forget what it’s like to have physical photographs. Whether you decide to purchase a photo frame of some sort or create an album, this is a great way to bring all your memories with a person or a certain group of people together. When printing photos, you can also get creative and use different types of photos, such as matte, glossy, or polaroid.

  • COVID-19 Gear: What’s more useful to anyone right now more than some COVID-19 gear? From masks with cool designs to funky-smelling hand sanitizers, a COVID-related gift is not only useful but thoughtful as well.

Final advice

Overall, it’s important to know that the holiday season is all about being with friends and family and celebrating the holiday spirit of service and generosity—even if everything might be virtual this year. Remember, if you plan on getting gifts for your loved ones, make sure to allow adequate time for preparation and shipping if applicable. Especially closer to the holiday in late December, post companies become overwhelmed with orders, which can cause unnecessary stress on both you and the companies. Plan ahead, plan wisely, and during the hustle and bustle of holiday life, don’t forget its true meaning to you.


Browning, R. (n.d.). 6 Best Sites for Beautiful Ecards. Retrieved from


It's Always Autumn. (2020, October 22). 25 CHEAP {BUT GORGEOUS!} DIY GIFTS. Retrieved

from https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/20-cheap-awesome-diy-gifts.html

Last Minute Gifts. (2020). 23 Last-Minute Digital Gift Ideas for Every Occasion: Holidays,

Birthdays and Other Special Days on Your Calendar. Retrieved from https://www.lastminutegifts.net/topic/e-gifts/

Stodart, L. (2020, September 17). How to give a good gift when you can't see the person *in*

person. Retrieved from https://mashable.com/shopping/best-digital-gifts-and


Article author: Asima Hudani

Article editors: Sherilyn Wen, Victoria Huang