Gift Guide · Holiday Traditions

100+ Thoughtful Intangible Gift Ideas For Those Who Don’t Need More “Stuff”

The holidays are here, which means shopping and gift-giving are on all of our minds more than usual. During this time of the year, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that bigger, better, more expensive gifts is the best way to show our friends and family and loved ones how much we love and appreciate them. I was talking with a girlfriend lately about frivolous intangible gifts that don’t *seem* like the most fun to gift, but that are LOVED by the recipient. She mentioned how her best friend got her a pre-paid car wash card, with one every month for a year. I thought that was brilliant, so I wanted to compile a list of 100+ intangible gift ideas for anyone looking to break away from the “stuff” and gift something that is actually wanted/needed.

  1. TV streaming subscriptions: Netflix, Crave, HBO, Hayu, Hulu, Disney+. We all have them or want them and love them, why not cover a subscription for the year?
  2. A flower bouquet delivery monthly (frivolous but luxurious)
  3. A gift certificate for house cleaning – WHERE DO WE SIGN UP? I know “cleaning” doesn’t sound “fun” but think of all the time you’ll be giving back to someone by letting someone else clean for them. A great add-on to the cleaning service is “tickets” someone can cash in for some fun with you (picnic at the park? movie date?) while SOMEONE ELSE is making their house sparkly.
  4. Money towards childcare expenses/daycare fees
  5. Amazon Prime Membership
  6. PC Insiders Membership (free click & collect? Heck yeah!)
  7. Sirius XM subscription for the car
  8. Gift cards for groceries, Skip The Dishes, Uber Eats, Door Dash, gas, car washes, 7/11 for slurpees, McDonald’s – gift the gift of guilt-free convenience!
  9. Pampering paid for – nails, hair, laser hair removal, facials, brows, pedicures are all the things women tend not to prioritize when on a budget
  10. Car washes and/or car detailing. The cheerio dust and goldfish cracker skeletons have gotten a little comfy in the graveyards of every mom’s vehicle, what would be better than giving the gift of tackling that mess?
  11. Gifted massage, acupuncture, physiotherapy, salt water floats. 
  12. Playstation, XBox, Nintendo e-shop cards
  13. Instacart subscription. Costco delivery to the door? Another HECK YEAH
  14. Pre-paid babysitter or childcare
  15. Magazine subscriptions (better if digital)
  16. Kindle or Kobo unlimited subscription
  17. ABC Mouse (for kiddos!)
  18. Snow removal or seasonal landscaping and lawn/garden maintenance
  19. Gift card for trees, sod, plants, flowers, rocks (yard updates)
  20. RESP contributions (for kiddos – no matter how small, the power of compound interest is huge and in Canada, the government matches up to 20%)
  21. Concert tickets
  22. Movie Passes for the whole family (and don’t forget the popcorn!)
  23. Campground bookings & fees
  24. F1 TV annual pass
  25. NHL Center Ice subscription
  26. NFL Sunday Ticket subscription
  27. AMA membership (BCAA or AAA, depending on your location)
  28. Oil changes and car maintenance covered
  29. Lottery ticket subscription
  30. Annual membership to Audible
  31. Christmas light install and uninstall on their home
  32. Cooking classes
  33. Cake decorating classes
  34. Language classes (who wouldn’t want to learn another language? Cree is on my list!)
  35. Art or pottery or swimming lessons
  36. Online courses, or e-books
  37. Hello Fresh, Good Food Box, or a similar type meal box subscription
  38. National Park Pass
  39. Gym or fitness membership (if specifically requested)
  40. Spotify premium membership
  41. Adobe or Microsoft Word annual membership
  42. Photoshop/Lightroom subscriptions
  43. Apple or Google gift cards for paid apps
  44. Air BnB gift card + babysitting
  45. Doula services (antepartum or postpartum)
  46. Family photography booked and paid for
  47. Home organizing services (know someone who has a garage black hole? Gift the service of a clean-up and organize!)
  48. Dog walking services and/or grooming visits for their fur friend
  49. Sports league fees
  50. Yoga or other fitness classes they might love (crossfit, pilates, spin, etc)
  51. Home reno services (paint, flooring, electrician, drywall, etc)
  52. Costco Membership
  53. Hotel stay solo for a night with room service
  54. Charcuterie/grazing board delivery
  55. Teeth whitening treatments
  56. Photography lessons
  57. Dance classes
  58. Coffee/wine/beer/scotch/craft beer subscription
  59. Pelaton or Nordic Track digital annual access 
  60. Ski passes
  61. Hockey or lacrosse tickets to see a game live
  62. Tickets to the ballet, a musical, or local theatre
  63. Chatbooks gift card
  64. Interior design consultation
  65. Plant app subscription
  66. Peacock premium plus subscription
  67. Starbucks or Tim Hortons or Good Earth gift cards 
  68. CSA farm-box-of-the-month subscription (fruits and vegetables delivered monthly)
  69. Zoo or museum membership passes
  70. Telus Spark membership pass
  71. Scribd subscription for new release books
  72. A KiwiCo Maker Crate subscription (for kids)
  73. Gift card for Etsy so the recipient can shop small at their leisure
  74. Candy Cube subscription monthly from Sugar Cube YYC
  75. Tattoo fees (gift card)
  76. Personal training services (if specifically requested)
  77. Lactation consultant services (for the postpartum mothers)
  78. Gift cards for air travel (save them up for a bigger trip)
  79. Membership to an indoor playground (for the kids)
  80. A Masterclass subscription (online classes created for students of all skill levels)
  81. Gift card to Bulk Barn for guilt-free spending on treats
  82. All Trail pro subscription for the hiking fans in your life
  83. Piano lessons
  84. Wine tasting. Beer tasting. Whisky tasting. Chocolate tasting. Cheese tasting.
  85. Escape Room gift card
  86. Premium membership for the Calm meditation app
  87. A fixed sum of money with a catch. A 100-dollar note with a different kind of note, like: “On May 17, wherever you are, you have to spend this money on something unconventional, something you wouldn’t normally do. Spoil yourself, get adventurous or do whatever you feel like in the moment”.
  88. Edible Arrangement delivery (who doesn’t love food showing up?)
  89. Kayak or stand up paddle boarding lessons
  90. Guitar lessons
  91. Cheese making classes
  92. Kombucha brewing classes
  93. Donate on their behalf to a charity. The most non-material gift is a gift for a good cause.
  94. Fitbit premium membership for the year
  95. Hot sauce of the month subscription
  96. Digital cloud service subscription (store all those photos)
  97. Golf or tennis lessons
  98. *Fun* family experiences (mini-golf, go-karting, bowling, skating, swimming, etc)
  99. Membership to an art gallery
  100. AllTrue, a subscription box for conscious products
  101. Local bakery gift card or recurring baked good delivery (cinnamon buns? cupcakes? fresh bread? hard to go wrong)
  102. Library cards for the whole family
  103. Boeing 737 flight simulation experience
  104. Axe Throwing gift card (night out with friends!)

Giving experiences rather than stuff is often much more valuable, and people tend to appreciate it more. Sometimes, it’s just so refreshing to get an unusual gift with a huge impact (7/11 gift card for slurpees every month, on someone else’s dime? sounds dreamy). I hope this list of non-materialistic & non-physical gifts gave you some cool & unusual ideas to surprise your friends, family, and loved ones with.

Feel free to share in the comments below if I missed a cool one!

5 thoughts on “100+ Thoughtful Intangible Gift Ideas For Those Who Don’t Need More “Stuff”

  1. I’ve been giving CAA memberships to my children for a few years now. Once a Mom always a Mom and though they’re adults, peace of mind is still top of my list of ways to take care of my family.

  2. Let’s Go Eco is a quarterly Canadian subscription box filled with eco-friendly items from small Canadian businesses including IBPOC businesses. Every box there is at least one item from an Indigenous owned business. The boxes are under $100.
    instagram handle @letsgoeco

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