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We understand that not every great gift can be tied up with a bow. And while some people are reluctant to give gift certificates because it feels a bit like giving up, we are here to tell you that is NOT THE CASE. The freedom of the gift certificate is unparalleled. They are putting their ultimate trust in you and who better to shop for you than you! If you’re tired of the standard gift certificate ideas we reached far and wide into the BYT universe to find the most interesting, non-traditional gift certificates for all your holiday card needs. Enjoy!

SIDE GIFTING NOTES: check out our holiday market and pop-up guide too. and our BEST GIFT GUIDE EVER 2014 (All locally shoppable, natch)

Life Hacks
Handybook -Do you live in a place? Do you wish someone randomly showed up and made everything clean and tidy and you never had to see them or deal with them and yet you’d always be happy and content with the result? Enter Handybook, offering one-off and packages for cleaning, handy-work, and other household related chores. We swear by our appointments (shout-out Brenda York!).
BSkin Membership @ Blush Med  – Do you have someone in your life who constantly complains about not having enough time to take care of themselves? Well, courtesy of the ingenius team over at Blush Med, led by the lovely, Dr. Arleen Lamba, for $59 a month they can maintain a steady regime of facials, peels and more. Treat yo’self (and others).
Urban Stems – Does that place you and yours live look a little dreary? Could it use some FLOWERS? Well, Urban Stems a DC based start-up offers within-an-hour deliveries of gorgeous bouqets starting as low as $35. Make someone’s day! Make someone’s year, in fact.
RelayFoods – Sort of like Peapod, but all organic, all local, all delivered to a doorstep without the hassle of you even THINKING about the grocery store. No membership fees or anything, you just pay for your own deliciousness.
KitchenSurfing – in which you can gift someone a Chef. Which will come to their home, make a meal (so many menus and themes to choose from! so many!), feed them, you, everyone they know, and then leave. Yes Please.


For The Anti-Social In Your Life

Netflix –I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before– what better way to show someone you care than indirectly sucking up precious hours of their lives with a year-long Netflix subscription? Every time they accidentally spend 24 hours straight watching what only amounts to one season of Grey’s Anatomy, they’ll be sure to think of you fondly. And it doesn’t just benefit your loved one– it also benefits their one friend who refuses to get their own subscription and mooches off of the one that you paid for. Netflix: the gift that keeps on giving*

*destroying your social life


Emily Books – Emily Gould was once the voice of the Gawker generation. I assume this generation still exists, and we are happy to report, so does Emily. Now a novelist, she also has an online book club and subscribers get a curated book list delivered to them to their kindles OR doorsteps throughout the year. This is kind of like having that best friend who always has a great book you can borrow, but you just don’t have to give it back.

Hulu Plus -If the recipient of your gift is more a TV type, a Hulu Plus subscription might be more of interest to them. We all know that the experience of watching Hulu without Plus is the bane of human existence (it involves an almost 50-50 ratio of commercials to content which totally sucks when the video you’re watching is only 2 minutes long). But you can improve somebody’s quality of life. That power lies within your hands.

Fandor -Is your recipient too alt for Netflix? For around the same price as Netflix, get them a subscription to Fandor, which features a fuckton of indie movies no one has ever heard of except your alt friend. It will give them plenty of material for them to namedrop and act surprised when no one has any idea what they’re talking about.

Ann Friedman Weekly  -This is free (FREE are the best kind of gifts, right?). Everyone should just be subscribed to it, because it is THE BEST.

Amazon Prime -Get them this because it’s the only platform that you can access all of Drunk History on. AND TRANSPARENT! Have you not seen Transparent? YOU HAVE TO SEE TRANSPARENT. Plus, toilet paper delivered to your home, no shipping costs. Life is all about hidden bonuses, isn’t it.


For the Foodie
CoolHaus – Ice Cream Sammy of The Month Club  – Don’t live in LA? Love Ice Cream Sandwiches? (this should sum up pretty much everyone reading this, right?). Well, now you can have the best of LA (and US?) ice cream sandwiches delivered straight to your door step, every month, on dry ice, no matter where you are. When you’re eating that double double chocolate chip mint something or other ON THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN COUCH and thanking God for this subscription, remember to thank us too.
Candy Japan – For $25 a month, a box of mysterious, hilarious, life enriching Japanese candy can land on any doorstep you choose. Truly, there is NOTHING better.
Pickle of the Month Club – Everyone loves a pickle.
Presents in Your Inbox
Do you wish you and yours were getting magical presents in your inbox EVERY MONTH? Do you wish those presents were hand picked by people WAY better at selecting presents than you yourself are? Well, take a gander at these:
His’n’hers Birchbox  -Every Month, Birchbox sends you a box of cosmetics and life-style goodies to try. It is $10 a month for girls, $20 a month for boys, and we love it. Everything from Harry’s to all the mascaras you’ll ever need in 2014 and a sporadic coupon to discounts at some of our favorite stores like Madewell, and you got yourself the most affordable, low stress, care package of every month. You can also gift it to people. But gift it to yourself first.
Glossybox -Just like Birchbox, but… you know, fancier (glossier?). Brands included in the past ranged from everything from Bulgari to Tart to enough neck creams to make Nora Ephron proud. $20 a month, and well worth it, imo. All my nailpolishes and blushes come from these boxes, and there’s no complaining here.
Project Dispatch -A locally grown monthly art subscription. For the budding collector we all know. As affordable as it is going to get, starting at $30 (or $60 or $90) a month
Quarterly -Do you wish you were getting gifts from the likes of Pharell or Bill Nye or your favorite style bloggers? This great subscription service drops a gift every 3 months to the inbox of your choice, hand picked by the curator of your liking. As close as you’ll feel to having your favorite celebrity as your BFF this season.
For The Health-Obsessed In Your Life
[solidcore] -The best way I can describe [solidcore] is high intensity pilates. I walked into a class with all the confidence of a person who goes to the gym 3-4 times a week and left with the sore muscles of a human who has NEVER LEFT THEIR BED UNTIL NOW. It was amazing. Within the first 5 seconds, I kid you not, I was in pain. That’s how you know it works. This is the first time I firmly believe you can actually end up looking like the person in the photo, you know…that person. The promised physique.
Trail Rides at Rock Creek Park Horse Center -Not feeling majestic enough? Why not climb atop one of the world’s most gorgeous creatures and treat yourself (via someone else) to a lovely horseback ride through Rock Creek Park. Grab your favorite pair of boots, that cowboy hat you bought that you’ve clearly never worn, and a faded denim jacket. Giddyup!
JRINK Juicery deliveries  -Do you wish you had a juicing situation in place at your home or the home of your loved one? Do you wish there were always piles of kale and brocolli and ginger around your house waiting to be pressed (coolly) into submission? Well, with DC’s homegrown Jrink, all that can now be at your doorstep. Start with a 3 day reboot (perfect to stave off that holiday slugishness), and go from there.
Washington’s Green Grocer -It’s nice to think that you’ll eat healthy every night of the week. It’s a nice thought. It’s a difficult practice. Services like Washington’s Green Grocer make nice thoughts a possible reality. The fruit, vegetable and more service delivers a box of whatever you want to your home each week. You’ll pay a bit more than you will at Harris Teeter or Safeway and slightly less than what you’ll shell out at a farmer’s market. The quality is on par with a farmer’s market. In fact, most of the vendors are what you’ll find at your local farmer’s market. If you’re not sure what to buy at the store, you may not end up with what’s good for you. If your fruits and vegetables are delivered to your door you’re forced to consume what’s good for you.
SuperSoul Package – $3,500. 50 pre-purchased classes, priority reservations. PURE COMMITMENT.
For The Alcohol Aficionado In Your Life
DC Brew Tours -They drive. You drink. And what’s best about this it’s all your local favorites! You can stop by DC Brau, Atlas Brew Works, Chocolate City Beer, Right Proper Brewing Co., and more!!! You can go on one of their pre-selected tours or pick and choose one of your own! Get a tour for that beer-lovin’ friend of yours who won’t stop talking about hops and IPA’s.
Crafted Taste – For the amateur bartender in all of us (And all of our lives). The concept is simple: Discover a new modern cocktail recipe(s) every month. Subscribers get to build their bar, discover a new drink, master the prep, and play around with the unique ingredients included in each box. And Crafted Taste DOES ship full-sized product (none of that sample size bullshit, thank you very much), so you can grow your home bar while having a ton of fun.
For The Budding Artist In Your Life
MRTN SWFT Holiday Drawing Classes -You have images trapped in your brain that you’d love to get down on paper but frankly you have NO idea how to do that. Enter professional artist Martin Swift. In an hour he can teach you the fundamentals of line, light, form, and spacial relationships. In no time you’ll be putting pen to paper, paper in a frame, frame on a wall and wall in a museum! Or at the very least it will hang at your parents’ house.
For The Man With The Unkempt Hair
Roosters -My hair does not look good. It’s not horrible, just not good. It needs to get cleaned up. With no wedding in the near future, I keep letting it go. It’s getting absurd. The last decent haircut I received in D.C. was at Roosters in Georgetown. A classic, no frills look with excellent treatment. A good gift from the person in your life that’s much too willing to justify a bad look with a winter cap.
For The NPR Listener
For The NPR Listener -If there’s an NPR listener in your family (and since you’re reading this site you’re most likely an NPR listener so you may want this too), consider gifting tickets to a show they’ve heard but never seen. Wait, Wait is perfect for nearly all ages. If the young one is able to sitting for 60 minutes or so and understands puns, they’ll love Wait, Wait. For the slightly hipper, 21+ person on your list, consider tickets to Pop Culture Happy Hour. If you’re an incredibly thoughtful person that’s able to use a Google Calendar to its full potential, purchase tickets to NPR’s Weekend in Washington. The weekend isn’t until November 2015 and tickets don’t go on sale until February, but if your favorite person can’t get enough of super smart nice radio folks like Audie Cornish, you can not buy a better gift.

 For The Music Lover In Your Life

Atomic Music -Fuck shrink-wrap. Used things are awesome. For the holidays, show your loved ones you’re hip to the greater glory of used musical equipment, and get them a gift card to a used music equipment store, as you should probably not get them a real, tangible musical instrument. Because (1) it’s expensive (2) you’re neither Apollonia nor are you going to find a purple guitar the shape of the female symbol in some thrift store window. That’s just not how real life works. But it is within your power to drive out to Beltsville and head to Atomic music where you’ll find a great deal of the most righteous of old gear and possible run into a group of elderly African-American gentlemen jamming out to old soul standards, if you’re lucky.

Joe’s Record Paradise – Vinyl -First there was reel-to-reel, then came vinyl, 8-track, cassettes and finally CDs. While physical media maybe dying out these days, vinyl itself has had an incredible resurgence. It is the physical music media for music people, seemingly. But buying records for someone can be tricky business, especially if they haven’t archived their entire collection into discogs, how then are you suppose to know what they’ve already got? And because no one needs two copies of Catch A Fire, a gift certificate is a viable solution, and Joe’s Record Paradise is the place to get one. Though it is located out of the district in Silver Spring, they’re collection of jazz, soul, and old-school house can not be beat, pitchfork concurs.

9:30 Club -Sadly you cannot buy the entire 9:30 Club but you can get get some sweet gift certificates good for ANY show there! And I’m assuming their cupcakes. AND CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS SHAPED LIKE 9:30 CLUB CUPCAKES.

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