The holiday season is upon us, and pretty soon, millions of Americans will start buying gifts for their loved ones (if they haven’t started already). But this year, supply chain issues, labor shortages, and inflation might put a damper on the holiday spirit and make purchasing gifts harder than before.
According to the National Retail Federation, consumer spending this holiday season is rising close to pre-pandemic levels and holiday shopping is well underway. Similarly, a survey from Oracle shows more than half of gift-shopping Americans have already started filling bags and placing orders to avoid having their holidays ruined by the supply chain Grinch.
So what does that mean for you and your shopping list this year? Think longer lines in the store, more “out of stock” signs, shipping dates that come after the holidays, and less money in your bank account, thanks to rising prices.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! This year, The Balance is helping you purchase gifts that won’t rely on trucks and trains to get them to a store, or workers to keep shelves stocked and checkout lines moving.
Best of all? Long after you’ve wrapped and gifted them, most of these presents will keep on giving, and help grow the recipient's wealth. The most difficult part will be not keeping them for yourself.
Here’s this year’s list of top presents for your family and friends that will fill them with holiday cheer, without subjecting you to any holiday blues:
- Cryptocurrency: While bitcoin values hit record highs, there are plenty of digital currencies for you to choose from that are sure to make anyone on your list happy.
- Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): One of the hottest new investing trends, NFTs are a great way to give your loved one a digital piece of art, music, or something else that is unique and likely to grow in value.
- Credit Card Points: Don’t know what to give? Consider giving them some unused credit card points that they can use to buy things like gift cards, airplane tickets, hotel rooms, or food delivery.
- Stocks: A more common financial gift, stocks are a great choice if you want to help a friend or family member take advantage of recent market gains. This year alone, the S&P 500 is up over 26%, while the Dow has risen about 17%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq has also performed well this year, leaping more than 22% this year, as of publication.
- Bonds: If you have a less risky appetite, that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of market gains. Bonds are a great choice for those wanting to help others get involved in the market without being affected as much by volatility, unlike stocks or cryptocurrency.
To explore our digital money gift guide, see the dropdown menu at the top of this article, or click on a panel in the guide navigation below. Happy gifting!