Gift Guide: Classes, Learning, Experiences, & Books

I’ve collected some incredible gift options centered around classes and learning. There are ideas for all ages and interests — lots of really fun and useful options. Extra bonus: everything on this list makes for a good last-minute gift. Come see what I found for you.

The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story
By Nikole Hannah-Jones. This book is on my own personal Christmas wishlist this year. “In late August 1619, a ship arrived in the British colony of Virginia bearing a cargo of twenty to thirty enslaved people from Africa. Their arrival led to the barbaric and unprecedented system of American chattel slavery that would last for the next 250 years. This is sometimes referred to as the country’s original sin, but it is more than that: It is the source of so much that still defines the United States.”

Design Mom Office Hours Meeting
Gift a meeting with me! I offer 30-minute meetings where anyone can talk to me about anything. Here’s just a sampling of what meetings have covered: Wet Room Bathrooms, Digital waste, Getting French Visas, Creating a Family Identity, Someone wanted to tell me what it’s like to have a spouse with the opposite political views, What to do with an Awkward Room in a house, How to Remake a Bedroom after a Divorce, Work-Life-Balance, Launching Online Classes, Staying & Leaving Mormonism, How to Interview Your Kids on a Regular Basis, My Opinions on Toddler beds, Establishing a Community — and so much more! Find additional info in this blog post. And reserve a spot at my Calendly link.

Skillshare Subscription
I LOVE taking Skillshare classes. I swear it’s just as much fun as binging a TV show, but also feels useful, you know? They have SO MANY topics — cookie decorating, animation, writing, cooking, drawing, self-care, pattern-making, photography, budgeting, and on and on and on. I think I took everything they offered on how to use the Pro-Create app. Click here for 30% off the annual membership fee. This is an ideal gift for creative teens and creative adults.

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement
By Tarana Burke. “Unbound is the story of an inimitable woman’s inner strength and perseverance, all in pursuit of bringing healing to her community and the world around her, but it is also a story of possibility, of empathy, of power, and of the leader we all have inside ourselves. In sharing her path toward healing and saying “me too,” Tarana reaches out a hand to help us all on our own journeys.”

italki Sessions
Know someone trying to learn a new language? italki is a huge help! You can chat with a native-speaking language teacher at any time of day — and there are so many teachers, you’re sure to find someone in your budget. It’s affordable, convenient, and the most efficient way to improve your language skills. Ben Blair uses italki every week! It works for all skill levels and all languages, and you only pay per lesson — so if it’s not working for you, no worries, you haven’t pre-paid. Find out more or sign up here.

Membership to Dear Grown Ass Women
It’s a community for women who are 35+. Created by Cyndie Spiegel. “If you’re anything like most of us, you’ve spent your entire life among folks that look pretty similar to you, believing what you were taught about a lot of things but never really exploring WHY. And now you’re at an age that allows you to look back on your life with more perspective and forward with curiosity & enthusiasm. You want to expand your circle & become a part of a community with other women who are also on a journey to rediscover who they are and what matters to them today.”

The Lightmaker’s Manifesto: How to Work for Change without Losing Your Joy
By Karen Walrond. “In The Lightmaker’s Manifesto, Walrond helps us name the skills, values, and actions that bring us joy; identify the causes that spark our empathy and concern; and then put it all together to change the world. Creative and practical exercises, including journaling, daily intention-setting, and mindful self-compassion, are complemented by lively conversations with activists and thought leaders such as Valarie Kaur, Brené Brown, Tarana Burke, and Zuri Adele. With stories from around the world and wisdom from those leading movements for change, Walrond beckons readers toward lives of integrity, advocacy, conviction, and joy.”

Audible Gift Membership
Audiobooks are so great! For long drives or daily commutes, while doing the dishes or folding the laundry, for kids who don’t love reading, but do love stories. An Audible membership is wonderful. As an Audible member, your subscription includes: One credit a month, which is good for any title to download and keep. You get unlimited listening to the Plus Catalog, which includes thousands of Audible Originals, podcasts and some audiobooks too. Plus, you get access to exclusive member only deals, and up to 80% off selected titles.

Kiwi Crate Subscription
The activity and learning kits from Kiwi Crate are SO GOOD — really thoughtful and creative and well designed. You can choose age ranges and interests, and a new crate shows up each month. Some of the crate categories are: Doodle, Tinker, Maker, Eureka, and Atlas. : )The prices are very reasonable — and they have a Cyber Monday code that still works today (11/30): Cyber Monday Extended! Up to $30 off your KiwiCo subscription with code MERRY.

Design Mom: How to Live with Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide
My book is beautiful mix of parenting and design. Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and wrote: ““Finally, there’s a book that provides professional-level interior design advice and solutions aimed specifically at families with children. While the book includes the occasional crafty how-to, it is far more focused on providing ideas for decluttering the household, facilitating family activities, and making even the laundry room pretty. Blair tackles the entryway first, but not in the passing fashion of the average interiors book. For families with young kids, the entryway is often the most problematic space, where shoes, coats, backpacks, keys, loose change, and old mail make ever-changing chaos. The author has six children, so interspersed with design ideas are incidental moments of parenting insights (“If kids are expected to rearrange furniture, hunt for sheet music, and haul their instruments from the opposite end of the house at practice time, there will be some resistance”) and purposeful recommendations for making family life better, such as a page on teaching kids to do their own laundry. Blair even finds a way to keep mass-marketed character decor out of a child’s bedroom by substituting NASA photos for Buzz Lightyear pinups. This is a happy marriage of interior design book and parenting guide.”

Tribute Video
Looking for a really meaningful gift? Why not make a Tribute Video! Tribute’s goal is to make it easy to create a collaborative video montage that you can give as a gift for any occasion — holidays, birthday, retirement, graduation, moving, etc.. They say 82% of recipients cry tears of joy when receiving a Tribute video. Learn more or start your Tribute video here.

Affiliate Marketing Course
If you have a platform and are interested in using it to create a revenue stream, I loved this Affiliate Marketing Course. It was created by Jessica Turner who is the QUEEN of affiliate marketing and I’m telling you her course is legendary. If you want to learn more about how to create income using affiliate links, this is the BEST program out there. Everything I’ve ever learned about affiliate marketing came from Jessica. Find out more or purchase the course here.

Atlas of the Heart: Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience
By Brené Brown. “In her latest book, five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr. Brené Brown writes, “If we want to find the way back to ourselves and one another, we need language and the grounded confidence to both tell our stories and to be stewards of the stories that we hear. This is the framework for meaningful connection.”

GoSkills Subscription — Or Individual Courses
GoSkills Courses for people who are ready to advance their careers. They offer expert-led, bite-sized courses focused on bridging the digital skills gap — like photoshop, finance, and public speaking. And great news: GoSkills is female-run by a Woman of Color. You can gift an individual course, or you can gift a whole year of unlimited access to ALL their courses for under $100. Find out more or buy a gift course here.

Blue Apron Subscription
In the U.S., we were consistent Blue Apron customers. We LOVE their meal boxes. If they’re new-to-you, Blue Apron delivers boxes to your doorstep with all the ingredients you need for a full meal, and a recipe sheet with clear and easy instructions. We always learned something from the recipe — a new technique or new ingredient. And it’s such a luxury to have dinner decisions made and prepped. You can gift a week of deliveries, or two weeks, or more. I think it would be cute to print out a note about the gift and wrap it up with a wooden spoon or some other handsome kitchen tool. Learn more or buy a Blue Apron box here.


Your turn. If you were gifting a class or subscription to someone, what would you gift? And if you were gifting a class or subscription to yourself, what would you want to receive? Also, what books are you gifting this year?

P.S. — Teen Gift Guide with 37 ideas (my most popular guide!)

9 thoughts on “Gift Guide: Classes, Learning, Experiences, & Books”

  1. Masterclass is a great subscription! Tons of videos from tons of experts — Simone Biles (gymnast), Gordon Ramsey (chef), Chris Hadfield (astronaut), Neil Gaimann (author). I learned a ton about Mexican cooking from one, it was great!

    1. We have always been big Kiwi Crate fans and when we moved to Finland they were awesome about shipping! Made sure everything got through customs smoothly and checked in that it was going ok!

  2. We love Kiwi crates! Such a fun extra during homeschooling/virtual school. Another easy and last minute educational subscription gift for kids is Jambo Books. In prior years we’ve given 6-month book subscriptions as a gift to our kids’ classrooms, and their teachers seemed to really appreciate them. I also like that it’s a Black-owned business focused on diversity. For a white family like mine, Jambo Books are a great conversation starter to discuss race with our kids (but to the kids, they just feel like great stories).

  3. Last Christmas, I gave my husband a steak course and for his birthday a tea 🍵 course (history, tea making etc.). He loves steak and tea — and was over the moon. Both of these were in-person, but an online course is also appealing now. I really like what you wrote about italki, thanks for the tip! What language does Ben learn?
    I also like to gift thematic tours of the city we live in (literary tours, hidden gardens, old cafés, there are so many). Not an option during the pandemic, though, but let’s hope for better days.

  4. We just did our first online AirBNB experience- a wine tasting class with a sommelier from Argentina. It was so fun, and I have no idea why it took us 9 months to do something like that. AirBnB, Eventbrite, etc offer so many classes and experiences that are simple one time things- we are going to do a virtual live tour of the Louvre post Christmas! Online concerts are fun too… all of us will appreciate these things in the next few months, but even post Covid I hope this chance to connect with the world online continues!

  5. As an early childhood educator I always want to gift people CPR and First Aid classes…is that strange? I also like gifting memberships to local zoos, museums, or art classes.

  6. A Kids Book About series are amazing- I get two books every other month but they have a ton of topics and different packages. They’re great conversation starters and have helped me understand things like compassion, community, creativity, and race in different ways.

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