Nelson Mandela once said, “if you make one gift this year, make it the gift of knowledge.” Who are we to argue? This amazing collection of gift ideas will level up your loved ones’ skills in no time — and you might very well be the lucky recipient of the fruits of their labor once they’ve mastered anything from cheesemaking to wine tasting.
Cooking class with Gordon Ramsey? Guitar lessons from Carlos Santana? Tennis lessons with Serena Williams? It’s not a dream: MasterClass brings serious wish fulfillment for anyone that’s wanted to pick up a new skill or master an existing one. With over 1,000 on-demand video lessons you can do at your own pace, the biggest challenge is figuring out where to start: From quirky niches like the ukulele, adventure photography, and gymnastics to lifelong skills in effective communication or home cooking, there’s truly something for everyone to learn.
Who hasn’t dreamed of channeling their inner Picasso or Monet? Paint by numbers kits have come a long way since they were invented in the 1940s; today you can create elaborate designs that look like they were painted by hand, from photography-inspired florals to technicolor animals and more. The only problem? Figuring out which one (or two, or three) kits to buy for your loved one!
Think you don’t have a green thumb? Think again. AeroGardens use the power of hydroponics to make growing herbs and vegetables a total snap. Available in several different sizes, you can top off your gift with a range of seed pods to help them get sprouting: Obviously, you can use yours to grow herbs, but they’re surprisingly adept at flowers, salad greens, and even tomatoes and peppers.
It might be awhile before you get to travel somewhere exotic, but that means you’ve got plenty of time to perfect a foreign language before you get there. Rosetta Stone is still one of the gold standards for mastering everything from Arabic to Vietnamese, as well as the world’s most-spoken language, Mandarin Chinese (918 million native speakers). A lifetime membership is a bargain too — for $199 you unlock access to all languages, for all time!
This gift will truly take a lifetime to appreciate. Featuring 100 classics and modern day favorites, consider this poster the ultimate "to-read" pile. Simply scratch off the titles when you’re done, and fill out the included sheets with your ratings for each book and your absolute faves from this list of amazing reads. Plus learn fun trivia along the way — like how many copies each book has sold as you scratch away (Which do you think has sold more: Pride & Prejudice or The Hunger Games?)
When trivia master and all-time Jeopardy! legend Ken Jennings is involved with something, you just know it’s going to be awesome. In this fun game, you place your bets on which answers to a trivia question are actually true, and which ones are false. Each of the 500 questions includes three true answers, and three lies, and every player can use the process of elimination to place their bets, earning bonus points if they deduce all three truths.
Proof that coding isn’t just for the younger set: This nifty little kit is actually a fully featured computer and has everything you need to build your own smart home controller, retro video game console, or anything else you can imagine. While it’s great for the more technologically inclined, it’s also a unique engineering challenge for those looking to apply their logical minds to a new way of building and creating. Consider this the jumping off point to dive deep into the world of makers.
8. Wine Simple
Hands up if you’re someone who defaults to the bottle of wine with the prettiest label or the cheapest price? This elegant book breaks down wine appreciation with none of the snobbery you usually associate with sommelier culture. Expect to learn the difference between a Cabernet and a Port while picking up some helpful tips and trivia, like the fact the French were the ones who invented aging wine in oak barrels.
Got milk? That’s pretty much all you’ll need to try your hand at whipping up fresh ricotta, mascarpone, and paneer cheeses with this fun starter kit. And don’t worry about waiting years for a finished product — aspiring fromagers (the French word for cheesemaker) can have a batch of cheese made in as little as 30 minutes. Fresh, healthy, and delicious? This sounds like a "gouda" gift idea!
Multiple scientific studies have highlighted that keeping your brain sharp is one of the best ways to fight off aging and dementia. Peak combines neuroscience and technology to train your brain with fun and challenging games that grow as you get better. Nab a 12-month subscription for a friend, and duel it out to see whose brain reigns supreme!
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Featured image credit: Alexey Surgay/ iStock