Digital Presents for 2021 – and for Hanukkah!
The big trend in 2021 is for digital presents. Kids still love to unwrap physical presents and get new toys, but adults are opting for the greater freedom of choice that comes with digital gifts. The most obvious present is digital gift cards to spend in someone's favorite online store. Even though Hanukkah is early this year, it’s still conveniently close to the upcoming Christmas and January sales.
Hanukkah 2021 is from the evening of Sunday, November 28th to the evening of Monday, December 6th (25th day of Kislev - 2nd day of Tevet).
Hanukkah is a wonderful winter holiday. The Jewish Festival of Lights brings some much-needed cheer and fun to our lives as the dark nights close in. Admittedly, winter in Israel is hardly the same as winter in Wisconsin or Calgary. So far, we’ve only had one big storm and the weather has been unusually warm.
Digital Presents for Hanukkah 2021
Hanukkah is very much a fun holiday and is a special treat for kids. It can also be a nice end to the working day if the company invites employees to gather around the menorah or hanukiah. Some companies will lay on sufganiyot or latkes and maybe a bottle of wine.
If you’re at home with kids, they can take it in turns to light the candles, play dreidel games, and enjoy the food. Hanukkah is very much a family holiday and is a wonderful opportunity to exchange gifts. Many Olim who grew up in the US, Europe, or other English-speaking countries, absorbed something of the Christmas spirit. The Christmas holidays have no religious (or even real cultural significance) to Jews, but connecting with the family in a spirit of generosity is a basic human need. It can take on an extra warmth and significance in wintertime.
A Hanukkah gift of Amazon Gift Cards could be really useful when prices are slashed in a month’s time. Gift cards and vouchers are just one option. Anybody who's been overdoing it on kingsize chocolate jelly sufganiyot might appreciate a subscription to a gym or fitness class!
The Best Digital Presents for 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic created a massive boom in online shopping, as well as online learning and social activity. People confined to their homes by compulsory lockdowns found innovative ways to reach out to the world and connect with others.There are some amazing deals that make ideal digital presents for Hannukah.
Movie and TV Subscriptions
Movie buffs and TV fans will argue endlessly about the rival merits of Amazon Prime, Disney+, Netflix, and SlingTV. If you’re looking for a good all-around option for a young family, for example, Disney+ is probably the way ahead. Although it’s primarily aimed at kids, there are plenty of old favorites for adults. Trips down memory lane include classics like the Star Wars series. A Disney+ subscription is a foolproof choice for Grandparents who want to send the grandkids digital presents.
Music Streaming Services
Music streaming services can be an excellent surprise gift for hard-to-please teenagers. Adults will also be grateful for one-click access to a massive library of popular hits, hard-to-find songs from every decade, and the world’s greatest classical music. Buyin someone subscriptions or gift cards to music streaming services are good choices. You’re pretty much limited to Spotify, Apple Music, as well as Google Play gift cards for YouTube Music. Before you buy digital music streaming presents, check whether the recipient is an Apple user.
Parents often have mixed feelings about online gaming that's why a few people are really happy to see their kids glued to a big screen and immersed in virtual battlefields or high-speed car chases for hours on end. Consequently, access to online gaming can be a source of tension in families. Like it or not, it’s as much a part of a 2020s childhood as riding bikes or playing sports was for the older generation. It’s also no secret that plenty of adults like to order a pizza, buy a six-pack, and get together to play the latest Call of Duty. A gaming subscription to PlayStation Plus, Xbox, or Nintendo is a guaranteed winner.
Self-Improvement and Learning
If you really care for someone, helping them to explore and achieve their natural potential is a wonderful feeling. One of the few pluses of the lockdowns was the explosion of online learning. Opportunities for self-development using digital resources were made possible. Anyone will love to receive an opportunity to learn a new skill or develop an existing interest.
Online Teaching Courses
Online teaching courses cover every subject and interest under the sun therefore an amazing gift for Olim Hadashim (and sometimes Olim Vatikiml) is a Hebrew language course as well as an English language course. Anybody with a deep interest in another country or culture as well as serious travel plans, might also be delighted by the chance to learn a new language at their own pace. The best online courses are entirely flexible and include Zoom lessons with native speakers. If you want to help someone learn a new language, three-month Rosetta Stone courses as digital presents are available from $36. A three-month immersion course will give the average learner a strong foundation in a new language.
Education is the most precious gift of all
Online learning could include anything from DIY carpentry courses to learning how to build a personal website, to the foundations for a complete change of career. Pretty much every hobby, discipline, and profession has online devotees and teachers who are keen to share their knowledge and experience. Digital subscriptions to online courses are potentially life-changing digital presents. MasterClass courses have a good reputation and cover all kinds of skills and subjects. For instance, you can get a year’s tuition for $180. A subscription to an Udemy course can be an excellent gift for a disciplined self-starter who wants new skills.
Ebooks and Audiobooks
Ebooks are wonderful for people who love to read, or who want to learn something new. Not only are hard to find books much more available, but they are also cheaper and there are no shipping costs or long waits for delivery. Certainly, you can also free up your shelf space at home when you keep your reading material on your Kindle or hard drive. Not everybody is an instant fan of on-screen reading. Many of us still prefer to reach for an old-fashioned book and settle back in a comfortable chair. If you genuinely want to read the book, you’ll soon find that an ebook is an acceptable compromise.
Build a personal digital library
Audiobooks are certainly ideal for people who don’t enjoy reading, or who have limited free time. If you have a boring daily commute or need to do housework or other chores, audiobooks can play in the background - like a good radio program. If the story isn’t too exciting or scary, listening to an audiobook can be a great way to drift off to sleep at night.
It can be a real challenge to get kids to read. The written word faces tough competition from high-paced video games, TV, and social media. Epic does a superb job of bridging the gap with an excellent digital platform of over 40,000 children's ebooks, audiobooks, and engaging digital material. It’s aimed at kids up to age 12 and succeeds in making learning fun.
A subscription to Epic could certainly be one of the most important digital presents that you ever give a young child.
Health & Fitness Courses
The mandatory lockdowns saw a home fitness boom. Bored, restless, and anxious people found a healthy outlet in physical exercise. Even people who were enjoying the lockdowns (some people did appreciate the solitude and break from work routines) used the opportunity to get back into shape.
A gift of a gym membership, yoga, Feldenkrais, pilates as well as spinning classes can really give the recipient a boost. It’s a practical present that can improve someone’s quality of life, build their self-confidence and open new doors. If you think someone would benefit from the sport but isn’t keen to try, buy them membership in a country club where they’ll have access to a swimming pool and a gym - and see what happens.
Get in shape for the New Year
If you know someone whose New Year's resolution is to lose weight or get back in shape, Hanukkah offers perfect timing. People who are shy about going to gyms or attending public classes can follow online fitness programs, or connect to a remote personal trainer. Self-consciousness, negative body image, or anxiety about performance, are no longer obstacles to a life-enhancing fitness regime. Some people may be ready to take a step further and train as fitness instructors. Online resources are a convenient shortcut and allow flexible learning.
Men, if you’re buying your loved one a subscription to the gym or an exercise program, be very, very careful how you phrase the hint...
“You looked so great in those gym clothes you bought last summer that I couldn’t resist it.” is a safe approach.
“I thought we could both get back in shape and go hiking together” is another diplomatic option.
Build a Home Office
The global lockdowns forced hundreds of millions of people to work from home. This created two immediate challenges for the new army of home workers. The first was to quickly create a comfortable and effective home office (or workspace). The second was to get to grips with IT and communications technology. Most professionals are used to IT support tickets and letting an expert take care of tech issues. Working from home forced us to get to grips with technology!
Digital News and Magazines
Access to top-quality news and analysis is important in any profession. If you want to get ahead - or even stay current - you need to know what’s happening in the world. Some jobs require specialist or niche knowledge, whether it’s the financial markets, developments in health care, the legal world, politics, or current affairs. A subscription to a quality newspaper, specialist journal, wire service, database, archive, or professional site can be a welcome gift for any professional, especially if they are a freelancer or a junior.
It pays to be informed
Immediate access to quality resources can save a huge amount of Googling and can develop wider professional knowledge and credibility. Subscriptions to the right digital news and magazines are an essential (and much overlooked) part of any home office setup. An offer to pay for a subscription to online tools can also be a boon!
Password Managers and Security
Online security is one of the biggest issues facing modern businesses (and private internet users). You can help out a lot by buying someone a subscription to a super-secure password manager, a professional level anti-virus, a VPN service, or a smartphone security app. If you decide to buy someone a subscription to a digital security service or tool, it’s better not to surprise them with it. Ask what they need and ensure that you buy something that is compatible with their hardware and systems. If they aren’t sure, get some expert advice.
Help out with digital security
Good digital security systems can save a lot of heartbreak by keeping out hackers, viruses, and other online ‘uglies’. Even a basic tool like a password manager can save a lot of time and stress if you have a habit of forgetting passwords. Most of us have too many passwords for convenience and are tempted to take security shortcuts. A password manager will ensure that you have a different (and virtually uncrackable) password for each login. It can also remind you to update them regularly. Using the same password for multiple accounts, or writing them on scraps of paper is asking for trouble.
A TCS Communications Bundle: Get properly connected with TCS!
Every home office or workspace needs a reliable and affordable communications infrastructure - as does every home! TCS offers flexible communications bundles or packages that cover all your domestic or business needs in one hit. You can subscribe to a choice of high-speed internet (including fiber optic), cellphone and landline deals with an additional foreign number, as well as a TV package. Business clients have their own backup via a dedicated customer service number and 24/7 technical call-out.
If you’ve got friends or family making Aliyah (or a new employee coming to Israel) you can really help them out by giving subscriptions to TCS as digital presents. They can use their TCS SIM cards as soon as they step off the plane, and TCS will get their new home fixed up with high-speed internet, phones, and a superb package of over 120 premium TV channels.
All TCS services are in English and that includes itemized monthly billing and customer service.