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The Top 10 Online Gifts for 2020

Holiday shopping is going to look a little different this year

We are approaching our first major holiday gift-giving season while living with a pandemic. Shoppers seeking no-contact options are expected to do most of their shopping online, but does that mean the streets and malls will be eerily quiet? Not exactly. Many major big box and department stores will remain closed on Thanksgiving Day, including Walmart, Target, Home Depot, Macy’s and others. So where does that leave Black Friday?

Retailers, under the guise of the pandemic, are for the most part spreading black Friday out to several days. Hopefully this will discourage people from jam packing stores the day after Thanksgiving by providing other days to find in-store and online specials.

We should also patronize the locally owned stores in our communities—those that have survived COVID-19 and are open for business. Let’s make sure they have a fighting chance to stay in business during this economic downturn.

With many of us avoiding going out, there is no better time than 2020 to leverage technology—especially the internet—for gift-giving. From group e-cards, to gadget sanitizers and even gifts for pets, these ideas are perfect for the times in which we are living. Here are 10 pandemic inspired ideas that can all be ordered online and delivered this holiday season.

Giving a gift with a red bow

1. Group e-Cards
This shareable online card allows multiple people to sign and customize their greeting to those people staying at home. GroupGreeting allows you to choose a card for any occasion, send to others for signing and send it to the recipient on the date you want. You can even add photos and stickers to personalize the card. What a fun family activity for just $5!

2. Streaming services and streaming TV
Be an enabler and send a streaming service subscription to a media buff on your list. This touch-free giving option allows you to pick from any number of services, such as Amazon, Disney+, NetFlix, or Hulu, allowing binge-worthy viewing for those long days stuck in quarantine. All that’s left is to pop the popcorn. If you like traditional cable, but want a streaming experience, consider Arvig WiFi TV. This service offers all the channels in your cable package with a host of next-generation features, including cloud-based DVR, replay and much more.

3. Phone sanitizer
Our phones are one of the worst culprits for carrying contaminants, some of which can live for three or four days on this surface. And studies on our habits show we touch our phones more than 2,500 times a day—that’s a lot of opportunity to spread viruses, including the coronavirus. However, for about $80 PhoneSoap Phone Sanitizer, uses ultraviolet light to kill 99.99% of germs on your phone surfaces. It also charges as it cleans.

4. Perfect for the essential worker
At the end of the day, someone coming home from work has several items to sanitize, not just their phone. Your favorite commuter could toss his keys, earbuds, cell phone and wallet in the UV CLEAN Portable Sanitizer Bag, killing up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses* in just one minute. For $89, it’s large enough to fit bigger items, yet small enough to take along on the go.

5. Air purifier
Clear the air for a germ-concerned friend with a pluggable air cleaner. The Germ Guardian, which runs $35, has an enclosed UV-C light for extra air purification. This compact unit reduces household odors caused by bacteria, pets and cooking fumes.

6. Faster internet
With everyone in your home working on a device, attending classes or in a Zoom meeting, you may have discovered a deficiency in your Wi-Fi performance. The new Netgear Nighthawk RAX80 may be the answer to your problems. It offers faster speeds 30 to 40 percent faster than your present router may offer and can support more devices. And best of all, it supports Wi-Fi 6-compatible laptops, smartphones and other such enabled devices.

7. Send a personalized gift box
Greetabl has a range of small gifts to pick from, but the uniqueness comes in the box. You customize the inside of the box online with a greeting and photos, making it one large gift card/box that just happens to be holding a nice surprise! Prices range from $3 to $28 based on the gift you choose.

8. Food is timeless
For someone that just doesn’t need another tie or gadget, edible gifts, like a snack box from Harry and David, will warm their heart. Choose healthy options like Royal Riviera Pears, or popcorn towers. All are sure to satisfy picky palates. Perhaps you just want to help stretch the grocery budget of a family. You can’t go wrong with a meal kit. Goldbelly is just one of many companies offering kits to make mealtime easier and affordable. Starting at just $25, the choices are endless.

9. Pandemic pet pics
People have adopted pets in record numbers since being housebound, creating a new term, pandemic puppy. With all this cuteness comes a prolific number of social media posts of these pets. But not all our pets will cooperate for the camera. One gadget, the Poochie Selfie, available from Amazon for $10, entices your pet to look at the camera using a squeaky ball. A universal fit allows you to attach to almost all phones and tablets and is easy to set up and remove.

10. Zoom improvement
Notice a business partner with a particularly bad camera or microphone during online meetings? Integrated computer webcams can leave a lot to be desired. Gift your friend with a Logitech C925e Webcam for $99. It plugs into an available computer USB port, clips to the top of the monitor and delivers 1080-pixel, full high-definition video resolution with a 78-degree field of view.

With so much technology at your fingertips, there’s no reason to stress out over the upcoming holidays. Just relax, have a chair, and let your fingers do the gift-giving.

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