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Consumer Reports: Out-of-the-box gift ideas guaranteed to be in stock

Consumer Investigator Lauren Verno got some out-of-the-box gift ideas from Consumer Reports that are guaranteed to be in stock.

If you’re worried about stores being out of that gift you want to buy, or you’re afraid your online order won’t ship in time in time for the holidays, some out-of-the-box ideas could ease your worries.

For Christmas this year, instead of toys or video games, Sarah Peterson asked relatives to give her three sons something a little different.

“I like to encourage giving them something, like a class, so they’ve helped pay for swim classes. And my oldest Isaiah, he wanted to do a play this year, so we just offered that as, why don’t we do this as one of your holiday presents this year,” Peterson explained.

And many families may be looking for unconventional gift-giving this holiday season.

“If you’re worried about getting your gift in time or being able to even find a gift, you can consider gift cards, you can consider online subscriptions. It’s not as impersonal as you may think it might be,” said Consumer Reports Shopping Editor Angela Lashbrook.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a busy relative, consider signing them up for a meal kit service. Consumer Reports looked at kits from five companies and found many contain high-quality ingredients with easy-to-follow recipes and tasty results.

Maybe someone you care for needs a little more zen in their life. Consumer Reports says you should consider giving a subscription to a meditation app, like Calm, Pzizz, Headspace and the Relax & Rest Guided Meditations app.

Or, if they’d prefer something more hands-on, a gift card to Spafinder will let them book a massage at a local spa.

For someone in your life who loves staying fit, a subscription to Classpass will give them access to gym classes at local fitness studios and online!

And there’s nothing like giving the gift of knowledge -- a subscription to MasterClass, Wondrium or Skillshare lets your loved ones take online classes taught by experts in everything from art to zoology!

If a friend or relative has taken time during the COVID Pandemic to reconnect with nature, you could give them a National Parks Pass for only $80. They’ll get access to over 100 national parks, monuments, and battlefields for a whole year. You could even splurge and add a pass to Canadian parks for as little as $59.

“If you’re still struggling, you can consider donating in somebody’s name. It’ll spread the holiday cheer even further,” said Lashbrook.

If you are still struggling for the perfect gift, think local. For example, a membership to MOSH or the Jacksonville Zoo could bring joy to them and the community.