Sending out holiday gifts on time is difficult enough. Add international freight delays, a hike in shipping costs, and a labor shortage, and you have a recipe for a late or lost gift. If you still have gifts that you need to purchase for the music lover in your life, know that it’s not too late with these 10 last-minute holiday gift ideas that you can either pick up in-store, or order and have delivered day-of.
Music Magazine Subscriptions
With so much free music media available, it can be difficult to justify a magazine subscription to publications like Rolling Stone, Mix, or Guitar World. This is a great gift to receive because it’s something you wouldn’t normally splurge on for yourself. This time of year, there are usually some pretty good deals happening that won’t set you back more than $50 for a year-long subscription. Plus, it’s a gift that will keep on giving for the whole year with monthly deliveries.
If you know someone who spends a good portion of their week commuting by car, a SiriusXM subscription will make their drive significantly more enjoyable. Digital gift cards are available through Target in $25-$200 amounts. Newer cars will usually have a way to connect through the car console, but older cars will need a SiriusXM receiver. If this is the case, you could always include enough money on the digital gift card to purchase a receiver through the SiriusXM site, which comes with a few months of free service.
Even for your friends who don’t drive, you can still connect all of your SiriusXM channels to your home speakers through the app. This makes a really great gift for someone who is a die-hard fan of artists like Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, the Beatles, the Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews, or Phish, because they have designated channels that will play these artists 24/7.
If you know someone who is suffering through ads with their free Spotify account, alleviate their misery with a subscription to Spotify Premium. Not only will they get to enjoy their music commercial-free with unlimited skips, but they’ll get to see their Spotify Wrapped insights at the end of the year that everybody has been blabbing about on social media for the past few weeks. You can purchase an electronic Spotify gift card through Target.
Books on Music
This year has provided us with plenty of great books about music, from Quest Love’s Music is History, to Dave Grohl’s autobiography, to the new read Major Labels by New Yorker staff writer Kelefa Sanneh, to the new tell-all about Duran Duran by Stephen Davis—who, BTW, was an excellent guest on the Berklee Online’s Music is My Life podcast. If you’re looking for a book to give in-person, head to your local bookstore and explore the music section. Some book stores are even kind enough to wrap the book for you. For day-of book gifting, you could send the book digitally if the recipient has a Kindle, or as an audiobook through Audible. The independent bookstore Powell’s also offers an app called Libro.fm where you can gift audiobooks.
Berklee Online eGift Card
If you know someone who wants to get serious about studying music, you can help them attend Berklee College of Music from anywhere with a Berklee Online eGift card. Available at several pricing tiers, eGift cards can count toward Berklee Online’s 12-week courses and certificate programs. Although a $1,572 course is likely out of most gift budgets, even $100 towards a course might be the motivation someone needs to start learning music theory, guitar, music production, and more. Plus if you want to go in as a collaborative family, or friend group gift, it’s like crowdsourcing your loved one’s music career.
A Musician-Crafted Wine or Spirit
From Snoop Dogg’s California red wine, to Bob Dylan’s Heaven’s Door bourbon, to Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar Rum, many musicians have added alcoholic beverages to their repertoire. With the help of the drink delivery service Drizly, you can have a bottle delivered to your friend’s door the same day. Just download the app, see which drinks are available in their area, and either surprise them with a delivery if you know they’ll be home, or send them an email where they can schedule their own delivery.
Now that live music is making a comeback, giving concert tickets as a present is even more meaningful. Digital or physical gift cards are available in amounts of $25-$500 through Ticketmaster. Another option is to check to see if the recipient’s go-to venue in their area offers gift cards. The money will likely go further for a local small venue than a sports arena.
A Digital Audio Workstation, or DAW, is an expense that most musicians need to shell out. If you know someone who would appreciate a subscription to a DAW program, here are some gifting options:
Apple’s Logic Pro X priced at $199.99, is a good option for Mac users. Here are instructions on how to send an app, however, the easiest route may be emailing an Apple gift card. Here are instructions for gifting Ableton Live and Avid’s Pro Tools. Again, an easier route might be a gift card to a place like Sweetwater where the receiver can buy the DAW license themselves.
Starting at $6.99 per month, you can give someone a 3-12 month subscription to Vinyl Post, an indie record club that offers singles pressed on vinyl postcards. And yes, you can play the postcards on a record player! Each single is curated by the music blog birp.fm and features up-and-coming indie, dream pop, and lo-fi artists. They also offer full-size 10-track compilation vinyl albums.
At a higher price point ($119 for a three-month subscription), you can give a Vinyl Me Please membership, where the recipient will receive a new full-size vinyl record each month in the genre of their choice.
For the Music Lover Who Has Everything . . .
You could donate to a music charity. This is a great idea for someone who has everything they need to enjoy music, and wants to give back to those who don’t have the same luxury. Little Kids Rock is a non-profit that provides instruments and contemporary music instruction to US schools that are lacking music education programs. The Recording Academy’s MusiCares is another admirable non-profit that helps musicians who have fallen on hard times, whether they’re facing medical, financial, or personal emergencies. For someone who cares about mental health and wellbeing, Backline is a wonderful non-profit organization that offers mental health services to those working in the music industry. We’ve featured their work a few times on Take Note:
Last but not least, if you’re a musician or songwriter yourself (and can bang out a song pretty quickly), a song or poem makes a really meaningful gift. Also it’s super budget-friendly if you’re in any degree of the proverbial “starving artist” category. The only thing it costs is your creativity and your time. You could upload the song to YouTube and send it by text or email with a note. Or you could write a poem on some nice paper and send it through the mail if you have the time. For a long-distance friendship, relationship, or family member, what could be more thoughtful than this gift from the heart?