Every year, just when it’s too late to do anything about it, I realize I have forgotten someone on my gift list. Inevitably this is someone who lives too far away for me to ship a gift to them in time for the holiday. I have gotten good at recovering from this goof. In fact, I think some of my last-minute gifts are the best ones. Here are 10 of my favorite procrastinator’s gifts. Order them now for instant delivery.
- 1. An Amazon.com Gift Card is always welcome. Since the site carries virtually everything, usually at the best price on the planet, your recipient can get whatever toy they wished for but failed to get. These are perfect for your tween nephew who probably covets some video game you have never heard of yet lacks the credit card to buy it himself.
- 2. Give a subscription to Napster To Go. Who wouldn’t love to be handed a license to explore whatever music moves them for a period of time. A teeny-bopper niece could explore beyond the marketing hype of Miley Sirus and Hilary Duff and discover a world of music without having to spend her hard-earned allowance.
3. If anyone on your list commutes or takes long walks and might like to enjoy spoken word literature, while she does it, she will love a subscription to Audible.com. You can buy gifts in many denominations. So your sister can buy an audio book or two –or three or four – of her own choosing. But the real bargain is in the subscriptions, which allow you to download a certain number of books every month For example, a 3-month subscription gives her 1 book a month for three months and costs $45. She can take her books with her on her MP3 player, burn them to CDs, or listen to them on her computer.
4. Got a small niece or nephew? Do his parents a favor and give that kid a gift certificate to Audible Kids. Audio books allow parents to beg off the “Read it again!” requests, buy a little peace and quiet as a child listens happily to a story, and expand a child’s appreciation of reading. I got both my kids hooked on reading (they are both reading as I write this) by letting them listen to books that were a bit beyond their ability. It helps them understand why reading is fun and motivates them to get past the difficulties. Gift certificates start at $10 and you will have started something big even with that amount.
5. Expand someone’s movie viewing horizons beyond the blockbuster store by giving a subscription to Netflix.com. Even people who say they won’t like this service are thrilled when they get a free pass to watch whatever they want on someone else’s dime — without leaving the house.
6. Bookswim is the Netflix of books. Pile books into your “pool” on the site and they will send you new books whenever you send a book back. There are various plans that suit all styles of reader. You can give a subscription gift for as little as $9.99.
7. Know someone with a messy office or a hatred of filing? Give them a gift they need – and a hint – by getting them a subscription to Pixily. You can name the amount you want to contribute to cleaning up their office or just foot the bill for a year of neatness. They will thank you over and over when they can quickly put hands on that insurance form or tax receipt at a moment’s notice – even though they haven’t filed in months. Once they are signed up they simply send their papers into be scanned and uploaded to a private Web site.
8. Wish you’d sent your mother, sister, friend, or favorite blogger a little spa pampering package? It’s not too late. Get her an electronic gift card from Origins. That way she can choose what she really wants. I would be thrilled to get one of these as this is my favorite pampering store and no one but me knows what I just ran out of.
9. Know a game-addicted kid? Want to save his parents some money while giving him unfettered access to new games? Buy him a subscription to GameFly™. A one-month subscription is $22.95 and he can play as many games as he has time for in that time, keeping two games at home at a time.
10. If your recipient is a woman –or has feet – give her a gift certificate to Zappos.com. Not only will she love you for buying her shoes, she will love the shoes because she chose them herself. And if she goofs? Free delivery both ways so she can try again. It’s even possible – since Zappos is uncannily fast at delivery – that you could give her a gift certificate today and she could have the shoes by Christmas.