Last Minute Gift Ideas

December 23, 2011 by staff 

Last Minute Gift IdeasLast Minute Gift Ideas, Year after year, you pledge to start your holiday shopping earlier in order to avoid the last-minute frenzy. Maybe you overslept on Black Friday, or maybe your hard-to-please niece had you stumped. Whatever the excuse, you have less than 48 hours to make up for a year of procrastination in order to get your gifts to your loved ones by Christmas.

Lucky for you, the era of on-demand streaming and instant downloads makes last-minute shopping rather painless; in fact, it’s even comfortable. You can order and deliver all these gifts from your own home while sipping hot chocolate and curled up with a tablet by the fire or on your smartphone from the airport as you head to the in-laws. All of the presents can be emailed directly to the recipient’s inbox or printed out as a card to be given in person.

Streaming subscriptions, like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora, open up a world of easily accessible content while other presents, like a Zipcar membership, afford convenience. Other ideas on this list will help you further embrace the holiday spirit by giving to someone truly in need on behalf of your loved one.

PCMag has rounded up a sack full of presents that can be gifted faster than Santa can slide down the chimney. When holiday shopping is this easy, why wait? Well, because you can.

1. Heifer International
When dogs and cats get boring, give a flock of chicks ($20), a trio of rabbits ($60), or a camel ($850) to a farming family in need on behalf of a loved one. Through giving livestock and training, Heifer International aims to end hunger and poverty by helping families generate a sustainable income. In exchange for receiving the “living loans,” families agree to give one of its offspring to another family in need.

Image via Heifer International

2. Streaming subscriptions
Why give one DVD when you could give thousands? Give a one-month ($7.99), two-month ($15.98), three-month ($23.97), six-month ($47.94), or 12-month ($95.88) subscription to Netflix and the recipient can stream unlimited movies and television shows over the Internet to a computer, TV, or mobile device. A Hulu Plus subscription, giftable at the same price points, also offers a vast selection of content. After you complete the purchase, you have the option of printing or emailing the gift subscription as a festive card.

3. CharityChoice Gift Cards
If you’d like to make a charitable donation on a loved one’s behalf but are unsure which causes are nearest to the heart, give a CharityChoice gift card, which allows the recipient to designate the funds to up to three of the more than 250 participating local and national charities. Send the donation voucher over Facebook, as an e-card or customized certificate, or print the redemption code to distribute share any way you wish.

4. Flickr Pro Account
The budding photographer on your list will beam brighter than a photo flash upon receiving a Flickr Pro account. For $24.95, recipients will get a one-year Pro account, which includes unlimited photo and video uploads, ad-free browsing and sharing, archiving of high-resolution original images, and more.

5. Groupon gift
Grab a gift for (50 to 90 percent) less with a Groupon coupon. Purchase a specific deal, such as a dinner at a nearby seafood restaurant or a spa service, or give generic Groupon bucks to be applied by the recipient to a deal of his or her choice. Customize Groupon eGift Cards with a message and pick a delivery date.

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