But you still have options. The miracle of technology can conceal your procrastination, and your friends and family will still get amazing gifts they’ll love. So put down that box of chocolates from Target and get one of these way more thoughtful alternatives that you can still give, even if you’re out the door to a party tonight.
Vinyl is back in a big way. That said, VMP is a subscription service designed for the audio aficionado who doesn’t mind a surprise. Once you gift a subscription to someone, they’ll receive a special-edition LP, a 12 x 12-inch art print, and a custom cocktail recipe delivered directly to their door at some point in the month. The random record selection encapsulates a swath of genres, too, meaning your recipient will never know whether to expect a classic Wilco record or a new release from a new hip-hop prodigy.
If you know someone with an Internet connection who isn’t watching Netflix, they should be. If you know someone who already is, one of these cards will let you grab the bill for their House of Cards binges. You’ll also be able to talk all about Scrotal Recall together the next time you hang out — or, you know, not.
Ignore the name, you need never step foot in an adult store for this very clever gift. The Rasterbator is an online tool that turns any image into a PDF you can print on regular paper, then assemble into a mondo, wall-sized poster — imagine Samuel L. Jackson’s head blown up to the size of a minivan. Most people use ordinary laser printers for a grey-scale effect (stay a little late at work?), but you could also bring the PDF to a Kinko’s and have it printed up in color for some punch.
Steam lets you instantly give the PC gamer in your life the latest titles without even leaving the house. You can choose from $60 blockbusters such as Fallout 4 or $10 cult classics like Hotline Miami. They can download and play in just minutes, and they’ll own the games forever. No clue what to choose? You can also give gift cards in different dollar amounts, or select a title directly from their wishlist.
Why give one song when you can give more than 30 million? Despite the rise of competitors like Apple Music and Google Play Music, Spotify remains one of the best streaming-music service out there. Spotify Premium unlocks offline listening, better sound quality, and best of all, no ads! You can give 1-, 3-, 6-, and 12-month subscriptions at $10 a month. The mere fact the Beatles catalog is likely about to land on the service is just an added plus. Read more here.
Next Page: Five more great, last-minute gift ideas
Amazon is awesome, even if Prime Air hasn’t taken off yet (pun totally intended). Amazon Prime, the company’s premium service, is even better than the site itself. A subscription guarantees free two-day shipping on an enormous amount of products, and grants unlimited access to the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and thousands of movies and TV shows offered through Prime Instant Video. It’s a tremendous deal — particularly when you consider that the digital features work on nearly every device. And if your recipient is already a Prime member? Well, they can exchange it for an Amazon gift card.
It’s like shooting fish in a barrel. More accurately, it’s like playing an iPhone game where you tap the screen to shoot fish in a barrel. What this gift lacks in creativity (a lot) it makes up for in sheer utility: Anyone with an iPhone or iPad will be able to download their next stack of apps, movies, or music gratis, courtesy of you. An iTunes gift can be put toward nearly everything the company offers, including an Apple Music membership, but you can also gift individual apps, TV shows, and more. Hell, you can probably even grab one from the checkout line at your local supermarket. Read more here.
Here’s the ultimate way to look like you were on top of your gift-giving game weeks ago. Walmart (along with Target and Walgreens) offers same-day pickup on canvas prints, which are a classy way to make less-than-professional shots look gorgeous on a wall. Even smartphone shots can look like art. Choose the right shot and you have a gift they’ll cherish for years, and never know you picked it up at a pharmacy around the corner from their house, along with a six-pack.
Unless you’ve been living within the fringes of the Dagobah system, you’re probably aware that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has officially hit theaters. If that special someone on your list hasn’t seen the movie already, then they probably should. Thankfully, Fandango has a partnership with some of the nation’s biggest theater chains — AMC, Regal, Edwards, etc. — so a physical or digital gift card should pretty much guarantee they can catch a flick somewhere nearby. The release of The Reverent is also on the horizon, just in case they’d prefer to watch DiCaprio eat raw bison liver in the woods while Tom Hardy trudges on in the snow.
Far too many people balk at the practical gift, but they really shouldn’t. Rosetta Stone is a powerful tool for those keen on skirting the globe, one that provides intuitive language courses that never expire. Gift packages start at $200, but with them comes unfettered access to the company’s award-winning software, whether using a CD-ROM, instant download, or an accompanying mobile app for iOS and Android devices. Packages also cover everything from Vietnamese to Hebrew, so you never have to worry about language availability. Dothraki excluded.
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