It'll never happen again, you said; this year will be different, you said. And yet, here we are—mere hours to Christmas day and you have yet to finish your holiday shopping. For shame. Fortunately for you and everyone on your gift list—and just like with everything else in life—the internet has the answer to your problems.
The trick to making any good last minute gift seem anything but is specificity. How could something that clearly required at least some degree of foresight be thrown together in a frantic panic? Because we've anticipated your panic and are here to help, that's how. You're welcome.
This ain't your everyday, half-assed magazine subscription gift. Every month, Pen Pop Press sends you actual vintage magazines from the same month of a previous year; in July, you might receive a July 1953 issue of Screen Stories or a July 1974 issue of Master Detective, for example. While the site itself recommends both the "Kooky Aunt" and "Cranky Uncle" as ideal recipients, this is really something that would appeal to pretty much anyone with a passing interest in retro curiosities. Which—even if you don't realize it yet—would probably be most of us.
There's a pretty good chance that at least one person on your list who's a huge coffee snob. And since you're reading this, there's also a pretty good chance that you have yet to buy that fancy pants friends of yours a gift! For as little as $12 per shipment, Tonx will send quality c0ffee straight to their doorstep every other week. Not a bad deal for escaping their caffeine-withdrawal-fueled rage.
We're not talking about any lame self-made coupon for "one dinner together" or "a hug." TaskRabbit will actually do all the things your significant other, mother, swim instructor, etc. always dread, freeing them up to, you know, actually enjoy their life a little bit more. They even offer convenient gift cards in prices up to $300, so your giftee can choose which chore to slough off onto their newly hired hand. And even if you don't live in one of TaskRabbit's designated cities, things like research, budgeting, and vacation planning can be done from anywhere, so you can benefit from the gift no matter where were you are.
Did you forget to pick up a gift for your niece, nephew, son, daughter, or any other form of tiny human acquaintance? Congratulations—you just ruined Christmas. Because unlike adults, children have a much harder time with the fact that your gift won't actually be arriving on Christmas Day itself. But also unlike adults, kids have about a five second memory span, so once you choose the age and gender of your lucky little loved one, you're going to be their favorite person in the entire world once a month when Citrus Lane sends them a box full of carefully curated toys just for them.
But you should also probably run to a 24-hour drugstore and pick up a stuffed animal before morning—a child's Christmas is at stake, for god's sake.
We all know a music or movie lover who, for whatever reason, still refuses to shell out the money for an digital streaming subscription. Maybe they feel like they're betraying a more traditional medium or maybe they're simply cheap bastards who'd rather mooch off others/you. In which case, a subscription to something like Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, or Amazon Prime is the gift that keeps on giving; they get their very own supply of unlimited digital media, and you finally get to have recommendations that might start actually applying to you. And if your giftee is an online shopping addict to boot, they'll appreciate the highly coveted free 2-day shipping that comes with Prime. Everyone wins.
It's hard to give someone a box of bath soap or lotion without sending the wrong idea (specifically that you find their odor repulsive), but it's totally fine to pay someone else to send them those things. Birchbox will send the discerning man and/or woman in your life a new box every month just brimming with some of the best new grooming products, gadgets, and accessories the grooming product/gadget/accessory market has to offer. And it's not all just lotions and aftershave, there's some fun stuff in here. You can check out everything they've had to offer in the past over at their website.
The Last Resort: 24-Hour Drugstore Grab Bag
It's 2am. Either because they'll see through the ruse or because you refuse to show up empty handed, a promise to a subscription just isn't going to cut it this year. But don't give up quite yet—your local 24-hour drugstore could still save Christmas. We're not talking just seizing something from the As-Seen-On-TV aisle and praying for the best, it really is possible to assemble a gift that looks like it required some real thought.
Know a movie buff? Just some boxes of microwave popcorn, candy, a few movies from the discount bin, and you've got yourself a movie-lovers care package assembled with love. What about Mom or a particularly sentimental uncle? Head over the greeting card aisle, and swipe one for as many occasions as you can find. Put them in a basket with some envelopes, pens, and hunt down stamps for bonus points, and you've got a card-writers kit ready to go. Or what about a road warrior? Pack together an ice scraper, a flashlight, reflective sunglasses, and a big ol' novelty thermos, and you've got the perfect road trip emergency kit. And you can have it all under the tree before the little ones even wake up.