The children were nestled all snug in their beds, while visions of disappointment ran through your head because you waited until the very very last minute to buy gifts. Hanukkah observers still have a few more days, but probably not enough time to get something shipped. Here’s a list of great last-minute gifts you can still buy at this late hour, and most even allow you to print an attractive card or certificate.
1. iTunes gift certificates and apps. If you have an app, TV show, or songs you’d like to share, you can quickly and easily gift them to someone right from iTunes(s aapl). Generic iTunes gift certificates are available in amounts of $10 to $50 in $10 increments if you’re not sure of a person’s exact tastes.
2. Online backup. Nothing says “I love you” like the gift of preventing data loss. If someone you’re buying for hasn’t developed an onsite backup strategy, you can both give a gift and do a good deed. Both CrashPlan and Backblaze (two of my favorite online backup services) offer gift subscriptions for $50. Sure, it isn’t a very fun gift, but it’s practical, and when a recipient accidentally lose a file, they’ll hopefully remember how you helped them.
3. Audible. I’ve been an Audible fan for a very long time. Someone who has a long commute to work will appreciate the wide variety of books that they can listen to via the service. You can give an individual book (the geek on your list will love “Ready, Player One” narrated by Wil Wheaton) or give a monthly subscription that allows for multiple purchases. Three month subscriptions start at $45.
4. Pandora One. For the audiophile who loves their custom stations and playlists but winces when they hear an ad, how about a gift subscription to Pandora? No more pink cupcakes. I’d suggest Spotify, but gift subscriptions aren’t available in the U.S. yet. Coal in that company’s stocking for sure.
5. Hulu+ or Netflix(s nflx). If the hard-to-shop-for person on your list loves TV or movies, a gift subscription of Hulu+ or Netflix will allow for streaming of video content to their iPad, iPhone, and desktop. Unfortunately Hulu+ doesn’t work directly on the Apple TV, so Netflix would be a better choice for users of that device. Both products have gift subscriptions that start at $7.99, and both give you a choice of attractive gift certificates to print at home.
There you have it. You didn’t procrastinate, you were simply waiting for the perfect gift, and now you have a great list. Happy holidays and next time, plan ahead!