December 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm
by Christina Tynan-Wood
There was a time that waiting till the last minute meant the gift you gave was picked from what was left after the organized shoppers were done. Your recipient could tell you shopped the dregs. And you probably paid too much. No more. Last minute gifts are easy, awesome, and hip. Dare I say it? Procrastinating is the new organized.
I was once organized. I got a sitter weeks before Christmas. I went to stores with handwritten lists in hand. And then I stayed up late wrapping them. Now that my kids are teens, they want none of that. (Unless I’m wrapping a new tablet or laptop. Then they would be thrilled.) Now they love my disorganized, last-minute gifts sent via email or text. (I put a few things under the tree but the good stuff shows up via email.) And that’s my kids! Sisters, cousins, friends have always loved being able to pick exactly what they want exactly when they need it.
Here are my go-to e-gifts. Many of these can be sent right from the couch – even if your recipient is standing on the front porch holding a wrapped gift and waiting for you to open the door.
Etsy.com: Browsing this marketplace of handmade is almost more fun than the part where something beautiful that was made just for you by someone halfway across the world shows up in the mail. Buy your recipient an Etsy.com gift certificate and give them both of those pleasures.
WayFaire.com: Got a homebody on your list or someone who is forever remodeling? You know they need help with it because every party they throw involves getting friends to paint or Spackle. You may not know what their next project is. But you can still help by sending them a small shopping spree at this site for all things home.
SnapFish.com: Don’t think last minute, think creative. Send a gift certificate to Snapfish and suggest she create her own personalized skin for the laptop – or smart phone or tablet – Santa brought. She gets something only she could create. And since this gift is always delivered via email (or you can print them), just insist that waiting for the last minute was your plan all along.
eGiftSocial.com: Got friends you never see outside of Facebook? No problem. You can send gifts there. Go to eGiftSocial.com, pick the gift – anything from a burger or an ice cream to a shopping spree – and decide if you want to send it to Facebook or an email address, pay, and send.
Amazon.com: Don’t know what to get? Amazon has everything from books to dresses to technology – often at the most competitive price. Send an Amazon gift certificate by email and your recipient can drop the cash on their Amazon account and spend it whenever hankerings strike.
Audible.com: Listening to a book is a great way to make a commute or workout more interesting. Give three months of listening – Audible works with most cell phones and MP3 players – for $45.
Kindle: Someone on your list always toting her Kindle? Send a book she will love directly to her favorite device. Select the book you want to give at Amazon.com and choose “Send as Gift” at checkout. You need your recipient’s email address (the one they registered with their Kindle) and the ebook will show up on their device.
CollegeSavings.org. Teenager? Help them go to college. It might not be the smart phone or computer game they think they want. But it is what they do want. And their parents – trust me on this – will thank you. Ask if they have a college savings plan and how to contribute to it. If not, consider opening one. You don’t have to contribute a lot.