This year was going to be different. But here you are, on the road to grandmother's house, and you still haven't finished your Christmas shopping. Don't worry! You won't have to eat humble pie. We will make this right.
This is the gift list that will save you from stopping at 7-Eleven to get everyone stale candy. In fact, it will transform you into the person who gave everyone a gift that conveys how clever and thoughtful you are. You aren't forgetful, you're just busy, edgy, and modern.
Read to them
This one works for everyone: Sporty niece, elderly grandma, six-year-old nephew, or your sister's type A fiancé. Everyone loves to be read to. So gift three months of audiobooks from Audible ($45). You can do it with just a few clicks on your phone. Go to Audible, choose the duration you want to gift, type in the recipient's email address, and pay. Done! Everyone will be thrilled. Bonus: You now have a dinner conversation topic that isn't politics: books.
Help them dress
Someone on your gift list needs better threads, right? There's always one. And you were planning to help with that. But somehow, shopping for sweaters never happened. Again, not too late. In fact, you can do better than a sweater. Go to Stitch Fix and — for as little as $20 — hire a pro to upgrade their style. All you do is enter their email address and your credit card. Your lucky giftee plugs in her sizing, rates some looks, and waits for a box of style to arrive. She keeps what she likes and returns the rest. You solved so many problems with this one. This works for men, women, or children.
Give them what everyone really wants
At the risk of being obvious, a year of Amazon Prime ($40 for 3 months; $120 for a year) is an outstanding gift. (It's what I want.) Free shipping and free movies? Who doesn't want that? Also, consider this: Every time your mom (or whoever) orders online, she will remember how sweet you are. That could be, potentially, twice a day, right? This will erase all those times you showed up with a Teddy Bear you bought at the airport.
Give back to the host
The person cooking your holiday dinner has overhead. Have you considered that? Not just the food. The roasting pan, the kitchen, the bedding on your guest bed. You may not know what pan or sheets to buy but you can gift them a great deal on household goods. Overstock carries everything from faucets to jewelry. And the bedding sales here are legend. Don't be surprised if everyone you give this to spends Christmas Day shopping.
Help them fly
Is someone on your list always talking about the traveling they want to do? Travel gifts are difficult. Luggage? A dorky money belt? No. No. No. Contribute to the very thing they need: The flight. FlightGiftCard.com lets you gift whatever amount you want toward flights on 300 airlines and 980 destinations in 70 countries. You don't have to know anything about their plans. You pick the contribution amount. They pick their own flight.
Give them a place to stay
Even people who don't travel much sometimes need a place to stay. House renovations? Date night? Someone they want to visit? With nothing more than your phone, five minutes, and a credit card, you can give these things. Go to HotelGift.com. Again, you pick the dollar amount, they choose from 110,000 hotels in 170 countries.
Remember record albums?
If you are old, you remember what it was like to give and receive music albums as gifts. It is as if technology stole an entire category of gift giving, right? No, it isn't! Try to keep up. This is so super easy now that you can buy everyone at the party an album, from your phone, on the train ride to Christmas dinner. Go to Amazon and find the album you want to give. Below the buying options is "Give Album or Song as a Gift." Click that, enter their email address, check out, and they will receive that album by email instantly. This is how also you change the playlist for Christmas dinner.
Something for the doting dog parent
You've seen the photos (how can you miss them?), listened to the stories, and petted the pet in person. You know the way to the Pet Parent's heart is through the jaws of Rover. Here's the last-minute solve: Give a month (or more) of Bark Box. This dog-focused subscription box will send a choice selection of dog treats and toys directly to the pup in question. Best part? You can do it from any internet connection without setting foot in a pet store. Be warned, though, this will generate more adorable dog photos.
Gift handmade or vintage trinkets
Back when you were planning to do this year differently, you promised yourself you would give something vintage or handmade to everyone on your list. No processed presents from you! Yep. You can still do that. Gift Etsy money right from your phone. Your recipient will receive the handmade gift and the pleasure of choosing it. You can do this right from the Etsy app on your phone. Just choose Etsy Gift Cards from the categories, select an amount, and enter your recipient's email address.
Give them cash, but in a non-tacky way
To some people this may seem a tacky way out of your dilemma. Those people are probably not broke. Penniless people like currency better than any amount of thoughtfulness, especially around the holidays. When in doubt, give cash. You can do this right from your phone with the Venmo app to make it all, somehow, much cooler than slipping them a Jackson.