1 Day of Yard Work
Here’s a gift you can give at the very last minute that will leave them feeling like they owe you one. Offer to do someone’s chores or yard work for an entire work day. Go all out and let them see you bust your hump. They deserve it, and so do you – you almost forgot to get them a gift after all.
Money is the standard solution for last minute gifts, or last-second-I-totally-forgot gifts. Since money is actually a really great gift, it works out every time. You can disguise the fact that you almost dropped the ball by doing some “quick” origami and making a nice arrangement.
Lobsters have many, many great qualities, not least among them are their nutritional and flavor profiles. But they’re dumb as dirt, exceptionally slow, and don’t drive. So if it’s inconvenient for you to go all the way to the ocean to find the best lobsters, you’re going to have to have someone mail them to you. Thankfully, lobster mail is now a reality.
Buy them a couple tickets to a great event or show as a little test. Will they give the extra ticket to you? You just gave them this very thoughtful gift, after all. Or do they keep them both. In which case, maybe they just get a box of chocolates from the drug store next time.
Imagine their surprise when you tell them you're on the way to pick them up, and then roll up in a stretch limo. Rent it for a few hours so they have enough time to make several stops. Do some normal stuff, but in a limo - maybe take them to the drug store or to get groceries. Then go out on the town for dinner and drinks (or just drink in the limo). Take a limo to the mall for a shopping spree and score double points. On any given day there are plenty of limos available to rent immediately in most cities. It'll be fun for you too, and they'll tell stories about it for years.
A Costco membership can save someone a lot of money, eventually, after they actually use up those 200 rolls of toilet paper, that 20 pound block of cheese, and pallet of Raisin Bran. You can visit the Costco website and set up a membership for someone as a gift and they can get the actual membership card later.
Lottery tickets are a great gift you can pick up at your local convenience store, that come with a serious upside. If they win big you may get a piece of the action. Lottery tickets are often things that people won't buy for themselves, believing that they never win anything, but who could help but get their hopes up when you present them with a dozen chances to strike it rich and travel the world in a super yacht?
If you’ve got no time for shopping or delivery, it’s time to look in your community and see what options you have. There are likely things to do in your area that you don’t even know exist. Take a cooking class together, try indoor skydiving, maybe even plan a trip together and offer to cover some of the costs as your gift. At the end of it all, people don’t look back and wish they had more things, they reflect on their memories and experiences.
Need an idea that you can actually do later instead? Set up a day to be their personal butler and take care of them the way that they think they deserve. Buttle them good, go all out on this one. For one day, your name is Jeeves and you’re willing to perform any task they desire with the greatest candor and professionalism.