Booze It Up
If you’re out of ideas and out of time, there’s always the one thing that never rarely fails – booze. Run over to your local ABC store and grab something nice. Extra points if you can find a bottle as old as they are. One could argue that a cheap bottle of Aristocrat is actually more of a punishment than a gift, so keep your eyes off that bottom shelf.
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.
Leaving gift shopping till the last minute is part of human nature it seems. Everyone does it, so don’t feel bad. The trick is finding something that doesn’t look like a last minute attempt. Luckily there are a ton of great subscription services you can order online right now, like a weekly delivery of fresh, locally grown produce. You’ll be doing them a favor in more ways than one, and each time a new delivery arrives they’ll think of you, and how you always give the most amazing gifts. You’re welcome.
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?
Help someone get away and recharge in a faraway place where nobody knows them and they can act however they want with virtually no longstanding social repercussions. Because when things get tough, evacuation is usually the only solution.
You could just get them a gift card to a spa or for a massage, but why not go for a more interesting experience like cryotherapy? It’s basically a box you get into to get blasted by ridiculously cold air for a short period of time. Advocates say that the treatment rejuvenates the body and helps repair tissue damage. If your town doesn't have a cryotherapy place yet you could try a bathtub full of ice and a big fan.
So you’re on the way to go pick them up, and realize you totally forgot to get them a gift. Seems like a problem at first, and perhaps it is something you should work on, but there’s an easy solution. The night is on you! All expenses paid, do whatever the hell they want. Say you planned it. They might not believe you but they won’t care at all.