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.
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.
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.
When you’ve put it off and put it off again, and need to get a gift TODAY, it’s time to get creative. Batteries are something that everyone is in a constant state of running out of. Nothing is worse than needing to replace a battery only to discover you need drop what you’re doing and run to the store, or go without your electronics. Plus they’re kind of expensive so people don’t always buy them in bulk. When they open your gift - a heavy box crammed full of AA batteries, they’ll be a little confused at first, but they’ll thank you for years to come as the gift will be save the day time and time again.
For a parent juggling a million things at once, sometimes the very best gift is simply a chance to get away from it all. Make a coupon for a night or two of free babysitting. It will only take you a few minutes to put together, and it will definitely be appreciated. Show me a parent who doesn’t want a night away from the kids, and I’ll show you a parent that has forgotten that they need to take care of themselves too.
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.
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.
Back in the old days you were really rolling the dice when you chose a hotel. Either you called blindly after skimming the phone book or simply drove all night and hoped you saw a vacancy sign before you ran out of gas and got murdered by a vagrant. A hotels.com gift card is not just a way of picking up the tab for a night’s stay; it’s also the priceless gift of peace of mind.
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.