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.
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.
When traveling, some people really like an element of predictability to anchor their experience in an unfamiliar place. With a recognizable name like Hilton, you know exactly what to expect. Unfortunately, that name and that predictability come at a premium. You can help take the sting out of a vacation’s most expensive element by picking up the tab ahead of time.
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?
When you're down to the very last minute and considering just giving cash, consider a iStock gift card instead. You can buy them actual fractional shares of top companies like Apple, Google and Facebook. It may jumpstart them on a path to wise investment strategy. You can get iStock as an electronic gift card immediately (if you're actually down to the last seconds) or as a physical gift card if you have a couple days for shipping.
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. Butle 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.
If you want a last minute gift that doesn’t seem like one, you can get an instant subscription to the Adobe Creative Suite in their name. It will give them access to the most powerful creative applications on Earth, well, in the cloud actually. They’ll be able to make professional videos, animations, music, websites, graphic artwork and more, and of course, they’ll always have the latest version of Photoshop.
So you forgot to order a gift in time, eh? Well, time to pull out the old checkbook. Find a cause or organizational that they’re passionate about and make a donation in their name. It’s a gift to them and also a gift to the world. Plus it’s tax deductible, so you win too.
You can order a subscription to Blue Apron right now and have the boxes sent anywhere you want. If they like to cook, or want to learn how, these weekly meal deliveries are amazing. The food is tasty and healthy, and they get to try all sorts of things that they may not have ever heard of. Would you like fennel pollen on that? Of course you would, it’s delicious.