Why just give money when you can pair it with the experience of spending a day together? Everyone has a list of things that they want to buy but can’t quite justify the expense. Cross a few things off that list by taking them on a shopping spree. If you need to have something for them to open or unwrap, just make a little gift card and let them pick a day that works for them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Don’t rush to buy them a present they’ll almost never use. Let’s be honest, no one likes to be on the receiving end of those. Instead, get them a present that they’ll be rushing out of the door to use. Treat them to a night out in one of their top local restaurants. Who wouldn’t love an evening of gourmet food, fine wine and absolutely no dishes to do afterwards?
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.
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.