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.
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.
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.
Truly a gift that will make them scream, and if it doesn't the corkscrew roller coaster will. Buy tickets for the two of you online and print them out at home. At the birthday celebration you can put the tickets in a card and figure out a time when you can make the trip. They'll remember the experience forever, which is much more valuable than any doodad, whosie-whatsit or thingamajig.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?