Stock Gift Cards
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.
If procrastination is winning the gift shopping battle, you can emerge victorious by running down to your local art, science, or history museum to grab a gift membership. It will seem like something that you put a lot of thought into, finding a gift that enriches their lives, exposes them to new cultures, and all that junk.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If they don't already have a subscription to Amazon prime, it's your duty to bring them out of the dark ages. It's a gift that keeps on giving, and you can get it for them right now. They'll get free shipping on tons of great stuff from Amazon as well as access to a bizillion movies for free.
You can order a membership from AAA online and just tell them the actually card is in the mail. It’s thoughtful gift that may come in handy and may even save the day sometime in the future. As a AAA member they’ll get roadside service and other perks like discounts on all sorts of things related to automobiles, and even cheaper rates at some hotels.