The first bottle of champagne has popped at the office party when you realize you forgot to buy your reports gifts. Last year you gave out Flingshot Flying Monkeys and inspired an epic cubical war. How can you top that with ten minutes to spare? Here are some ideas for the truly behind who still want to spread holiday cheer:
iTunes gift certificates
These gift certificates arrive via e-mail or can be printed out, so you’re good to go up to the last minute. Launch iTunes, click on iTunes Store and look for the Buy iTunes Gifts link on the far right under Quick Links. If you want to get more personal, get your giftee a favorite album, playlist, or movie.
Amazon gift certificates
Similarly, Amazon lets you e-mail or print out gift certificates in any amount between $5 and $5,000. You choose from a selection of styles and include a message. If you need to buy a bunch of gift certificates (up to 400), check out the company’s Gift Cards for Business page.
Have some blank CDs lying around? Burn them a disk with a favorite e-book. Your giftee can read e-books in PDF format on his or her Mac, iPhone, Kindle DX, or (with a little work) 1st Generation Kindle.
We at Macworld think our $13 PDF Superguides can’t be beat, whether your giftee is a Mac newbie or expert. Take a look at our Mac Basics Superguide, Snow Leopard Edition and our Total Snow Leopard Superguide. The Take Control series features many regular Macworld contributors on topics such as customizing Snow Leopard ($15) and syncing data between multiple Macs and other devices ($10).
If you think your giftee would prefer something fictional, take a look at Project Gutenburg’s collection of free e-books. This collection includes many classics, such as Treasure Island, that are no longer copyrighted.
Do the people left on your list have everything already? Then do some good in their name. Check your favorite charitable organizations to see if they offer e-mail notification when you donate on behalf of another person. For example, if you make an honorary donation to Habitat for Humanity of $10 or more, you can ask the organization to notify your giftee via e-mail. Same goes for Invisible Children, a Mac-based nonprofit dedicated to telling the stories of children in war-torn countries, particularly Uganda, Africa. Donate online and the site will send your giftee an e-mail.
Even if you've left things until now, there's still hope. Pick one of these thoughtful and stress-free gifts and you can get back to enjoying the holiday party, knowing the shopping is done.