Undoubtedly someone will show up at your house or a holiday party this year bearing a gift for you; but you won't have anything, even a standby bottle of wine, to give them. So what are you to do? Last minute e-gift cards work, but they reek of, "Oops-I-forgot-about-you" to anyone who gets one time stamped five minutes after their arrival. To avoid this unnecessary embarrassment, here are 5 last-minute online gift ideas that, with a little posturing, won't make you look like you forgot!
Last-minute gift idea #1 - Pandora Radio Station
This gift isn't just free, it's also fun and personalized. How to give a Pandora radio station for Christmas? Log in to your account and click the "Make a Station For a Friend" button; it's shaped like a little gift box. After seeding it with songs and artists you can choose a wrapping and email it to them. In a rush? Just tell the gift recipient you need to know what email address they use with Pandora before you send it. Still may seem a little last-minute, but it's more personal than a gift card. Cost - Free.
Last-minute gift idea #2 - Picnik Pro account
Perfect for someone who loves to take pictures but is afraid of using Photoshop to clean them up; Picnik.com makes it easy to edit pictures. There is a free version that allows users to do many things, but a paid pro account enables a lot more for $25 a year. Your Shutterbug will be able to upload up to 100 photos at a time, auto-fix images, perform basic editing and apply many filters to make pictures stand out. Cost - $25 a year.
Last-minute gift idea #3 - Flickr Pro account
Does your forgotten friend need a place to keep and share all of their photos easily? If so, why not hook them up with a Flickr Pro account. In addition to unlimited uploads, access to their original photos and the ability to create as many sets as they want, they'll also be able to watch high definition streams of videos shared on Flickr. Cost - $25 a year.
Last- minute gift idea #4 - Mozy Online backup
Another gift you can give online is the gift of online backup. Far too many people don't back up their files, which can lead to a horrible loss when a computer is stolen or a hard drive fails. With this gift, not only are you generous in December, but you also might be a hero in the new year. Cost - $55 a year.
Last-minute gift idea #5- Netflix
The final last-minute gift you can give is the gift of entertainment. While a Netflix subscription will require monthly fees, many people enjoy the convenience of mail vs. going to the store and instantly streaming movies. This is an especially wonderful last-minute gift for any older, movie lovers who you need to buy for since they may not be familiar with the service. Cost - starts at $8.99 a month.
How to Pull it Off
The key to successfully giving these gifts without looking like you forgot is the phrasing when you ask for the recipient's email. If you are good friends, you probably know their personal address; but ask which address they use for a specific service. Sure, many people will use the same one, but with work emails, school emails and all kinds of free email services it's an innocent enough question. Happy last-minute online gift giving!
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