Last Minute Gift Suggestions
Hey, guess what? It’s Christmas Eve. And you still haven’t found a gift yet for someone on your list? Don’t worry, Uncle Engtech is going to throw you a bone and give you a couple of last minute suggestions under the wire. But first, did you check out the rest of my gift guide for geeks series?
(photo by debbiedoescakes)
Be it booze, coffee, fancy chocolates, expensive cheese, or heroin, giving them a little of the monkey on their back is a sure way to make them smile. Just in time for New Year resolutions! This is the best gift suggestion. You can stop reading now.
You’ve waited too long, and their favorite authors, movies, CDs, DVDs and video games are all out of stock. Get them a gift card instead, but make sure it is for a store they frequent (especially if getting it for someone out of town).
- Electronics stores
- Video Stores
- Movie Theatres
- Book Stores
- Comic Book Stores
- Local Toy Stores
Prezzle lets you buy gift certificates for online stores in a fun and easy manner that still lets them “unwrap” the gift. Great gift for people who live in a different city. Even supports Sephora gift certificates, which can save you a lot of hot water with the spouse.
(photo by snaperture)
Put that Digital Camera to Use
You have a digital camera. You have a ton of pictures of them. Print them you fool! Buy a nice album to put them in while you are at it.
You could always donate money to a charity in their name. The one gift that they can’t return without looking like a complete asshole.
Subscriptions to their Favorite Web Services
This assumes you know what their favorite sites are. If they are a religious user of Xbox Live, StumbleUpon, Flickr or a last.fm (etc) then getting them a paid subscription would be a great gift. Give them a handmade gift certificate for the big day, and then buy it for them afterwards with their assistance to avoid technical glitches.
Some electronic stores and movie rental chains that also rent video games will carry paid subscription cards for Xbox Live.
Even our very own wordpress.com offers credits as gifts.
(photo by mikefranklin)
Download their favorite MP3s illegally and make a compilation CD for them. You can probably find out what they like from their public last.fm charts, myspace page, blog, etc. Music can be obtained via bittorrent (keep reading) or using software like soulseek.
Copies of Selected Films from your Movie Collection
Perfect for the university student living away from home, if the budget is tight why not indulge in piracy? It may even be legal depending on the fair use provisions of where you live. All you need is blank DVD-Rs, a DVD burner, and a copy of DVD Decrypter and DVD Shrink.
Give the Gift of Public Domain
The only good thing about copyright law is that after a set time period, copyrighted works can be freely copied. Golden Age Comics has a collection of old scanned comics in CBR/CBZ format. They can be read using CDisplay. (More info on how to use bittorrent)
But why stop at comics? Public domain movie torrents are also available. You can find another list here that includes public domain music and books. If you have more sources, post them in the comments.
(photo by elisabethd)
Arts and Crafts
Head to the local art store and buy something. Anything. It doesn’t matter what you get, because they’ll never put it to use, but it still looks like you’re trying to help foster their creative talents.
I swear some family has invented a drinking game where everyone has to take a shot when they unwrap a candle. They probably have a more exciting Christmas than I do. You can find candles anywhere.
Video Rental Basket
Put together a gift card for their local video store with some munchies they like. Make sure to get it from local chain, and not one they have to drive an extra 20 minutes to reach. You could create a car package based on any theme they enjoy: car care, home repair, gardening, cooking, romance… a bath basket is the most obvious choice.
(photo by wardomatic)
If there is a magazine they always buy at the grocery store, cut out the middle man. Go to the magazine’s website to find out if you can buy a subscription for them online.
Some obvious choices: Vice, Maxim, Time, Playboy, Men’s Health, UTNE Reader, Details, Esquire, Marie Claire, Martha Stewart Living, The Oprah Magazine.
(I’m sad to say this is the best list of magazines I could come up with, I read everything online)
Anyone under the age of 30 with a computer and a DVD burner will find a use for these. Available in small packs of 3 to 10 (stocking stuffer) or larger spindles of 25 to 100 (under the tree).
Blog/Flickr/Skype Business Cards
Business cards for blogs. Business cards for Flickr users. Business cards for Skype (Internet telephone / VOIP) users. You won’t be able to get them in time, but it’s the thought that counts.
If the person you forgot to get a gift for is a she, and also is a significant other… bite the bullet and buy some bling before the stores close. Give all the male shoppers the nod — they understand where you’re coming from. And if you truly believed “Let’s not buy each other anything this year” then get your ass off the computer while you’ve still got one! Lingerie is also good, but there is danger in buying the wrong size (and everything is sold out of the popular sizes).
(photo by katia)
Remember: Boxing Day Is Just Around the Corner
You waited too long, but can always go for the do-over. Boxing Day is just around the corner, and there are plenty of deals of to be had. Read some tips on how to handle crazy consumer days(daze?) like these.
- Introduction – Some personal stories of what the holiday experience is usually like for me.
- Gifts.com – I go through one of those gift suggestion websites and try to pick out the good from the bad. TIP: these sites suck.
- Gamers – A list of what I think is good for the Xbox 360, Nintendo DS and PC video gamers.
- Comic Books – My favorite comic books available in trade paperbacks.
- Programming/Tech Books – Top ten recommended books for programmers, managers and anyone working in high tech.
- Books – 45 of my favorite books (non-fiction, fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, humour).
- Movies – 81 of the best DVD recommendations.
- TV series on DVD – some shows I like.
- T-shirts – 100+ geek t-shirts that I like.
- Last Minute Suggestions – waited too long and need a gift in a hurry? Try these.