1. ‘Twas the night before Christmas…
2. No, wait. ‘Twas the early morning of Christmas…
3. Actually, uh oh. ‘Twas the hour before Christmas…
4. Wait, what time is it? Oh God. ‘Twas the MINUTE BEFORE CHRISTMAS…
5. WHEN ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE, NOT A GIFT HAD BEEN BOUGHT, NOT EVE—
— you know what, NEVER MIND, there’s no time. Just buy one of these subscription and/or delivery services and your family member(s), friend(s) or spouse won’t hate you. Too much.
Think of this as the deluxe, and at least a little bit surprising, 2013 equivalent of a last-minute magazine subscription.
Also: most people haven’t heard of these things. For all they know you’ve been planning to give these gifts ALL YEAR.
6. Makeup and stuff
Birchbox sends a little box of LOVELY things — mostly cosmetics and hair/beauty products — each month. They’re all samples, so part of the point is to upsell people, but it’s still got plenty of gift potential.
7. Shaving gear
The Dollar Shave Club sends a constant supply of fresh razors of varying quality. Good as a practical gift or a cheeky “congrats on hitting puberty” gift.
8. Parent/kid stuff
Kiwi Crate sends arts + crafts projects appropriate for young children and their parents. The gift of Being An Attentive Parent. Perfect for young and harried (but still “cool”) people who just spawned.
10. Fancy Coffee
Tonx drops bags of snob-approved super-coffee at your doorstep every other week. Good for the aspiring hot-drink elitist.
12. Bro stuff
Socks, hygiene stuff, underwear — the things a lot of dudes end up buying last minute, or when they start running out, delivered quarterly. Manpacks is like a maintenance kit for the broiest bro in your life.
13. Pretty good books
Just The Right Book probably won’t send just the right book, but it’s TOO LATE FOR THAT. Instead it’ll send 12 or so books that are probably pretty good, based on a personality/taste quiz.
14. Eco stuff
Food, home goods — like a shopping basket from the local hippie food store, every month. Equal parts ethics, salt and sugar.
15. Stuff from people with good taste
Quarterly.co lets you subscribe to INTERESTING INTERNET HUMANS, in that they’ll send you surprise goodie boxes four times a year. There are tons of great people on here, like the folks who run FOOD52, FWD friend Joel Johnson, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, and the guys who started CoolHunting.
16. Pretty much anything else
Member.ly lets regular people make their own subscription delivery services, most of which are giftable and some of which are VERY specific. Like this one for old magazines. The site’s Twitter feed links to a lot more subscriptions created with the site.
17. Digital stuff
Hulu Plus, Netflix streaming, Spotify and Rdio are all PRETTY GOOD GIFTS. They won’t seem as personal or as novel as most of the above delivery services, but, like magazine or newspaper subscriptions — the old last-minute standbys — they will be appreciated.