Last-minute gifts are a reality for even the best holiday gift planners. Even if you haven't procrastinated, or somehow forgotten to get a gift for an important friend, relative, or coworker, you may just want to up the ante for someone you did remember. Here are a few last-minute holiday gift ideas that should be easy to pick up, yet thrilling for the recipients.
Last-minute gift idea no. 1: the sophisticated adult.
For your last-minute gift recipient of drinking age -- perhaps a coworker with whom you occasionally grab a cocktail at the local watering hole -- consider Ron Zacapa rum. Zacapa XO is top-of-the-line sipping rum meant to be served straight up. It exudes a robust, molasses undercurrent, slight sweetness, and complex hints of spice. Distilled in Guatemala, Zacapa XO is a blend of rums between 6 and 25 years old, and distilled, according to the company, from only "the first-crush virgin sugar cane." A 750ml bottle runs $99. For a more affordable, yet also compelling option, consider Zacapa Rum 23, which is also intense, exhibits more vanilla than the XO, meant to be served over ice ("a single cube"), and is more affordable at $45 a bottle. Available at your better local spirits stores.
Last-minute gift idea no. 2: the burgeoning teen tech nerd, or the Luddite friend.
It's time to join the smartphone revolution -- but the difficulty in gifting a smartphone is twofold: first, they are usually very pricey; second, you can't really enter into a data and voice plan contract on someone else's behalf. Enter the The Samsung Exhibit II 4G -- it's a surprisingly slick smartphone, especially considering its affordability ($200 without contract). And it works as a gift because this phone has pre-pay data options; you can load it with, say, a month's worth of data and voice, and your giftee and take it from there, either month-to-month or by entering into a contract. Good for tech-conscious teens whose cash flow may vary; also good for that friend of yours still using a flip phone. The Exhibit II may just convince them to come out of the stone age. Available at Wal-Mart, among other places.
Last-minute gift idea no. 3: people who need caffeine.
For the busy coworker who struggles to find time to get a cup of coffee in the morning, a 12-pack of Starbucks' VIA Ready Brew (Starbucks' instant coffee) could be just the thing. Whether they leave it at home for a quick cup of joe on the way out the door, or keep in a desk drawer at the office for emergencies, it's a timely gift that can keep your coworkers' productivity percolating whenever they need it. About $12 for a 12-pack, but smaller packs are available for stocking stuffers as well. Available at Starbucks or many grocery stores.
If your giftee is a coffee nerd of a higher order, the type that grinds his or her own coffee beans in a burr grinder every morning, you can still contribute to furthering his or her coffee enjoyment with the Aeropress. This plunger-like device is a clever, hand-held synthesis of a French press with an espresso maker, and makes very high-quality, single-serving coffee very quickly--and cleanup is a breeze. About $30. Available at many kitchen/cooking specialty stores and cafes; check this link for Aeropress retailers.
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