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Last-minute Christmas gifts you can still get in time

Whoops! Did you forget a gift or procrastinate yourself into trouble? Here are easy (and awesome) presents you can give in seconds.

Gift cards.
apcuk/Getty Images

It's Dec. 23, two days until Christmas, which means you're basically out of time to get something shipped. Amazon's free two-day shipping window is closed, and the one-day window is either closing or (if you're reading this late) already kaput. 

Happily there's still time to give a gift that doesn't require shipping. Check out our full list of ideas in the gallery below.

Quick fix: Why not support your friendly neighborhood small business? Bet you can find some great last-minute gifts there.

Of course, as the clock clicks closer to Dec. 25, your retail options grow smaller. Thankfully, as long as there's ink in the printer (and, um, internet in the computer), you can score something great -- even with just minutes left before gift-exchange time. Note that CNET may receive commission from the sale of products featured on this page.

Here, then, is my list of the best last-minute gifts you can print at home or email from anywhere.

The gift of reading


Why stop at a single book or magazine subscription when you can gift someone a virtually unlimited supply?

Scribd, for example, costs $8.99 per month, a price that includes unlimited access to Scribd's library of e-books, audiobooks, sheet music, magazine and news articles and more. You can give a three-month gift subscription for $25, six months for $50 or a year for $100.

The gift of listening


If you know someone who still consumes music old-school -- LPs, CDs and so forth -- it's time to introduce them to the joys of unlimited on-demand listening.

In other words, give them the gift of Amazon Music Unlimited, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Spotify or another subscription service. And what a gift that is: All the music of the world (more or less) at their fingertips, with options for offline listening, playlist sharing and more.

Not sure which one to choose? Check out CNET's roundup of the best music-streaming services. Know for sure you want to give Spotify (which, if you're curious, would be my pick)? Here's how to give Spotify as a gift.

The gift of watching

Netflix/Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

I've been a Netflix subscriber for as long as I can remember, so I'm always shocked to find that some folks don't have the service. How else, then, can they watch Black Mirror, BoJack Horseman, Glow, Godless, Maniac, Stranger Things, The Crown and countless other TV gems that can be found only there?

Yeah -- you need to help these people out. Here's how to gift Netflix for the holidays, including the all-important e-gift option.

Oh, they already have Netflix? Then how about Hulu? The current promotion nets you the Limited Commercials plan for just $5.99 per month (for the first year, then back to the regular $7.99).

Hulu proper doesn't offer an actual gift card, however, so if you want to go that route, you can head to PayPal for a Hulu e-gift card.

The gift of Prime


As Larry David might say, the gift of Amazon Prime is pretty, pretty, pretty good!


At the risk of sounding like an Amazon shill, I can think of few better internet-based gifts than a subscription to Amazon Prime. I mean, talk about the gift that keeps on giving. For an entire year, the recipient gets to experience the joy that is free two-day shipping on most of what Amazon sells.

But that's just for starters. They also get a growing roster of benefits, including things like streaming movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage and freely accessible libraries of music and ebooks. That's a lot of stuff for your $129. (Too steep? There's also a three-month option priced at $39.)

Now playing: Watch this: Time's up: Last-minute gift ideas

The gift of gift cards

Sure, you can run into your nearest any-retail-store-on-the-planet to grab a gift card, but that works only if you're about to see your recipient in person. If you need a gift card delivered, head to eGifter, which offers a huge selection of "cards" that arrive instantly via email. You can even include an online greeting card, invite others to chip in and add a photo or video for a more personalized touch.

The gift that comes every month

Don't forget the subscription-box option! Cratejoy's Geek & Gaming section can help you pick the perfect monthly delivery for your favorite tech-minded friend or family member and has boxes for lots of other categories as well.

Obviously the first box won't arrive in time, but you can print a here's-what's-coming certificate and give them something to look forward to.

And there you have it! Six awesome gift options that you can print and wrap (or email) in seconds. If you know of any other great last-minute gifts, share 'em in the comments. In the meantime, happy holidays to you and yours from me and mine.

Now playing: Watch this: Avoid the mall with these last-minute gift ideas

Originally published on Dec. 23, 2015.
Update, Dec. 23, 2018: Added new information.

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide: Fantastic tech gifts at any budget.