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Great last-minute gifts you can print

No time left to shop? No worries. Here are four seriously sweet gift options you can deliver right from your printer.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

Hi, my name is Rick, and, uh, I'm a procrastinator.


It's been 365 days since my last last-minute rush to score Christmas gifts. (And I'm Jewish! How's that for irony?) But it's just so easy. I don't have to set foot in a store or even wait for the UPS guy. I just need to make sure there's ink in the printer.

Here's my list of the best last-minute gifts you can churn out at home -- and still end up looking like a hero.

A subscription to an e-book service would make a great gift for your favorite bookworm. Entitle Books

1. The gift of reading

Why stop at a single book or magazine subscription when you can gift someone a virtually unlimited supply? Now that there's a "Netflix for everything," you can do just that.

Next Issue, for example, is an all-you-can-read digital magazine service that affords unlimited access to over 140 titles -- good, mainstream mags that people actually want to read. Apps are available for all major platforms (Android, iOS, Windows, etc.), and gift subscriptions start at $14.99.

There are similar options for your favorite book-lover, including Entitle, Oyster, and Scribd. A three-month subscription to any of them will cost you about $30.

Beats Music

2. The gift of listening

If you know someone who still consumes music old-school -- CDs, individual song/album purchases, etc. -- it's time to introduce them to the joys of unlimited on-demand listening.

In other words, give them the gift of Beats Music, Google All Access, Rhapsody, Spotify, or another music-subscription service. Purists will decry this notion of "renting" music and balk at the idea of paying around $10/month for the rest of their lives -- right up until they experience the bliss of having all the music of the world at their fingertips (and realize they're already on the hook for cable, phone, etc. -- so what's another $10?).

And guess what? For a limited time, you can get a three-month Rhapsody Premier subscription for $1 or a three-month Spotify subscription for 99 cents. These might be a little tricky to gift, but I'll bet you can figure it out.


3. The gift of gaming

Stop thinking old-school when it comes to computer games: You don't need to find a store, buy a boxed copy, wrap it, and all that. Instead, you can gift a game via email.

Just head to Gamer's Gate, choose the game you want to give, and click "Gift This Game" below the "Buy" button.

For example, if you need a gift for someone who loves "South Park," you can grab the hilarious South Park: The Stick of Truth. Or, if you need something to fit a Secret Santa budget, Dishonored: Game of the Year Edition is on sale today for $10.20. The recipient will receive a download link and activation code via e-mail.

4. The gift of Prime

At the risk of sounding like an Amazon shill, I can think of few better e-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 2-day shipping on most of what Amazon sells.

Not only that, but also a nearly-Netflix-caliber selection of streaming movies and TV shows, unlimited photo storage, and growing libraries of music and e-books. That's a lot of bang for your 99 bucks.

And there you have it! Four awesome gift options that you can print and wrap (or email) in seconds. If you know of any other great printable gifts, share 'em in the comments! And happy holidays to you and yours from me and mine. See you back here on Monday!