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Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2012: Last-Minute Online Gift Ideas
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Christmas is 3 days away – are you still searching for some last-minute gifts and want to avoid going out to shop? Me too! And in my quest to avoid the Mall and the rest of the outside world, I found plenty of gifts still available to get in time for Christmas and I don’t have to leave the house to get any of them! If you want to avoid the craziness of the Mall, you can still shop online and give some digital gifts to have ready for Christmas Day.

There’s still time for you to order gifts through Amazon today and have them physically arrive by Christmas Eve (see details below). There’s also plenty of digital gifts to give: You can also gift ebooks, MP3 music, apps, digital comics, and video game downloads; send a gift card electronically; or make a charitable donation in the recipient’s name. Either email the recipient their gift, or print up an e-card and hand it to them.

Here’s some last-minute online gift ideas …

Ordering at Amazon

If you’re ordering through in the United States, here’s their ordering deadlines for Amazon Prime members for delivery on or before Christmas Eve (12/24) for items in-stock shipped to physical addresses within the United States and marked “Ships from and sold by” or “Fulfilled by”

December 22rd – One-Day Shipping (as low as $3.99 with Amazon Prime)
Order as late as 3 p.m. EST / 12 p.m. PST (varies by item)
December 24th – (as low as $3.99/item with Amazon Prime)
While available (select cities, varies by item)
December 25th – Christmas Day: E-mail and printable gift cards can be sent immediately, at any time

For more details about local delivery, see Amazon’s Christmas Ordering Deadlines For U.S. Shipments page.

Gift Cards

Give an Gift Card and you can have emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. There’s also the option to post the gift to someone’s Facebook page.

Many other sites allow you to purchase gift cards and send them/print them up, like Starbucks.

Giving Kindle Books as Gifts

— You can gift Kindle books and set your gift to be delivered whenever you want to anyone with an email address. On the Product Page (on the top right side), click the button that reads “Give as a Gift.” From there you enter the recipient’s email address and note the date you’d like your gift to be delivered via email, and also include a personalized message. There’s also the option to have the gift emailed right to you that you can forward the gift email to the recipient yourself or print it out and personally deliver it to the recipient.

— You don’t actually need a Kindle device to read these ebooks. Books can be read on a Kindle or one of Amazon’s free reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows PC, Mac, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7.

There’s 100 Kindle books being offered right now for $3.99 or less.

Giving MP3 Music as Gifts

If you’d like to gift an MP3 song or album through, you can – just click the “Give album or song as gift” button on the right on the product page. From there you enter the recipient’s email address and then select either specific songs to gift or the entire album. If you want the recipient to have something to physically open, you can print out the page and put it in a card/envelope for them.

Amazon currently has 100 MP3 Albums For $5 each, so you can choose a lot of great music to give without spending a lot.

Giving Video Game Downloads as Gifts

Video games are some of the hottest gifts to give every year. But did you know that you can actually purchase video games online to download to play your computer? That’s right, you won’t have to clutter up the house with video game boxes, and if you need a gift for that gamer in your life, this is a great one to give. There are some downloadable games for as low as $.99 to play on your computer, cell phone, or iPad. Visit the Game Downloads page to find the perfect gift for a great price. For this one, I don’t see a “Gift” option, so if you don’t share a computer with your gift recipient, then your best bet for this might be to give them an Amazon gift card – select the “digital” purchase card and then note on it which item you intend for them to purchase. You can also purchase Online Game/Map Codes for the intended, so at least that way you have a code to give them to redeem.

Giving Digital Comic Books as Gifts

There’s a way to gift someone a digital comic book that they can then read on their computer, iPad, and other digital devices. There’s information over at Comixology on how to give a digital comic as a gift. If you order through Comixology, there’s an option to “Send as a gift.” This is an awesome gift to give say someone like me who no longer has any room in their home for comic book boxes and loves to read comics on my iPad. Seriously, awesome gift. Don’t believe me? Just go to the Geeks of Doom staff page and contact anyone who’s on it and ask them if they wouldn’t love the gift of digital comics this holiday season.

Giving Apps as Gifts

If your intended has an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and you also have one of these devices, you can go to the App Store, find an App to you want to give, and then select “Gift This App” (down at the bottom (on iPhone/iPod Touch; at the top on the iPad). Enter in the recipient’s name and email address and shazam!!!! Instant Gift! If you don’t have these devices, you can also purchase apps as gifts right through the iTunes stores online.

Admittedly, I’m not familiar with other cell phones like Blackberry or Android, so I’m not familiar with how to gift apps for those phones. In my research, it seems like there might be a relatively easy way to gift apps for Blackberry devices, but not for Android devices (sorry, I’m an Apple girl!).

Give A Charitable Donation In Someone’s Name

The holidays are about giving, so why not give to those in need? Giving a charitable donation in someone’s name is a great gift to give. Most organizations have official websites where you can gift a donation, then email or print up an e-card for the recipient.

Here’s a few examples of some of my favorite charities:

– Sponsor a farm animal from Farm Sanctuary or at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary.
– Sponsor a bat from Bat World Sanctuary.
– Help support wildlife by gifting a sponsorship from the World Wildlife Fund.
– Donate to help the many cats, dogs, and other animals at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary.
– At World Vision, there are over 100 life-saving gifts to choose from in their catalog that would go towards helping people in need by providing medicines, food, shelter, and other necessities. Let’s say your gift recipient is someone in the medical field; for only $35, you can made a donation in their honor to provide Medicines to areas of the world in need.
– Visit Charity Gift Certificates where you can choose from over 250 charitable donations and then create your a custom e-card to give to your gift recipient. You can print out the e-card or email it – there’s even an option to post the gift to your recipient’s Facebook page.

Flowers, Food, Gift Baskets

Many places like 1-800-Flowers, Mrs. Fields, and Harry and David are still taking orders for Christmas Eve delivery, as they can have local florists deliver your gift or can ship out your order overnight. For 1-800-Flowers, enter the promo code CHEER2 to get 20% off your order!

Photo Gifts

Give the gift of photos! Some sites like Snapfish allow you to design photo gifts – like collages, calenders, photo books, prints, posters – and then have them printed up at a local Walmart, Walgreens, Duane Reade, or other store. Also, see Snapfish’s Print At Home page with details on how to print up photos and downloadable holiday activity books for kids. Visit the Walgreens Photo Page for details on last-minute in-store pick-up items you can order, including same-day canvas prints.

At Gift Whip, you can shop online but instead of putting in your recipient’s email address, you get one from Gift Whip (for Free) and have your recipient experience “opening” their gift online.

Check out out 2012 Holiday Gift Guides for more ideas on online purchases — or, if you seriously want to head out to the stores, these are some items you can be on the lookout for that would make great gifts for the geeks in your life.

We sincerely hope this guide will help you out in some way if you’re looking for last-minute gifts you can get online. Good luck finishing up your gift-buying and have a very Happy Holiday!

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