Santa has all year to shop for holiday presents, but the rest of us have day jobs and are short a few little helpers. If the holidays snuck up on you this year, we've got the best gifts you can get your hands on pronto. From electronics and entertainment to luscious treats and indulgent spa days, these gifts won't break the bank and are guaranteed to arrive before the reindeer.
Give your friends one last sugary hurrah before their weighty New Years resolutions kick in. This DC bakery's menu includes seasonal sensations like chocolate eggnog cupcakes, Rudolph red velvet, and the Red Mitten Vanilla (Madagascar bourbon cake slathered with vanilla cream cheese frosting and a fondant mitten)! Build your own assortment of one dozen flavors for $29 or snag a pre-arranged cupcake collection, and tell Georgetown Cupcakes what day you'd like your sweets to arrive!
Create an entire photo album for a loved one in mere seconds with Kodak's digital frame. Snag the hardware for less than $100 on Amazon (where you can order online as late as December 23rd for a Christmas delivery), and instantly add pictures via email. The digital frame also logs photos sent from your phone and connects directly to a computer for easy uploading.
Now the man in your life doesn't have to scram to the local bar to get great beer on tap. Heineken and Krups have teamed up to bring your kitchen a counter-top beer tender. For $149.99 this man-chanism chills a brew to the perfect temperature and pours a traditional foam-topped pint from the chrome draught. Order it from Zappos by 1pm on December 23rd and receive your man's new best friend (sorry, Sparky) by the 25th.
Give a gift that will give back. When you visit ChangingThePresent.org, low-priced gifts with a seriously high value can be made online in seconds. Adopt your pal an adorable Sea Otter for $25 from Defenders of Wildlife, help fund feminist movements in Afghanistan for $35, or feed a child for one month for $50 with a single donation to Action Against Hunger.
For less than $100 you can walk in to a Barnes and Nobel near you, and walk out with the hottest tablet on the market. Unlike the Kindle from Amazon, the Nook is available in-store, and each B&N has a fully staffed support center for all of your questions and repairs. The new model lets you read books and magazines in color, load movies and TV with Netflix and Hulu, and has a touch screen display with a battery that lasts for two months.
Unload your left over holiday cards and stationery impulse buys. Upscale stores like Papyrus and Kate's Paperie sell gorgeous paper goods perfect for a hostess. Add a pretty pen or matching notebook and voila! A high-society gift with a low-budget price tag. (Christian Lacroix Haute Couture Note Card Set, $20 at Kate's Paperie)
Print out a thrilling gift quicker than Santa can get down the chimney. Visit Stub Hub anytime before gift-giving to score coveted tickets to some of the hottest events of the year. Take your DJ-loving bestie to see Swedish House Mafia at the Garden (a concert that sold out in a ten-minute pre-sale), book a Broadway show for you and the kids, or take Mr. Right to see his team squash the competition from the front row.
You didn't pre-plan holiday shopping so pay the sloth forward with this Apple remote, which controls iPods, iPads, and iPhones from afar. It's the perfect present for the post-seasonal food coma. Order by December 20th and expect your Apple purchase to arrive by Christmas.($19 at Apple)
Wine is everyone's signature last minute gift, so if you're going to stoop to boozy levels at least mask your time constraint. Put your bottle of vino in this hand-painted leather wine case from Overstock.com, where gifts ordered as late as December 23rd are guaranteed a Christmas Eve delivery with next day shipping.
How do you wrap a massage, or put a bow on a pedicure? Thanks to Life Booker, the website with fantastic salon and spa deals, you can buy a beauty service on the cheap and instantly email the gift card to a girlfriend. Plus, when your pal signs up to be a member of the site, Life Booker will give you a $10 kick back to use on yourself! You know, because gifting can be so stressful...