Give a game
If there is a gamer in your life and you're not sure what to give him or her, give a gift card to Steam, one of the most popular sites gamers go to buy and play new games instantly. Steam lets people send gifts to other users or to an email address (you'll need to join the site for free to do so). You essentially just indicate it's a gift on checkout. If you need the gift to arrive on a specific day, Steam recommends keeping it in your Steam inventory to send later.
Treat them to a fine meal
You may not be able to get to your favorite restaurant to purchase gift cards. Open Table (OPEN) has your back. This year Open Table added a service to send friends a gift card to your favorite restaurant within minutes. You can specify the delivery date or let them pick the restaurant. The main benefit of Open Table is its access to hundreds of highly-rated restaurants nationwide, many which probably don't offer a gift card of their own.Give a future gift Monthly subscription gift clubs have grown like mushrooms, with all sorts of quirky twists like Pique (pantyhose), Bark Box (dog treats and toys) and LootCrate (for gamers and geeks). While some have already gone away (RIP Goodies.co from Walmart Labs (WMT)) or pivoted (kid-crafter BabbaCo is ending monthly subscriptions), pretty much anything you can think of exists as a monthly club.
And you don't have to commit to a year. To make it even easier on givers, the companies let you buy and inform the recipient on Christmas Day. If you don't have time to wade through the trendy newcomers, try AmazingClubs.com, which offers a one-stop shop for 39 different subscriptions Make a charitable donation If you go this route, make sure to check with sites like Just Give, which helps people sift through the charities by showing balance sheets, administration expenses and other details from IRS records. To make it easier on the giver, Just Give takes care of getting the donation to the charity and notifies the recipient with a personalized email or note card. Give a gift card When all else fails, head to the recipient's favorite store online. Most retailer sites will sell you a gift card at any hour and deliver it to the recipient's email within minutes. This way, you can even order a gift card on your smartphone before an unexpected guest makes it to the dinner table. Several sites encourage you to print out the gift. Groupon (GRPN) goes one step further with a festive Grouponvelope to print and make -- how-to video included.
Tamara Chuang's opinions are her own. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow @Gadgetress This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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