Before you wrap the presents there are 5 things you should do. I can sum it up easily by saying, make sure the stuff is ready to go on Christmas Day.
If they got a toy, take off the straps. If it’s rechargeable, charge it. If it has a manual, read it so you can tell them how it works. If it’s a digital device, load it so it is ready to go on Christmas morning. An iPad is a fun toy, and the top of most lists. Out of the box, however, it’s pretty boring unless you like stock charts and the weather app. You don’t even have to spend money to get apps on it, load a bunch of free ones on there so they at least have something to do with it as soon as they open it.
LAST MINUTE MADNESS
iTunes gift cards are ALWAYS a great deal. You can get them anywhere from $15 – $50 so they will suit any budget and are, in my opinion, the best most useful gift card to get. All you do is peel the back, put the code in to iTunes and you have a bank account sitting there ready to use without expiry.
Magazine Subscriptions are a simple thing to fire off on the way to someone’s house. You pop in to the corner store, grab their favorite magazine and rip out one of the subscription cards. Fill it on the way over to the house, hand them the magazine and say .. you’ll get 11 more just like this! This is especially great for kids, my 2 boys have magazine subscriptions and LOVE getting mail.
Digital Subscriptions – if it’s someone who is out of town you’ve been procrastinating for, then get them “something of the month“. Mantry is a great example, it’s a monthly box of goodies for the manly foody. Simply order online and then send them an email Christmas morning telling them to expect gifts all year long.
Amazon may even save your bacon. If it’s a relative in the US, you can buy some items on Christmas Eve and it will still arrive in time. And even Christmas morning they’ll help you with digital gift cards that can be emailed.
I’m a fan of Christmas cards again. We did them up this year, and the response I’ve been getting from friends and family is great. We are so digital now, that going analog is a surprise for people. Still, if you didn’t do the Christmas card thing and you’d like to still send some greetings, a Facebook wall post or Tweet isn’t going to cut it. Spend a few minutes and do something fun that shows you care.
Elf Yourself is a fun way to put your family’s faces in a seasonal greeting. They can cost $1 to download, but they are free to send and they’re cute.
The Norad Santa Tracker is back and ready to go again this year, this is the one that Global TV will use on Christmas Eve to get video updates of Santa as he travels around the world. It’s very popular and a good website for kids to check out to see Santa around the world and this year has teamed up with Bing for some extra features including an app.
So now Google has gone on their own and promises many way to track Santa on Google+, via an Android app, through a Chrome browser extension and a Google Earth app. There are also games with elves, sleighs, and a chance to online chat with the Big Guy.