Whether you’re reading this on Christmas day or a couple of days before, it’s likely too late to order a physical gift online and have it arrive by December 25th or even the day after. What if you forgot to get a gift for someone and you need one right now? The good news is that, in the age of the Internet, you can buy digital gifts even on Christmas day and have them delivered immediately via email or, if you’re seeing the giftee in person, you can print the gift out on paper.
The most obvious, but boring gift to give someone is a gift certificate to a store such as Amazon that sells everything. That’s like giving someone a wad of cash and helpful but not particularly thoughtful. Better to buy someone a gift that’s targeted to their interests and shows that you really thought about them.
You can buy digital gift certificates to particular, speciality stores or you can buy gifts that grant the giftee access to some kind of online service such as a video streaming or game streaming brand. You can even get someone a certificate for making an action figure of themselves.
To help you choose, we’ve amassed a list of the best last-minute digital gifts for tech enthusiasts or anyone in your life is a little bit geeky.
1. Digital Game Store Gift Card
For the gamer in your life, how about a gift card for one of the online stores for a console or PC? It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the Sony or Xbox camp, a Nintendo fan, or a PC gamer, there is a digital storefront for all of the platforms. Some stores offer the option to add currency to store wallets, or you can even gift a game directly, and once accepted by the recipient, they can download it at will.
Gift cards can range from $5 - $100 plus and the price of games also vary greatly, so you might have to do a little research to check how much you want to spend.
- Xbox Gift Card (opens in new tab) ($1 - $100)
- PlayStation Store Card (opens in new tab) ($10 - $75)
- Nintendo eShop (opens in new tab) ($10 - $99)
- GameStop (opens in new tab) (any amount)
- Steam Store ($5 - $100)
2. Hasbro Selfie Series Action Figure
Holy cow! You can now scan your face and put it on a real plastic action figure with a choice of bodies, ranging from Iron Man to the Mandalorian to Black Widow, Snake Eye from G.I. Joe and many others. While you can’t scan your giftee’s face for them and get the figure to them in a matter of minutes, you can get them a digital gift code to make their own Hasbro Selfie Series action figure for just $59.
3. Individual Games
Most games are natively digital now instead of being hard copies on a disc, so it’s easier than ever to give someone a game directly to their account or device - all you need to know is if they want the game. You can purchase digital game codes from a variety of different websites like Steam or Amazon, that allow you a direct download once the code is entered.
Here are some suggestions:
- Pokemon Scarlett (opens in new tab) (Nintendo Switch, $59): When you still haven’t caught them all yet.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator (opens in new tab) (PC / Xbox, $47): Flight simulator makes you feel like you’re flying a real plane with a world realistically created to fly over.
- Halo Infinite (opens in new tab) (PC / Xbox, $24): Master Chief is on his most ambitious adventure yet.
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II (opens in new tab) (Xbox Cross Gen Edition $69): Join Soap, Ghost, and the Captain on over-the-top missions around the world.
- Deathloop (opens in new tab) (PC $12): Trapped in a time loop, two rival assassins must figure out how to escape.
- Ghostwire: Tokyo (opens in new tab) (PC $24): Investigate the cause of the ghostly goings on in downtown Tokyo
4. Streaming subscriptions
Whether it's music or movies, there's nothing quite like the gift of content. Here are some services you can buy.
- Disney+ (opens in new tab) ($109.99 for a year): A great gift for anyone who is not already a Disney+ subscriber, this service features all the Star Wars, Marvel, Disney, and Pixar content you can imagine.
- BritBox (opens in new tab) ($79.99 for 1 yr): The ultimate gift for fans of British TV, especially Doctor Who, BritBox is the only place in the U.S. where you can stream all 26 seasons of Classic Doctor Who. It also has all eight seasons of Red Dwarf and a slew of British mysteries.
- Paramount Plus (opens in new tab) ($25 - $100): The ultimate gift for Star Trek fans, this network provides exclusive access to all the new Star Trek shows including Discovery, Lower Decks, and Picard. It also has all the current CBS shows and Nickelodeon content for kids. A year (with ads) costs only $49 while the ad-free version is $99 a year.
- Netflix (opens in new tab) (any amount): The good thing about this card is that, even if your giftee already has Netflix, they can always use this to either upgrade their plan or pay some months in advance.
- Spotify (opens in new tab) ($10 - $60): The most popular music service has something for everyone. If your giftee already has a single-user subscription, they may want to use the extra credit to move up to a family ($14.99 / month) subscription.
- Hulu (opens in new tab) ($25 - $50): Get access to a slew of movies, network TV shows, and original programs like The Handmaid's Tale and Castle Rock.
- HBO Max (opens in new tab) ($99.99 for 1 yr): With all the new Warner movies coming straight to HBO Max, this makes a great gift. However, there’s no gift code so you’d have to do it for someone with their knowledge basically.
- Audible ($45 for 3 months): Plenty of stories and tales to keep you entertained through Christmas and beyond.
5. MatterHackers 3D Printing Gift Cards
If your giftee is into 3D printing, there’s no better store to get them a gift card from than MatterHackers. The online store features everything from high-quality, custom filaments you can’t get elsewhere to 3D printers and accessories. You can get cards in denominations ranging from $25 to $1000.
- MatterHackers Gift Cards (opens in new tab) ($25 - $1000)
6. Online game services
Sure, your giftee has a powerful game system with lots of games, but do they have the subscription they need to play online and broadcast streams? Here are some subscriptions that can help them. Unfortunately, the best offerings here are primarily for console gamers.
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (opens in new tab) ($14.99 per month): This plan gives you the ability to play any of more than 100 games for free on your Xbox, PC, or cloud-based gaming.
- PlayStation Plus (opens in new tab) ($37.99 for three months): If your giftee has a PlayStation 4 or 5, this membership will allow them to play multiplayer games online, store data in the cloud, and even get a couple of free game titles per month.
- Nintendo Switch Online (opens in new tab) ($34 for one year): Play multiplayer Switch games and get free access to some classic Nintendo titles.
7. Minecraft and Roblox
Minecraft is the perfect game for players young or old. It’s basically virtual Legos that lets you create your own weird and wonderful worlds and adventures. The game itself is available on every platform you can imagine, and even if they already own the base game, they can purchase Minecoins, which are the in-game currency for buying skins and other add-on items for Minecraft.
Roblox is a game that offers gamers the opportunity to play many different types of games that have been created using many player-created adventures. The game is free to play, but there are lots of cosmetics that you can purchase using the Roblox currency.
- Minecoin Pack (opens in new tab): ($9.88) Purchase add-ons and cosmetics like character skins.
- Minecraft Java and Bedrock Edition ($29.99): Good for Mac or PC (even Linux)
- Minecraft for Xbox One (opens in new tab) ($19.99)
- Robux gift card (opens in new tab) ($10)
8. Newegg Gift Card
Newegg is known for having a great selection of products and often some of the best prices for computer components. Gifting a Newegg gift card would help to put some credit towards a nice techie gift.
- Newegg Gift Card (opens in new tab) ($10 and up)
9. Adafruit gift card
If your giftee loves doing electronics projects with Raspberry Pi, Arduino, or other types of single-board computers -- and if they don’t, they should start -- a gift certificate from Adafruit could be your best option. Not only does Adafruit stock all the major single-board computers and microcontrollers -- every version of Raspberry Pi, for example -- but it also has an entire universe of add-on boards, RGB light setups, robot kits, and more.
The company is not just a seller: as most of its custom boards and accessories are manufactured in its New York City-based factory. The company's MacroPad RP2040 is one of our favorite programmable keypads.
If you buy an Adafruit gift certificate, you can also feel good about supporting this amazing business. Founded in 2005 by Limor “Ladyada” Fried, Adafruit employs over 100 people and is dedicated to helping everyone learn more about STEM. The site has a vibrant community and more than 2,000 tutorials to help you do everything from creating an LED sign to soldering or designing RGB clothes.
- Adafruit Gift Certificates: Available in any denomination and emailed.
10. Pimoroni Gift Card
Located in England, Pimoroni is another Maker electronics site with a focus on Raspberry Pi and microcontroller products. However, Pimoroni has a different selection than Adafruit, including the company’s line of programmable conference badges, eInk displays and retro arcade kits. Gift cards are available in prices ranging from 10 to 100 pounds. Though this is a British company, it does ship to the U.S. and elsewhere without a hassle.
- Pimoroni gift cards (10 - 100 pounds)
11. Twitch Gift Card
If your giftee enjoys watching content on Twitch.tv and would like to support a favorite streamer, you could gift them a Twitch gift card. You can use the credit to buy or gift a “sub” or buy "bits" to show streamers' support.
- Twitch Gift Card (opens in new tab) (any amount)
Do I arrive early? It depends on how long I spend without action.
11 gifts just for me? I'm coming!