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Last-Minute Digital Gifts You Can Buy at Any Time

Your sister calls and says she and her kids are coming by in an hour, but it's Christmas and you weren't expecting them so you don't have any presents. Or perhaps you've been really busy working and forgot to order a gift for your wife and now it's Christmas Eve.

Whatever the circumstances, there are a slew of digital gifts and gift cards you can order online and get and send immediately via email (or hand over a print out), no matter what time it is. Here are our favorite last-minute digital gifts that you can buy right now.

Kindle Books

Kindle Books

If you find giving gift credit a little too impersonal, how about hand-selecting a book and digitally delivering it to your giftee. Just go to any book page in Amazon's Kindle store and click the "Give as Gift" button. Your giftee can read the book any device that has a Kindle app available for it (Android, iOS, Windows, Fire tablets). It also works great with comics and graphic novels.

Cuphead Game for XBox / Windows 10

Cuphead Game for XBox / Windows 10

One of the hottest new games, Cupheadcombines the nostalgic beauty of 1930s-style animation with the fun of a 2D, action-oriented side-scroller. You can get a digital download code that works instantly on XBox One or a Windows 10 PC.

Amazon FreeTime Unlimited

Amazon FreeTime Unlimited

If there's a child on your list who has an Android tablet, a year-long subscription to FreeTime Unlimited could be an awesome gift. This streaming video, app and book service has tons of age appropriate content from all the top brands, including Disney, Nickelodeon and PBS. Whether your kid wants to watch Dora the Explorer, play a Paw Patrol game or catch up on Sesame street, the content is all here. FreeTime Unlimited costs $2.99 a month for Prime members and $4.99 for non-members, but for a limited time, you can get the first three months for just $2.99 total. You can run the service on any modern Android or Fire device, but note that new Fire Kids Edition tablets already come with a year of FreeTime Unlimited. Unfortunately, Amazon doesn't offer traditional gifting options so the kid you're giving it to needs to be tied to your Amazon account.

Amazon Prime Membership

Amazon Prime Membership

The benefits of Amazon Prime membership are numerous: free two-day shipping on millions of items, special discounts and sales and access to a streaming library with thousands of videos, songs and books. If your friend or relative doesn't already have Prime, you can give them a 12-month subscription for $99 or a 3-month stint for $33. Your giftee will receive the activation instructions via email.

Amazon eGift Card

Amazon eGift Card

Sending Amazon credit is even better (and a lot less crass) than handing someone a wad of cash. To make its digital or printable gift cards more personal, Amazon has dozens of different designs. Our favorite holiday image is this snow penguin scene, but you've got plenty of choices and the ability to get denominations between $1 and $2,000 (we recommend $15, $25 or $50).

Downloadable Software

Downloadable Software

Remember the bad old days when you had to buy software on a physical disc, in a cardboard box? If you're willing to forego the box (and very few people actually have the optical drive for the disc), you can get purchase a download code and give that as a gift. Amazon has thousands of Windows and macOS apps available in its digital software store, from productivity tools to image editors and security suites. In particular, we really like the Adobe Photoshop Elements / Premiere Elements package that's $99. This bundle gives you powerful photo and video editors you can use for home movies and albums or even for work.

Apple App Store / iTunes Gift Card

Apple App Store / iTunes Gift Card

If your giftee has an iPhone, iPad or MacBook, they probably do a lot of shopping at Apple's digital stores. This gift card lets them buy apps, games, movies, books, songs and more.

Google Play Gift Card (Digital Code)

Google Play Gift Card (Digital Code)

Anyone with an Android phone or tablet will find a lot of great stuff to buy in Google's Play store. Play is the place to get millions of compatible apps, rent or buy movies and TV shows or grab songs and books. You can also use Play store credit for in-app purchases.

XBox Gift Card (Digital Code)

XBox Gift Card (Digital Code)

If your giftee has an XBox, then they'll definitely want to get some games or watch some videos. Available in a variety of denominations (we link to the $25 one here), this digital card lets them get anything in Microsoft's XBox Store.

PlayStation Store Gift Card (Digital Code)

PlayStation Store Gift Card (Digital Code)

If your loved one has any kind of PlayStation console, even an old PS3 or Vita, then PlayStation Store credit makes a great gift. The PlayStation store has thousands of games that are available via digital download, along with an extensive library of movies and TV episodes.

Cover Image Credit: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

The official Geeks Geek, as his weekly column is titled, Avram Piltch has guided the editorial and production of Laptopmag.com since 2007. With his technical knowledge and passion for testing, Avram programmed several of LAPTOP's real-world benchmarks, including the LAPTOP Battery Test. He holds a master’s degree in English from NYU.