Because Amazon Prime has been my best friend the past two weeks, I've mastered the art of the last minute gifts. Clover has a Kindle, which means I have a list of books ready to order the night of Christmas Eve, and there is always iTunes, because while Rocket has neither an iPod or iPad, he loves using ours, so much that he calls them "ours," casually adding himself to the mix of owners. But even without Amazon Prime or iTunes, there are still ways to get great gifts quick, while making it look like you put tons and tons of thought into it.
For mobile devices beginning with an i:
The Amazing Spider-man: An Origin Story. I put this on my iPhone to occupy Rocket during Clover's piano lessons and this not only had him enthralled, I was intently following along from the front seat. It's narrated by Stan Lee and the whole app is incredibly professional. I am so happy to have downloaded this, and Rocket asks for it all the time. It's currently at a special $4.99 price for the holidays and will return to $6.99 on Dec. 31.
Hard-bound, actually feel the paper books:
The Cult of Lego. This book is beloved by all ages of Lego-lovers. My kids love this book. We keep it out on an end table because it's beautiful, but also because people will pick it up and thumb threw it. Clover spent afternoons studying the book, remarking on the different scenes. At one point she said, "Look! Hahaha! Fy-dil Castro! Hahahaha!" When I asked why the picture was funny and how she knew Fidel Castro, she gave me this story of persecution and run ins with some person who she assumed I knew. When I asked about the person, she said, "You know! From..."
Spy vs. Spy. No surprise, Antonio Prohias was the guy who had some issues with Castro. Actually, it was more Castro had issues with Prohias. My kids both have the Spy vs. Spy anthologies and they love them. They've owned them for years, and they still read them again and again. (Rocket calls it "Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy," and I don't correct him because I think it's cute.)
The Manga Guide to Biochemistry. This may not sound like a great gift, unless you have a nerd child, and I do, so The Manga Guides are a great gift. Clover's a little on the young side for the series, but she still got something out of it. It's entertaining and makes a complicated subject much easier to understand, making a great book for a high school kid struggling with the subject in school or an eager young kid, like Clover.
Gifts for a baby that win points with the baby's mom:
Citrus Lane. I love this company and their quality products. It's a monthly subscription service, sending the loveliest gifts to the mom and baby each month. A short-term (even single) subscription is possible too. My nephew had his little monkey lovey with him the other day and after I commented on it, my sister told me it came from Citrus Lane. The boxes really make a fabulous gift.
Legos, for adults
Lego's Architecture line is perfect for adults who haven't quite let go of building with blocks. Kevin owns Fallingwater, and I'm surprised by the number of people who comment on it, because, yes, it is in our house, despite being purchased for display at work.
Anything Lego, anything Nerf that shoots, Hexbugs, and even this year's surprise entry: school supplies. I heard that Santa went to the local teacher supply store and loaded up this week on metallic crayons, colored pencils, rulers, white paper, construction paper, and (this was bought in bulk from Costco) scotch tape.
Disclosure: The Spiderman app, The Cult of Lego, and The Manga Guide to Biochemistry were all given to me free for review. My kids loved them or else I would not be recommending them.