Last-Minute Christmas Gifts: On-Demand Services & Subscription Boxes

It'll actually look like you put a lot of thought into it.

by Steve Schiff
Originally Published: 
on-demand services and subscription boxes

Whether you’ve avoided the holiday spending frenzy on moral grounds or you’re just lazy (or you fall into the gray area of Festivus observers), you still have time to give a thoughtful Christmas gift that didn’t obviously come from a shelf of gift cards at the 24-hour CVS down the street. Anything from the unique on-demand services and subscription boxes below will be instantly available from the moment of purchase, and many of them will keep delivering for weeks, months, or even right up until you forget about next year’s Christmas shopping. Boom. You just went from Scrooge to the Ghost Of Christmas MVPs. Just remember: it’s only a last-minute Christmas gift if you admit it.

Private Chef: Kitchensurfing

Nothing says, “I love you and want you to continue living” like a free meal, but a free meal from KFC says, “I love diabetes and want you to continue experiencing it.” Instead, have a professional chef prepare and serve your loved ones a restaurant-quality dinner at home for less than the cost of a night out. Pro tip: the dinner for 4 heroically saves your wife from cooking and sneakily doubles as a gift to yourself.

Buy Now $60 And Up

In-Home Massage: Zeel

Used to be, inviting a stranger into your house for a 90-minute personal or couples massage landed your deviant ass in an interrogation room with Chris Hansen. Now that there’s an Uber for everything, booking such a session (or a package of up to 12 of them) on Zeel is a priceless contribution to someone special’s well-being. What a time to be alive.

Buy Now ($90 And Up)

Personal Stylist: Glamsquad & Style Bee

If your spouse is feeling as run down and ragged as you are thanks to the whole parenting thing, think “ABP: Always Be Pampering.” Stylebee and Glamsquad will send a trusted personal stylist to do your wife’s hair, nails, or makeup at a location of her choice, so you can be sure the kids literally stay out of her hair. Her spirits may be crushed, but honey that look is FABULOUS.


Buy Now $50 And Up


Buy Now $50 And Up

Private Yoga Instructor: Provita Living

The concept of mindfulness assumes you haven’t lost your mind altogether, which places it squarely outside the realm of reality for any parent. With Provita, there’s always a trained instructor on call to deliver the necessary dose of yoga, wellness, and sans-running-stroller fitness, whether at home, in the office, or traveling. Otherwise, it’s back to teaching the kids Child’s Pose, which is probably a lot more confusing for them than it sounds.

Buy Now $200 And Up

History Concierge: Enwoven

You’ll look super sentimental to Grandma and Grandpa when you preserve those photos, journal entries, recipes, and home movies in a beautiful digital time capsule that looks like the result of years of careful archiving. (Or 2 hours on the phone with a professional “History Concierge.” Shh.) Because they could bury and retrieve an actual time capsule in less time than it would take you to finally make them that scrapbook.

Buy Now $50 And Up for Packages

Toys And Games

The same personal shopper concept that got you to finally replace your razor now applies to monthly crates of toys (because you want the Legos, too), make-your-own-adventure games, arts and crafts projects, and STEM toys for kids. When they’re disappointed that you only gave them one Christmas present, calmly explain that they’ll actually be getting new presents every month, which is so much better than just one day! They’ll totally go for it.

RELATED: 9 Toy Subscription Services That Make Your Kid Smarter And Save You Money


Because there’s no better gift than the gift of giving (and you’re all out of ideas), consider making a donation in a loved one’s name to any of the many worthy causes out there. Fatherly’s Giving Guide includes 11 organizations endorsed by some of the greatest parents on planet earth, but charity for any cause is guaranteed to do lots of heartwarming good on very little notice. Well, any cause except, “Money for people.”

ALSO: The Only Gift Guide That Doesn’t Involve Buying More Stuff

This article was originally published on