Lunchtime Links: Very-Last-Minute Holiday Gifts

Scrambling for a few holiday gifts a little close to the edge of the holiday season? Take a cue from Bill Gates. Also: An erasable notebook that your favorite meeting planner might adore.

Scrambling for a few holiday gifts a little close to the edge of the holiday season? Take a cue from Bill Gates. Also: an erasable notebook that your favorite coworker might adore.

We get it. You’re busy. And there’s a chance that a couple of important people you wanted to buy a gift for might have fallen off your radar. So now that Christmas is finally getting close, you can focus on buying a few gifts for people who deserve them.

Some ideas in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Approved by Bill Gates: Best Secret Santa ever? Earlier this month, the Microsoft cofounder took some time away from his current philanthropic work to join Reddit’s yearly Secret Santa gift exchange. The lucky person who received a gift from Gates didn’t get the iPad she asked for, but she did get a stuffed cow—along with a $500 donation in her name to Heifer International, which provides farm animals to families in impoverished areas. That $500 paid for an actual cow. “I took a break from my present to research the charity a bit, and now the stuffed animal cow made sense,” the Reddit user, named Rachel, wrote. “I was so excited, the cause seemed really worthy and amazing, and it is the season of giving.” If you’re looking to buy a gift with a charitable twist, this one has a pretty notable recommendation behind it.

Speaking of charity … If you’re thinking of giving something charitable, why not leave the donation in the hands of the honoree? In a recent story, Fox Business highlighted a number of nonprofit firms that do just that with special gift cards—including CharityChoice, Network for Good, and several others. The gift cards come with benefits for the buyer (the purchase is tax-deductible) and the recipient (they get to pick where the money goes). While experts say the cards are good gifts, they do come with potentially hefty fees. “Depending on the amount of the gift card, these fees can eat up anywhere from a little over 3 percent of the total to a whopping 50 percent or more,” Fox Business reported. But for last-minute gift-buyers, it could be worth looking into.

Wipe it down: Have a friend or coworker who takes a lot of notes? You might want to help them save a little paper. Lifehacker points out the Wipebook, a notebook full of pages that can be erased—as long as you use water-soluble, correctable, or dry-erase markers. “Unlike a dry-erase board, however,” the site’s Adam Dachis notes, “the coating on Wipebook is designed not to smudge or erase too easily (otherwise you’d be regularly headed for disaster). Each one looks like a standard notebook and comes with 25 double-sided pages. When you run out, just wipe a page off and you’re set.” For people who don’t necessarily want to write on a tablet all day, this might come in handy.

Do you have any tips (or scolding) for procrastinating shoppers? Throw them in the comments below.

Bill Gates showing off his Secret Santa gift last week. (via Reddit)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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