Like many other Zimbabwean families I am often surprised at the number of cousins, aunts and uncles that I have. Traditionally December is that month when you get to see the family and countless times I have had the unpleasant experience of “forgetting” to buy gifts for some of the family members. In my defence no one should have that many relatives and how am supposed to remember Tawanda, my third cousin from my mother’s side who “looks just like” my great great maternal grandfather who died during the Shona-Ndebele wars?!
The truth however is that no matter how hard we might try we are likely, for one reason or another, end up having a guest in our house who might not have made it onto the gift list and to avoid those uncomfortable moments on gift opening day when everyone else is opening their gift and the even more uncomfortable year that will ensue you might need to start looking for emergency gifts or as will be the case this late after Christmas an “I am sorry I forgot to buy you a gift” gift. Today I am will look at some of those Tech gifts that might do the trick.
- Gift Certificates- most shops are closed during the holiday season when you are most likely to make that unforgivable error of forgetting to buy a gift. To save face you can just tell the (un)loved one that you have a special gift for them too, whip out your tablet or smartphone and hastily purchase a gift card for them online. This is also a great gift if you are unsure what to buy for someone. Gift cards can also be a tailored according to a loved one’s interests for example if cousin Anna kinda likes music an iTunes gift card could do the trick. For guys in the diaspora who have credit cards that can be used with PayPal an Ebay gift card would be a sweet deal to your Tech loving Zimbo relatives who like to shop on Ebay but cannot checkout using PayPal. Most gift cards can be purchased instantly online using credit cards even when all the brick and mortar stores are closed and with the purchase you will be transformed from the uncaring villain to a thoughtful hero.
- Game voucher- instead of buying the actual DVD and waiting for it to be delivered you can just buy a game voucher for your relative as a gift and they can download the game at their own leisure using their own bandwidth. These electronic vouchers, like gift cards, can be tailored according to the individual in question: for those into sports you can get them a FIFA 14 voucher and those with a penchant for violent films can get a GTA V voucher. The great news is that game vouchers are especially cheap this time after Christmas as people who got them as unwanted gifts are looking to offload them providing you with a good way to capitalize on your mistake.
- Buy them a eBook- like all the items we have been looking at so far eBooks are delivered immediately after purchase. There are over a dozen great online book stores that sell eBooks at reasonable prices and carry almost every title under the sun from The complete works of Plato’s to the latest thriller. I would recommend Amazon and Kalahari. The later even has reasonably priced eBook readers that would give the Kindle a run for its money and can be delivered into Zimbabwe free of charge within 3-5 days.
- Magazine subscription-if your cousin does not like eBooks and prefers looking at pictures of models instead then an e-magazine subscription would be more appropriate. Naspers that “evil behemoth” behind DSTV are the also the same guys behind popular Southern ( or South) African magazines such as Elle and You. You can get subscription bargains by visiting their subscriptions site here and purchase subscriptions to their digital editions as a gift and gift them more of your money. If your loved one is the enlightened sort like me then they might prefer more serious publications such as The Economist and Harvard Business Review in which case you need to visit the concerned publication’s website and follow the subscription instructions therein.
- Buy a premium version of their App- A lot of people use free and add supported versions of an application where the premium version would be preferable. Just find out what the person’s favourite app is and offer to buy a premium version on their behalf. Unfortunately Google Play does not make this easy and this will involve you temporarily adding your credit/debit card to the person’s Google Wallet account and making the purchase-just remember to delete it afterwards. For Apple users this can be easily accomplished by buying a gift card.
- Buy a bag of sweets- This is not a tech solution at all but if you have thousands of little cousins this might save your skin and money. This is the ultimate fall-back solution when you find yourself in that awkward situation on Christmas morning in future and if you are still receiving those withering stares this week for last week’s misdeeds. A handful of sweets will buy you a lifetime of forgiveness and adoration-dental hygiene be damned. And if you buy a packet with Star-wars pictures on them that will qualify as a tech solution.
There are those relatives who never seem to come to memory during Christmas shopping days and those that you never knew were coming. The above list is meant to save your skin, avoid disaster and escape a year of whining and innuendos that is sure to come from those your inadvertently forget. More importantly you should know it is not too late to conciliate and ingratiate with your relatives with a gift. Just pretend it’s a new year’s gift or something.
Picture via Flickr
Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, And Econet Airtime Recharge
If anything goes wrong, click here to enter your query.