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From New Streaming Services to Online Courses, These Are 2018s Most Popular Last Minute Gifts

FILE PHOTO - A worker gift wraps a holiday order for a customer at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Tracy, California, November 29, 2015.  REUTERS/Fred Greaves
FILE PHOTO - A worker gift wraps a holiday order for a customer at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Tracy, California, November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Fred Greaves

LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - If you’ve left your holiday shopping till the last minute, you’re not alone. A survey released this week from CardRates.com, an online site for credit card information, shows 45% of consumers still have 75% or more of their gifts to purchase. What’s more: one in four survey respondents said they haven’t even started shopping for gifts yet this year.

Whether you’re strapped for time or prefer to shop from the comforts of home, we’ve rounded up seven of the most popular gifts to shop. Order them online and get them delivered in time for Christmas.

1. Wine Club Subscription

There are a number of food and beverage delivery options these days, but we like Winc -- a California-based winery that offers a more personalized experience when it comes to wine. While other subscription services pre-select wines and ship them to you monthly, Winc lets you choose your own wines, based on your palate, price point and occasion(s). Many of their wines are featured at some of the best restaurants across the country, and they’re all carefully chosen by the site’s in-house sommeliers (see their current roster of wines here). Never pay for a bottle you don’t like, and you can skip a delivery any time you want. Bottles start at just $14. If you prefer not to sign up for a subscription, individual gift boxes are available to ship as well. Purchase: $14+ at Winc.com.

2. Craft Beer of The Month Club

Know someone who prefers beer over wine? Get them a subscription to this popular craft beer service, which will send your recipient 12 world-class craft beers a month. Each delivery includes the backstory of each brewery, so you can re-order the beers you like and get to know exactly what you’re drinking. Deliveries also include bonus gifts, like limited-edition bottle openers, coasters and more. There’s no membership fee to join and you can cancel anytime. Our suggestion: sign your friends up for a 3 or 6-month subscription, then leave it up to them to continue. Purchase: $42 at CraftBeerClub.com.

3. ESPN+ Subscription

For the sports fans in your life, get them a subscription to ESPN+, the sports broadcaster’s new direct-to-consumer streaming service. For less than $5 a month, customers get access to hundreds of live games from MLB, MLS, the NHL, Grand Slam Tennis, international soccer, Top Rank Boxing and more. Beginning in 2019, UFC fights will also be included as part of the package. The service also includes on-demand access to exclusive ESPN originals, like “30 for 30,” “E:60” and “OJ: Made in America.” Stream them anytime from almost any device. Worth noting: ESPN+ subscribers will not see display ads, pre-roll and post-roll video ads anywhere on the ESPN platform, which means no annoying commercials to wait through when you’re checking scores and highlights on ESPN.com or on the ESPN app. Start them out with a 7-day free trial now. Plans start at $4.99/month or $49.99/year thereafter. You can cancel anytime. Purchase: $4.99+ on ESPN.com.

4. MasterClass All-Access Pass

Whether you want to update your skill-set or inspire a friend or colleague, pick up an all-access pass to MasterClass, which features dozens of courses spanning film, food, writing and more, all taught by celebrity instructors. Learn how to shoot a basketball with Steph Curry; learn to cook with Gordon Ramsay; learn photography from Annie Lebowitz; the options are endless. New this season is a filmmaking course taught by Jodie Foster (see details here). MasterClass charges $90 for individual courses, but your best value is their $180 annual plan, which provides unlimited access to all 45 of its courses taught by some of the best -- and most famous -- experts in almost every industry you can think of. Purchase: $90+ on MasterClass.com.

5. The Best Place To Get Tickets Online

No one can deny the power of “Hamilton.” And while tickets to the award-winning Broadway musical may be sold out online, we’ve found some great, affordable seats through The Ticket Network. The site lets you order tickets to sporting events, concerts and theater productions with confidence, with tickets guaranteed to arrive before the event, and ready for easy downloading or printing. Your tickets will be the ones you ordered, or better seats than you paid for. Think of Ticket Network as your middleman between re-sellers and ticketing agencies, to find you the best deals. Our suggestion: attach those “Hamilton” tickets to a copy of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new book. They’ll get something to enjoy now, and tickets to look forward to later. Purchase: $100+ on TicketNetwork.com.

6. Spa Finder Gift Card

Want to book your loved one into a spa or retreat, but need to be flexible with dates? Pick up a gift card from SpaFinder. The gift cards work at thousands of beauty and wellness studios across the country, with options for salons, spas, fitness classes, acupuncture, Botox, meditation retreats and more (see all participating partners here). Best of all: the cards never expire. Order a gift card and have it emailed to your recipient for immediate delivery, or package it in a free gift box and have the site send it by mail. Purchase: $50+ at SpaFinder.com.

7. Amazon Prime Subscription

Amazon Prime has the best value of any online membership. One year costs $119 (that’s almost $50 less than Netflix), and gets you free shipping on just about anything to your doorstep in less than two days, a ton of original content through Amazon Studios, unlimited access to Amazon Music. You also get access to unlimited books and magazines and can enjoy Twitch for video game lovers, plus more. If any of your friends or family members don’t have Prime, this is the time to get them a gift membership. It’s one gift that will keep on giving through the year. Purchase: $119 on Amazon.com.

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