It’s been said that procrastinators are simply optimistic. We have faith that timing will work out, never mind that we set our clocks to be 10 minutes fast and see train schedules more like guidelines. So in the spirit of goodwill toward all perpetually late people, the editors at Atlas Obscura believe in you to fulfill your gift-giving promises … even if that means clicking “Subscribe” on the morning of December 25th and passing it off like you’ve been planning these ideas for months. Our gift to you is the ability to appear creative, thoughtful, on top of things, and punctual. And even if you already possess all those pragmatic qualities, here are a few last-minute stocking stuffers to round out your gift-giving with a dose of awe from around the globe.

Box of Matter

Like getting a museum delivered every month.

If you’ve ever visited a natural history museum and wished you could touch the specimen behind the glass, this gift brings objects to your loved ones and into their hands. Box of Matter is a monthly subscription of scientist-curated artifacts, including items such as meteorites, Civil War bullets, extinct mosasaur teeth, optical beam splitters, and fulgurites (fossilized lightning strikes). A different selection comes the first week of every month, and each box includes cards to describe the wondrous objects and scientific tools that are about to blow your mind.

Uncommon Goods

Hincks Gazette: Monthly Mystery Subscription

For the eccentric sleuth.

It starts with a mysterious package delivered to a door. Inside, a brown envelope contains a newspaper clipping. The headline reads “Talking Plants Now Talking Back,” and describes the latest issue going on in the fictional town of Hincksville. The clippings in the package are full of puzzles that the receiver needs to decode, acting like the town’s private investigator. This subscription offers six months of mysteries to solve, which can be extended in half-year increments. And if you exhaust those, there’s also a Victorian Detective option. Full of quirky drawings, cryptograms, and all kinds of brain teasers, the Gazette has everything you need to crack the case—though there are hints online if sometimes you’re feeling more like Watson than Holmes.

Undiscovered Artisan Box

A package of artisanal surprises from around the world.

You’re walking around a market in Bangkok, Berlin, or Buenos Aires, and you see a trinket that catches your eye … but you’re not sure if you should buy it on the spot or wait in case you see something better. So you miss your chance, and it only dawns on you hours, days, or even months later how unique the item was, now miles away. With this subscription box, you no longer have to lament how distant or tucked away those artisanal stalls are, since you’ll be sent crafts, accessories, and tchotchkes from different countries around the world four times a year. Before each delivery, you can choose online which items go into your box, all of which are handcrafted by locals via fair-trade policies. Even if you’ve never been to the surprise country selected each season, this could be the inspiration you need to add new destinations to your travel list.

Vinylly Vintage

Vinylly Vintage

Hear music almost lost to time.

A lot of obscure records have been pressed since the invention of turntables in 1857. Finding tunes from a bygone era is part of the fun, and Vinylly Vintage helps do the hunting for you. These curators scour vintage shops, thrift stores, and garage sales for old-timey vinyl, then professionally clean the discs. They take special requests and will search through their collection of hundreds of LPs, some of which are over 70 years old, and many of which are quite unusual finds. Some albums even have old stickers and writing on them, adding historical character. By offering your loved ones the chance to peruse and select a record from this vinyl collection, it’s like giving the gift of flipping through a shop from decades past.

Chess subscription

The gift of a worthy opponent.

Whether you were recently inspired by Netflix’s The Queen’s Gambit, have been searching for Bobby Fischer since 1993, or just learned about chaturanga from sixth-century India, chess is an old and well-traveled game. Of course chess sets are lovely gifts, but boards and pieces don’t come with an essential part of the game: an opponent. With a gold, platinum, or diamond subscriptions from, members can play against an entire world of folks who make moves in real time from their computers or phones, whether they’re in Japan or Chile. You can be paired up with someone at a similar skill level, plus receive coaching explanations, insights, lessons, and reviews of your matches. And since it’s all virtual, there’s no shipping time to worry about.

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura Online Courses

Stay curious, explorers.

The older we get, the more we find out how little we know—which is even more of a shame considering all the fascinating stuff and skills and trivia there is to learn. It’s an issue that can be easily remedied with Atlas Obscura’s online courses, which include such delightful topics as decoding tombstones, picking locks, the history of ghosts, how to taxidermy feathery birds, and many others. Choose from on-demand classes, where you can decide your own pace for one year, or go with live courses, which are taught in real-time sessions online that are either lecture-style with a chat feature or interactive seminars with group discussions. Make it easier with an Atlas Obscura gift card, which makes becoming a lifelong learner a neverending present.

Victorian Tinsel

Add a final touch from Christmases long, long ago.

If you like decorating your Christmas tree each year, you can thank the Victorians, who popularized the tradition in the mid-1800s, with ornaments, candles (careful), and—most fashionably—tinsel. Long before the plasticky pom-pom boas of today, tinsel used to consist of elegant metal spires that sparkle like icicles dangling from branches. Whether you have loved ones who are late to decorating, or you just want to add a finishing touch on Christmas morning, this Victorian-style tinsel is quick and timeless. With express shipping, the present can get to your home in three to five days, and comes in a glass jar, ready for bequeathing.

Uncommon Goods

Taste Traveler’s Subscription

The world on a plate.

Maybe you’ve asked yourself: Just how do chefs get the soup into the dumpling of a xiaolongbao? With this subscription, you can find out and impress others with your new international cooking skills. Each month, you’ll be sent ingredients and instructions for creating a different dish around the world, from Moroccan shakshuka to Mexican-Jewish chocolate babka. You’ll even be sent special utensils, such as bamboo steamer baskets and traditional rolling pins. Gifters can choose between three-month, six-month, or one-year subscriptions. It’s an international feast, minus the cost of the plane ticket.