Time’s ticking. And gift certificates are looking really good. But while books and music are nice, check out four amazing ways to spend your virtual cash — and still meet those gift-giving deadlines. — R.B.

A stay in a château, almost anywhere you please
Who: Relais & Châteaux, purveyors of luxury accommodations and dining worldwide. Denominations: $50 to $50,000. What you get: A grand house or castle — if only for a few days. French countryside? English manor? Start packin’. How: www.relaischateaux.com

Toys for the astronomer, tech geek, or robot freak in your life
Who: Edmund Scientific, founded in 1942. Denominations: $25 to $200. What you get: Your pick, from binoculars and telescopes to an articulated­ “Robosapien” robot ($100) or a high-tech toothbrush sanitizer­ ($60) that employs a safe, UV-ray bulb to kill the nasties. Very George Jetson. How: www.scientificsonline.com

One unforgettable day
Who: Xperience Days, creator of experiences, from spa soaks to aerial dogfights. Denominations: $100 to $125,000 for Xperience Choice Certificates. What you get: An Xperience Choice Certificate that could be the ticket to a day of fly-fishing in Vermont ($360), a twirl in an aerobatic biplane over Sonoma ($230), or a two-hour off-road driving lesson ($335) at the hilly Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina. And that’s just for starters. How: www.xperiencedays.com

The joy of fine wine
Who: PrimeWine.com, a happily persnickety online source for vino where, for every wine represented, as many as 200 were sampled and rejected. Denominations: $20 to $1,000. What you get: Myriad choices for the oenophile on your list. He or she will do the choosing — blushes, cognacs, reds, and whites, from Argentina to Australia, California to Chile. How: www.primewine.com