Behold, the joy of eleventh hour gifting! Whether you put off shopping or got a last minute invite, rushing to find a Christmas gift is no fun…which is where this guide comes in. Here are easy and affordable last minute ideas for friends near and far.
This is a fail-safe if you missed the shipping deadline for a far-away friend but don’t just want to send a virtual gift card. The company will send your recipient an email on Christmas morning that lets them redeem their gift and begin shipping to their home. Sites like My Subscription Addiction and Cratejoy are a great guide to the many, many options on the internet, but a few to get you started are Rocksbox, Birchbox, Book of the Month, and Hunt A Killer.
On-hand gifts for almost anyone
These are a few of my favorite quickie ideas for last minute gifts that almost anyone would love. Bonus points if you buy several and keep them on hand for hostess gifts or other last minute occasions:
- A gorgeous jar candle
- A bag of holiday-flavored ground coffee + a fancy mug
- An indoor herb kit (instead of flowers)
- Luxe food-themed gifts (tea samplers, cocktail mixers, chocolate, etc.)
- A chic notecard set
- A cozy flannel scarf
These are fun to put together and fun to receive, since they combine a little thoughtfulness with a big dose of practicality. You can customize them to fit any budget from small to large. And you can find pretty much everything you need for these baskets by hitting a local Walmart or drugstore. (Perfect for the ultimate last minute gift run on Christmas Eve.) Just start with a basket, large gift bag, or box wrapped in pretty paper and packed with tissue.
My favorite is a home spa package, with single use packets of deep conditioning treatments and foot creams, bath bombs, sheet masks, a candle, magazines, and maybe some new nail polish. If you want to go big, you could package it with wine or tea and a fluffy new robe for the ultimate spa experience.
If you know a friend who tends to massively over-schedule during the holidays (or parties a little too hard on New Year’s Eve), you could do a post-holiday recovery basket with coffee, Alka Seltzer, eye cream, the fixings for avocado toast, and maybe even a gift card for takeout dinner later so they don’t have to cook.
Movie night baskets are also fun, and a great option for a family if you’re sweating the struggle (and expense) of choosing individual gifts for everyone. Popcorn, candy and other snacks + a movie (or a gift card to pick out their own) = a surefire hit. I also love tweaking this option for a book lover with a new paperback, snacks, and wine or tea. Again, you can go luxe with an add-on like a cozy new throw blanket.
About gift cards…
I know there are people out there who passionately hate gift cards, but hear me out. There are plenty of times when a gift card is actually a hugely appreciated gift. After all, how many people do you know who are burned out by December 25th and struggling to find enough time and money for all they’re juggling? A gift card lets them pick out exactly what they need, especially if it’s something they consider out of their budget for the month.
The trick here is to choose a card that’s tailored to a specific need and tuck it into a personal note explaining why you chose it, possibly with a small gift attached. For example:
- A takeout dinner card or meal kit subscription for the #girlboss who doesn’t have time to cook
- A restaurant gift card + movie tickets for the parents who rarely get out for date night
- Some mini beauty products (skincare, color or fragrance) + a gift card for full sizes of their faves
- A chic accessory from a store that reflects their style + a gift card to finish putting together an outfit
- A luxe bookmark + their preferred “day off” drink (wine, tea or coffee) + bookstore gift card
- Gift cards for coffee + gas + Audible or Spotify to fuel their commute
I could go on, but you get the point. For almost anyone on your list, there’s a creative and personal way to package a gift card that will delight them.
So now you tell me: what are your favorite last minute gift ideas?
(image by Raw Pixel via Unsplash)