Gift Guides

9 Really Good Last Minute Gift Ideas

About ten days ago, I saw something like 5 blog posts in my feed reader that said “Last minute gift ideas.”

I’ll tell you what, I do not live a life where two weeks before Christmas is last-minute gift time.

Last-minute is like . . .tomorrow. Possibly Saturday evening.

Either way, is there anything worse than realizing you’ve waited too long to get a gift ordered?

I always kick myself, thinking “this would have taken the EXACT same amount of time a week ago (or a month ago!) that it is right not but I wouldn’t be stressed and the gift wouldn’t be late.”

But it still happens to me almost every year where I’m scrambling on last minute Christmas gifts that I didn’t quite manage to get off in time.

And it’s especially tricky when Christmas falls on a Monday and you lose that extra shipping day.

If you find yourself in the same boat where even free two-day shipping can’t save you, here are eight of my favorite last minute gift ideas that are perfect for this situation.

last minute christmas gifts

The key is to give a really nice card or note that details why you think they’ll love this gift or suggests a thoughtful way for them to use it.

Here are nine of my favorite last minute gifts that you can order as late as Christmas morning and that feel useful, fun, and intentional:

Last Minute Gift Ideas

  1. Book of the Month membership. Every month, they select five books from all the new releases, write a pithy little description of those five and you pick which hardcover you want delivered to your doorstep. I love every bit of it, from the delight of seeing which five books they choose, to reading the descriptions and picking which one I want, to it arriving on my doorstep and, of course, reading it. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who loves books but is too tricky to actually pick a book for. Plus, if you buy a gift subscription, you get a free month for yourself. Win, win, and more win. I wrote a whole post about Book of the Month Club here if you’re looking for more details!
  2. Little Poppy Co. I mean, the girls wear these, so it’s a gift for them, but really it feels like a gift for me, because I LOVE getting new bows for the girls. And I love that these are so affordable ($11.99/month for three bows) and they’re really beautiful bows. I’ve actually worn them myself a few time to make my ponytail or topknot feel a little more fancy. And if one of them gets lost, it’s not the end of the world since they weren’t super expensive and new ones will be showing up the next month. Basically, I just love love love Little Poppy Co. Also, if you use the code FREESHIP, you’ll get – you guessed it – free shipping.
  3. An Audible membership. The best last-minute gift ever, in my opinion, because if you’re giving the gift of making laundry or dishes fun (or at least tolerable), there’s pretty much nothing better. Along with a 3, 6 or 12 month membership, include a little note with some suggestions of audiobooks you think they’ll love – if you need some ideas, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite 25 here!
  4. PopSugar Must Have Box Subscription. I’ve gotten a bunch of subscription boxes over the years, but I think the PopSugar one is by far the best one I’ve ever received. It’s chock-full of really good things and I’ve used or given as gifts every single product in each box. It really is like Christmas morning every month when it shows up and they put a LOT of thought into every single item. It always miraculously seems like a perfect mix of things I need (like the cutest little gift tags and a new scarf in the December box) plus things I had no idea I would love (like the most amazing candle, a gift card to a new shop so I can browse and order my own gift, or a delicious treat). I can’t say enough good things about it. You can use the code SHOP5 for $5 off your first month too. If you’re looking for one of the best last minute gifts for women, this is it.
  5. A Handlettering Class. I love an online class because the new year seems like the perfect time to pick up a new skill, plus you can do it at home in your pajamas and at your own pace. The best last minute gift ideas don’t get better than this. My friend Lisa does the most amazing lettering classes and it’s a fun activity when the winter weather means you want to stay at home. You can use the code EVERYDAY20 for 20% off any of their courses.
  6. Rad Mail Subscription. My friend Tara launched this stationary subscription and I can’t believe how great it is. I want to be the kind of person who includes a thoughtful note with a gift or sends along a birthday card but then I never have any fun cards. Problem solved. Plus, she always has a cute little extra like a notepad or stickers.
  7. RawSpiceBar. Subscriptions make excellent last minute Christmas gifts and I discovered this spice subscription a couple of years ago, and it’s one of my favorite things to gift someone who loves cooking (aka my mother-in-law). Every quarter, you get 6 freshly-ground spices plus recipes of how to use them (you can select from a vegetarian or paleo plans among others) and it’s so fun to try new recipes – I’d never made Ethiopian beef before, but it turned out to be one of my favorite crockpot meals ever after a packet of the spices and the recipes showed up in my mailbox.
  8. BookRoo. I love this for children – they pick really good books and you can choose from board books, picture books, or chapter book subscriptions. They come beautifully wrapped, so they feel super special, and it’s nice to spread out the gifts from just one morning of the year. I think this is one of the best gifts for nieces or nephews or grandchildren. Plus, what child doesn’t love getting mail?
  9. StoryWorth. Those people who are IMPOSSIBLE to buy for? This is for them. The fact that it’s ALSO one of the best last minute gift ideas is just a bonus. You buy a package for your family member (a parent, grandparent, or anyone else), and every week for a year, they get a question a week from StoryWorth’s library of 600+ questions, or you can write your own questions. Every week, they can email a response to the question or record it over the phone and then their story is sent to you, where you can reply additional questions or comments.A year later, the whole series of stories is printed in a gorgeous book that you can easily add photos to if you’d like or customize in various ways. So brilliant! I wrote a whole post about it here, if you’d like more details!

What are your go-to last-minute gifts?

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last minute gift ideas

Photo by Brooke Emery

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3 Comments

  • Reply Elaine Doolittle December 21, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Thank you, once again, for the answer to what to get for my 92 year old aunt. A subscription to the Book of the Month Club seems perfect. Last year, I took your advice and gave her a year of Storyworth. I will be ordering her book shortly.

  • Reply Jane October 9, 2018 at 9:46 am

    Great gift ideas! Another yummy one that I have had such good feedback from recipients is Graeters.com. They send the yummiest ice cream and you choose the flavors – the seasonal ones are very fun! Now I’m laughing reading “feedback” cause it’s food but didn’t realize when I typed it 🤗

  • Reply StoryWorth: Because Dads are Hard to Shop For - Everyday Reading October 25, 2018 at 2:00 am

    […] Fantastic last-minute gift ideas […]

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