10 last-minute holiday gift ideas
One size fits all
Don’t get stuck at the last minute this holiday season, staring at a stack of sweaters that are all marked XS or XXL. Save yourself some time and trouble with gifts that are guaranteed to fit everyone on your shopping list. Choose a classic winter scarf for cold-weather wear, a stylish necktie, or a festive holiday hat and get home early.
For a last-minute gift that is sure to delight the special someone on your list, give him or her a shared experience. Whether you choose movie tickets, an annual pass to a local museum, or a night at the theater or a sporting event, the gift will mean more when it’s something you can do together.
A basket full of cheer
A nicely wrapped gift basket filled with a selection of high-quality spa products or delicious food items, either pre-selected or chosen by you, makes a great last-minute gift that is a snap to buy and a pleasure to receive.
‘Tis the season, so why not celebrate with a special Christmas tree ornament or menorah that will keep you in your friend or family member’s thoughts year after year, whenever they use your gift. If you’re shopping last-minute, some stores may already have such items marked down or may be willing to offer you a special discount.
Just give me money
No last-minute gift is easier to give than cash, and a gift card is just cash in a clever and convenient wrapper. Always welcome and easy to spend, a gift card to a favorite department store or specialty shop is a quick way to please anyone on your list.
Whether the people on your list are more likely to go for The New Yorker or Field & Stream, a magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. Just buy the current issue and wrap it up, then mail in the subscription card with a check for a last-minute gift that will look well-planned.
Dedicated do-it-yourselfers, both male and female, will always appreciate a new tool for their toolbox. If you’re shopping last-minute, stick to hand tools such as a multipurpose utility tool that is actually several tools in one. Power tools are more expensive and may require more research than last-minute shopping allows.
A good read
Books make an ideal last-minute gift. Paperback and hardcover books are available at many retailers, so finding a good book is always easy. For added inspiration, use your smartphone or home computer to check current best-seller lists and previous Pulitzer Prize- and National Book Award-winning fiction and non-fiction books.
With so many people storing or streaming movies, television programs and songs on the Internet these days, one of the best gifts anyone can receive is a set of portable speakers that they can plug into a variety of devices to share their favorite video and audio programming with their friends and family. Portable speakers are available at places ranging from high-end electronics retailers to drugstores.
Say it with flowers
Houseplants or cut flowers make a perfect last-minute holiday gift. Both are widely available and relatively inexpensive. Even grocery stores carry beautiful arrangements and potted plants year-round. You can make your green gift a little extra special by slipping personal note, some handcrafted chocolates, or a Christmas ornament in among the blossoms.