Last Minute Gift Ideas (That Don’t Suck)

updated May 4, 2019
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It happens to the best of us: We accept a last-minute invite and need to pick up a thoughtful hostess gift; We put off our online shopping until shipping deadlines are passed and we dread facing the lines at the mall; or we just accidentally left a name off the list.

No problem, here are our five suggestions to save face, minus mall lines and generic gift cards.

1. Gift a class or DIY workshop. A simple (and affordable) option are the great e-classes from Brit & Co, another online option is Creative Live. If you prefer something hands on, check out Workshop SF or The Makery.

2. Purchase a Printable. The ultimate last minute gift in that delivery is almost instant, you won’t show up empty handed and all you need is a printer. Etsy is your best bet, you can find recipe cards, calendars, artwork and more, and you can also print up your own cards, gift tags even wrapping paper.

3. Gift a subscription. Magazine subscriptions are a tried and true go to, (you can find great deals on Amazon) but these days you can find a subscription for almost anything. Monthly boxes are a great option, Birchbox for beauty samples and grooming goods, Kiwicrate for craft kits for kids and The Hatchery for recipes and artisan ingredients.

4. Gift a little “me time.” You can purchase a gift certificate for a cleaning service, perfect after the whirlwind of the holidays or if your recipient has kids you can pick up the tab for their regular sitter (or volunteer to sit yourself) and give them a night out.

5. DIY a gift basket. This one does require a trip to the store but can be easily assembled at your local Target. Pick a theme and get creative. For a cook, you might pick up some nice spices and jams then add in tea towels, a cookbook and a pretty cheese board or some wooden utensils. A “spa basket” might include a scented candle, some bath salts, a magazine or coffee table book, tea or chocolate and nail polish. Consider your recipient, get creative and pick items of good quality with great packaging.

Re-edited from a post originally published 12.15.14-NT