8 Guaranteed-to-Arrive-On-Time Last Minute Gift Ideas (& One For When It's Too Late)

8 Guaranteed-to-Arrive-On-Time Last Minute Gift Ideas (& One For When It's Too Late)

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Tess Wilson
Dec 17, 2017
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Holiday shopping crunch time is upon us, but it's not too late to secure the perfect presents in time for your upcoming gift exchange. These gifts will definitely arrive on-time, and nobody needs to know how good you are at procrastination.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Back To Back: Cameron Esposito & Rhea Butcher MP3 at Amazon, $9.49 + Instant Download

The world's first comedy album to feature two wives! Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher are both fantastic comics, and their fiercely feminist and queercentric comedy is hilariously therapeutic.

(Image credit: Sephora)

Atelier Cologne Perfume Wardrobe at Sephora, $45 + 2-Day Flash Shipping

If someone you know is a fan of fine perfume, they should definitely learn about the very fine work of Atelier Cologne of Paris. Their scents are refined and subtle, and this festive box containing eight scents—two from each of their collections—provides an excellent sampling of their perfumes. Pro tip: Sephora is offering free 3-day shipping on a ton of stuff right now (with orders over $50), so look around if perfume isn't quite the right gift. Note that the cut off for ordering is December 20.

(Image credit: Net-A-Porter)

Diptyque Candle at Net-a-Porter, $38 + Free 3-Day Shipping

Diptyque's luxurious candles are the kind of thing (almost) everyone wants, but (almost) nobody will buy for themselves. If you really want to spoil someone, the five-candle set is the way to go. (Note: I am highly sensitive to scented candles; most give me headaches, but the mini Diptyque I once got as a gift didn't bother me at all.)

(Image credit: Amazon)

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan at Amazon, $9.99 Instant Kindle Gift/$10.93 Hardcover + Free Prime Shipping

Know someone who's hyped about the recent royal engagement? Give them this utterly delightful, smart, witty, moving, and endlessly fun book about the romance between an American woman and a British prince. Sound familiar?

(Image credit: Mistobox)

Mistobox Coffee Subscription at Mistobox, $20-$255

The first installment of this coffee subscription is sure to arrive on-time, because you get to specify the date on which you'd like it to arrive. But if you are running a bit too late, you can print out the subscription card yourself. You'll be able to present the recipient with a gift, and they'll have an access code that will allow them to customize the flavor profiles and timing of their deliveries.

(Image credit: Sephora)

Anything from Fenty Beauty by Rihanna at Sephora, $10-$59 + Free 3-Day Shipping

Fenty is the beauty must-have of the season, garnering rave reviews and boundless enthusiasm. The line was painstakingly designed for people of all skin colors, and the holiday items—the Cosmic Gloss Lip Glitter, above and the Starlit Hyper-Glitz Lipstick—are particularly festive. Pro tip: don't forget to choose three free samples for yourself (or the recipient I suppose) when you order.

(Image credit: Target)

Old Spice Gift Set at Target, $14.99—or anything from Target + $15 2-Day Shipping

Target is really good at these gift sets around the holidays. I'm partial to the Old Spice sets (especially this one with what I'm choosing to believe are Terry Crews centaurs), but the Essie sets are good, and the Soap & Glory smorgasborg is super-fun. Pro tip: Standard shipping is currently free through December 23, but if you want to guarantee delivery before the big day, be sure to choose expedited shipping (but it'll cost you).

(Image credit: H&M)

Gift Cards at Giftcards.com or Grocery Stores/Drugstores/Printed by You at Home

Your local grocery store or Walgreen's probably has a surprisingly deep selection of gift cards—my tiny town even stocks Sephora cards—but if you can't make it to the store, there are plenty of places that offer print-at-home options or e-delivery, like Giftcards.com. I mentioned Mistobox above, but you could also choose Chicago Spice House, DryBar, H&M, Amazon, and so many more. Pro tip: Print them on cardstock for a classier look (maybe even cut the edges with fancy scissors?), but if you're truly in a pinch, just have them emailed to the lucky recipient.

(Image credit: DSquaredPrints on Etsy)

Admit Defeat, From The Heart, Free

Sometimes that next-day delivery that you paid out the nose for simply doesn't pan out. Or you think of the perfect gift just when it's too late to actually order. Or you have to wait to get paid before you can shop. Or you're simply running late! These are times to put the recipient's happiness above your own embarrassment. Admit that your gift is late/nonexistent, and give a card detailing what they shall be receiving shortly. Bonus points for taking the time to do a nice drawing (to the best of your abilities) of the item/experience in question. You don't have a gift on time, and to some degree that's on you. Don't give someone you care about a half-assed, half-hearted gift just to give them something. Show you care by being honest and giving them the perfect gift, even if it's a few days late.

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