6 Apartment Therapy Readers Share the Best Last-Minute Gifts They Rely On

published Dec 20, 2021
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wrapping presents
Credit: Erika Layne

You made your list, you checked it twice, and thank goodness you did, because you missed buying gifts for a few people on your list. Whoops. That’s okay, though! You’ve still got the chance to get those last-minute presents together.

While there is still some time left, you definitely do need to get the ball rolling. If you’re too panicked to think about what to get, no sweat. Six Apartment Therapy readers shared their perfect last-minute gifts that never let them down.

Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets

There is nothing like scratching off the gritty silver polish on a lottery ticket. It’s even better when it’s a winning card, too. That’s what AT reader Krissy loves to give when running behind on time. 

“They’re generic and versatile enough to give to most adults, fun, [and] usually have festive options available. Scratch-offs can be purchased at the very last minute at any gas station,” Krissy tells Apartment Therapy.


Apartment Therapy reader Beth loves to gift books to the loved ones in their life. “Books. I can go to a bookstore and find something for absolutely anyone in my life,” Beth shares. 

But don’t forget to add on a snack! AT reader Johanna recommends a good quality chocolate bar to pair with the book. If chocolate isn’t someone’s thing, wine, tea, or popcorn are also fun little add-ons.

Homemade Treats and Baked Goods

Make the last-minute gifts with love. Homemade treats and baked goods are always a winner. Marieke is a beekeeper and uses honey from their nests to make liquors and mustards. “I usually pull together a basket with homemade food and drinks!” Marieke explains.

Johanna loves giving the gift of homemade jam and pulling together food baskets. ”Food hampers are always fun to pull together, and adding homemade items and some recipe cards really brings it to the next level,” she says. “I add things like nice oils, smoked salt flakes, fajita seasoning mix that I make myself, brownies in a jar (they just need to add butter and eggs), homemade treats, jam, and some mini bottles of alcohol or soft drinks.”


Help make a pal’s home extra cozy by finding the perfect scented candle.

“A friend gives a pair of candles as hostess gifts. I love this because it’s consumable, useful, beautiful, inexpensive, and uncommon,” says Apartment Therapy reader Leslie.

If you aren’t into store-bought candles, there’s always the opportunity to make a candle yourself.


You can’t go wrong with socks when it’s chilly out. Marie knows this well and gifts cute socks from Target and Happy Socks. ”I buy them for my close coworkers (I’m an executive assistant). It’s a gift that feels personal, but is also useful and easy on the wallet. I usually pick a fun stripe or argyle pattern that is gender neutral,” Marie says.