Forget a Few Presents? Here's Some Perfect Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Scott Leonardi

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I get it, this year has been insane. Especially with not even being able to get together with loved ones or leave the house, gift shopping seems almost impossible. You'd be forgiven for not getting it all done, or even not being able to go out at all

Work got hectic, the house is chaotic, you've been scrambling trying to get as much done as possible before Christmas, when it dawns on you that you still need to grab a few presents. Maybe you've already got most of them covered and just need a few more things, maybe you suffer from a strong case of procrastination like so many of us and have nothing. Either way, you need to make that last-minute dash to the store to see what you can scrape together as a handful of passable Christmas presents.

Maybe...candles? Kids like candles, right? they do not.

Here, use a few of these easy ideas for all of you panicking in your last minute merry madness.

1. Dollar Store Gift Bag

Everyone likes a gift bag. The more stuff the better! You can find all kinds of random stuff at your local dollar store. From cheap kitchen ware, to school supplies, to kids toys and candy. Take 20 bucks and roam around tossing whatever oddities you can find into your basket.

Just think about who you're shopping for. Is it an adult? Maybe stick to the items with a bit more utility. Kids? There are options aplenty. From puzzles and games to coloring books and art supplies. Kids can be ahppy with the cheap stuff as long as it looks like there's options.

Remember, it's a gift bag. So make sure you don't only get one or two things. It's the dollar store, go crazy!

2. Art stuff!

Speaking of art supplies, any artists you know will always appreciate some more tools for the trade. Check out Hobby Lobby or you local crafts store. You can find all sorts of interesting art supplies for relatively cheap. Grab a nice sketch book and a decent set of colored pencils or a few nice pens. Don't just settle for a handful of Number 2 pencils. When it comes to nice art supplies, quality can mean a lot. You might have to drop a few more bucks to get the nicer stuff, but it's worth it once you see how much better it looks.

If you're not looking for gifts for someone artistically inclined, you can always find a unique notebook. Maybe something with a nice clasp or that fits the person's style. The cooler the notebook looks, the more likely they'll actually want to use it. We all know how easy it is to forget about writing down our plans, but something about having a nice new notebook makes you want to use it as much as possible.

3. Stay Healthy!

Shopping for someone who likes to stay in shape? Whether they're a fitness nut or just someone who likes going to the gym, you can always load them up with some items to help them with their workout. GNC or even your local grocery store will have plenty of protein bars and powders, preworkout supplements and tinctures, weight gloves, health drinks, and more.

You can even buy a small gym bag to put all of the items in. That way, they think they just got the bag, but can unzip it and see all the goodies inside. For someone that likes going to the gym, I can tell you this kind of stuff is always appreciated. And for somone who struggles getting themselves to go to the gym, having the vitamins and supplements can act as motivation to get them up and moving. They'll want to make good use of their gift, after all.

4. Coffee, coffee, coffee

Whether it's piping hot or ice cold, coffee lovers, well, LOVE coffee. Try to find a few different unique brands and maybe pick up three different ones. You can find really good quality coffee, ground or whole bean, for $5-$10 and most local grocery stores. Maybe you aren're sure what kind of strength coffee they like, so you get one light, one medium, one dark. Or, if you don't want to risk it, just go right donw the middle with three different medium roasts.

The options are key here. It'll be obvious that you just grabbed a bag of the shelf at the store if you only give them one. If they open up a little variety pack, however, it'll seem like you actually put some thought into giving the person a few to choose from because you know they like coffee.

Coffee lovers like trying new brands, but if you know what they prefer, make sure you throw one of their favorites in there as well. Maybe one pack you know they like, and two new ones they haven't tried yet.


Now THIS is my personal favorite. I LOVE trying new hot sauces. So, if you know the person you're shopping for is a spice fiend like me, head to the store, go to the sauce secton, and look for some cool-looking hot sauces. Just like with the coffee options, do the same here. Grab 4 or 5 different styles of sauce to choose from.

Some places even have variety packs already made and ready to go. I've seen these at Walmart and Target before. Last year at our annual Christmas work party, I found a pack of 10 different flavors of hot sauce at Bed, Bath, and Beyond of all places. Anyone who likes lighting their mouth on fire with spice will love the flavor options and be able to spice up every meal with something new.


I mean, come on. This year has been hard on all of us. Who wouldn't want to kick back with their favorite boozy beverage this holiday season? All you have to do is make sure you don't get the person the opposite of what they like. If they like whiskey, maybe opt out of tequila. If they drink white wine, perhaps the Jaggermeister isn't up their alley.

Speaking of wine, everyone likes feeling fancy. Even if you don't know a thing about wine, you can always find a modrately priced bottle, memorize the label, and pretend you know what you're talking about when they ask about it. If it looks nice, I'm sure they'll appreciate the effort. Even if it does sit on thier kitchen counter all year.

You never know, there comes times throughout the year when you're drinking with friends, run out of alcohol, and it's too late to go to the store. Guess what saves the day then, huh? "Oh yea! We have that bottle of wine I got for Christmas! Thanks, [insert your name here]!"

Think about who you're shopping for!

It can be nerve-wracking trying to find a gift last minute, but if you just think about who it is you're shopping for and what they might like, you can narrow it down pretty quick. You just have to be a little innovative when you're making that last-minute rush. I've been there before, trust me.

We all have.

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I write a lot about self-development and personal growth. I want to help people uncover their authentic selves through creative expression and in the process understand their place in the world a little better. I also enjoy writing screenplays, short stories, and poetry. All of which can be found at

Imperial Beach, CA

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