Last minute gift ideas

If you haven’t quite gotten it together or just haven’t started, here are a few very helpful last minute gift ideas that won’t break the bank.

On a side note, you can probably still use my previously posted gift and stocking stuffer ideas. I wouldn’t want to wait too much longer though! There are barely two weeks til Christmas as of publishing this article and the postal system is only going to get busier! Not to mention that shipping costs increase the longer you wait.

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Last Minute Gift Ideas: Gift Cards

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; gift cards can be very thoughtful gifts! If someone on your gift list has a coffee habit why not gift them a reusable mug and gift card to their favorite coffee chain?

Know some kids who love going to a local arcade or movie theatre? A gift card makes a great gift! And by taking a little time to think about the recipients you can come up with a very thoughtful and useful gift.

A Voucher for an Experience

Want to treat someone on your list to an activity that doesn’t offer a gift certificate, say an experience together? Or maybe an experience coming up that you can’t purchase yet (or have in time)?

Not a problem at all! Get on the computer and print out a voucher good for whatever it is you have in mind and place it in a gift tin or envelope with something related.

Want to take your bestie to a concert but tickets aren’t on sale yet? Maybe a movie that isn’t out yet. Wrap up a t-shirt for the band and put it under the tree with the voucher.

Say you want to take someone hiking or camping when the weather warms up a bit. Pick up some small piece of gear to go with their voucher.

This can also be a good idea if you don’t have the money now to do what you plan. The important thing is to remember to follow through! A last minute gift idea is not a forgotten gift!

Cash is the Original Last Minute Gift Idea

And for good reason! Cash is s versatile and doesn’t limit the recipients to one store or chain. It can be set aside for a larger purpose, used for necessities, or as a special treat.

Sometimes friends and family need a little help. The offer to pay a bill or help out with groceries may be a very appreciated and needed gift. This isn’t necessarily a last minute idea, but the awareness of the need may come up last minute.

Or maybe you know someone on your list is saving up for a large purchase or vacation. Cash can help them achieve their goals a little faster.

Gift Subscription

Did you know you could gift someone a three month Prime membership? There also gift subscriptions for Audible and other services? This is a gift that keeps on giving! Best of Al it takes only minutes to prepare.

The best thing about gifts like these? No shipping is required!

Gift a Donation in Their Name

If you are having a hard time figuring out what to get someone who has everything make a donation in their name! This can be through Heifer International, Salvation Army, their favorite humane society… The possibilities are endless! Organizations no doubt count on an increase in donations this time of year.

A quick peek at their social media pages should be enough to give you a few ideas. Have they shared stories about homelessness, adoptable pets, or maybe water issues in third world countries? All of these examples have nonprofits established to address the problem/need that concerns your loved one.

Last Minute Gift Ideas: A Homemade Gift Basket

This doesn’t have to be really expensive. Baskets aren’t the only acceptable container either. This can be as simple as some homemade cookies on a pretty plate or a tote bag with a scavenger hunt kit or other activities in it.

There are local, small businesses that would love to make a gift basket special for you. Onion Creek in Farmington and Our Handmade Market in Fayetteville come to mind as great options love to me. Just be sure to tell them your budget before getting started.

Get Creative with Last Minute Gift Ideas!

It doesn’t have to be obvious you got around to shopping late if you put some thought into it. By tailoring a simple idea around the person’s interest and taste you can turn a last minute idea into a favorite gift!

Have you given any last !minute gifts that were a hit? Any that were a flop? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!


  1. glowsteady says:

    I love gifting experience days, and it’s such an easy gift. You can order it in about two minutes, get them something they’d really want. It seems thoughtful, it’s quick and everyone’s happy. You’ve suggested some great things here. We have a family friend who always gifts charity donations and writes a note explaining why she chose that charity for the particular person – it’s always so lovely to read x


    • alifeonadime says:

      That is awesome that she does that! I’ve only done it once- when I drew the name of a relative and I couldn’t afford her taste but knew she is philanthropocally minded. It worked out well!

  2. ellieslondon says:

    I think gift vouchers and cash get such a bad reputation, especially the gift vouchers! Provided they are for a place the receiver loves, I think they are great! One however to a random place they never shop, not so much! This year, I am putting together gift baskets for my family as much as I can and trying to have as much food in them as I can get my paws on! ♥

  3. 🖤💀Britt K💀🖤 (@AltSpeaking) says:

    You can get gift certificates for nearly anything these days, making it a great last minute gift idea that can still have the personal touch of showing you really KNOW the person that you’re shopping for. For example, you can pick up gift certificates for the Ontario Parks here for the outdoors lover, gift them a weekend away camping at their choice of park, on their choice of day!

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