Are you one of those people that instantly felt guilt and shame when you get a gift from someone that you didn't plan on gifting back? I know that we shouldn't and that it's all a part of the giving and receiving a blessing, but I can't help it, I'm always looking for last-minute guests for those people that might come out of the woodwork and offer a gift or if I've completely forgotten about someone and need a last-minute gift before Christmas party, gift exchange, or just for a loving neighbor. I've compiled a few of my favorite last-minute gift options. The last thing you want is to risk a shipping, so these items should be easy to obtain, purchase, or make at the last minute.
A basket of home goodies.
This literally can be anything. You can swing by the local drugstore, Walmart, or target, grab a cheap basket, throw some fluff in it, and add a candle and room spray. Or, for the chef in someone, get a pot and fill it with spaghetti, sauce, garlic bread spread, and a Caesar salad kit – dinner is done. Maybe you have a neat freak and you can fill the basket with cleaning supplies, toiletries, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. These things are easily accessible from most grocery stores or home goods stores.
Coffee or tea.
Just about everyone will either drink coffee or tea and it's one of those things that really doesn't go bad fast in the cupboard. People can always use coffee or tea even for guests that they might have over.
I'm not talking about a DVD player or a game console, but electric phone chargers, courts, electric blankets, any of these items that people typically use on a daily basis or would use and not know that they needed.
A great collection of hot sauce, barbecue sauces, or even unique catch ups is always a good gift and will usually get used.
Wine or alcohol.
I do want to preface this by saying make sure that the person you are gifting this to does drink, because the last thing you want a recovering alcoholic to get is a case of wine. But, generally speaking, a nice bottle of wine under $20 is usually well accepted.
This is a surprisingly great gift. Especially for people that just wouldn't buy them on their own. They don't have to feel like they spent their own money on a little bit of risk.
This is a great last-minute gift because you can tell them that you have purchased the gift, but it doesn't have to, until the next month subscription. You can give the chef lover in your family I gift certificate to Food and Wine, Food Network, or Fine Cooking, or you can give the tech lever among you something from Wired, or net.com.
Home cleaning services.
This is another great gift certificate that you can give to someone as long as you have a good enough relationship that they won't assume you think their house is a mess.
Things that I wouldn't get as last-minute gifts are gift cards. It's too impersonal and unless you are giving out gift cards to a bunch of employees and they all need to be the same, I would usually steer clear of these.