10 Last-Minute Gift Ideas

So, on a scale from 1 to 10, how well are you doing with your Christmas shopping so far? I think I’ve reached the 50-60% mark as of yesterday, with some things to finish up and all of my wrapping to do. I’m hoping to be completely finished by Wednesday. Fingers crossed! I still have a couple of question marks next to people on my list, and I’m guessing that at least some of you are experiencing the same indecision when it comes to what to buy certain people. We have less than a week to go, but there’s still time to hit the stores and do some last-minute online shopping, so I wanted to share with you a handful of last-minute gift ideas. This is a mix of things I love (or would love) to receive, and also some of my go-to gift ideas for those hard-to-buy-for folks on the list.

For those of you who do online shopping, I’ve included the Amazon.com shipping schedule for holiday orders. You still have a couple of days to get orders in for a Christmas Eve delivery! Below the shipping schedule is the list of 10 last-minute gift ideas, enjoy!

1. SodaStream Home Soda Maker

You may remember that I gave one of these away earlier this summer, and my Chief Culinary Consultant and I are still loving it. It’s so easy to make all different types of pop (sorry, in Pittsburgh it’s pop!), as well as seltzer water. And now you can buy replacement carbon dioxide tanks and the soda flavors at places like Macy’s and Staples. Super convenient!


2. Perfume/cologne

I am a big fan of getting perfume as a gift because I rarely buy it for myself. For the last handful of years I’ve been wearing the Vera Wang original scent. I love it – it smells clean and fresh without being overpowering.

3. Magazine subscriptions

I looooove magazines! It’s almost an addiction. Right now I get Cook’s Illustrated, Everyday Food, Real Simple, Women’s Health, Whole Living, Inc., Entrepreneur, and Pittsburgh Magazine. The great thing is that there is literally a magazine for every interest and hobby you could possibly think of, so if there is someone on your list that’s hard to buy for, browse through magazines that would fit their lifestyle and you can’t go wrong!

4. DVD sets

I like watching older movies and sometimes even TV shows, and the bundles of DVDs make it perfect for snow-day marathons. I’ve previously bought my sister the Sex and the City DVD set, and my Chief Culinary Consultant the James Bond movie set. If you have an old favorite in mind, I guarantee you’ll be able to find it as a set.

5. Books

Akin to the magazines, I love receiving books. I try to gobble up as much reading as I can. Whether you want to pick up some fiction (a couple of my favs this year were Freedom and Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet), get something a little different (Food Matters, The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Food Rules) or go the cookbook route, if the person you’re buying for is a reader, you really can’t go wrong.

6. Tickets

I’m a big “experience” type of person. I think it’s fun to both give and receive “experiences” as opposed to physical gifts if the timing and opportunity are a fit. For example, I recently got my mom tickets for her, my sister and I to go to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra since I knew she wanted to see them last year. If a person on your list loves sporting events, particular musicians, the theater or opera, I think tickets of some sort can make excellent gifts.

7. Video game system

I grew up on Super Mario Brothers and I still love video games. Whether it’s NHL12 on a PlayStation or Tiger Woods golf on the Wii, I eat it all up. If you know someone wants or will appreciate a gaming system, it’s an awesome gift. And if someone already has a system, you certainly can’t go wrong with buying them some new games.

8. Gift certificate to a spa

Treating yourself to some time at a spa and relaxing while getting a massage, pedicure and/or a manicure is absolutely wonderful, but also something that not many people do for themselves. As a result, getting a gift certificate to a local spa or something like SpaFinder is always such an awesome surprise. It’s great to get a relaxing treat after the craziness of the holidays is over.

9. Chocolate!

Or anything edible. Think a big gift basket from Lindt (I speak from personal experience since I got to enjoy one of these for Valentine’s Day and it lasted me through the summer!), some gourmet peppermint bark and other goodies from Williams-Sonoma, or maybe put together a personalized gift basket that you think the gift recipient would like – infused oils for dipping, hot cocoa and coffee with mugs, etc.

10. Gift card to a favorite restaurant + the movies

A ready-made date to dinner and the movies! I love this gift, and will sometimes include a little basket with movie theater-type candy.

What are some of your favorite creative gift ideas??