For all you out there needing last-minute Christmas gifts (or ahem, New Year’s gifts), we got you! Check out this thoughtful list of last-minute gifts that don’t feel last-minute at all. We’ve got subscriptions, books, experience gifts, gift cards, treats, and ideas for shopping locally. You can also browse our extensive holiday gift guide and find clever ways to give an IOU for items, too! Some gifts really are are worth the wait.

And don’t miss: Our complete 2023 Holiday Gift Guide. (IOUs can be good gifts too!)

But of course remember, the most important thing is you. Connecting with the people we love, IRL, over FaceTime, by phone or by Zoom –that’s really the spirit of the season. Now more than ever.

The best last-minute holiday gift ideas:
So Many Ideas… You’ve Got This!

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Above: eCreamery holiday ice cream delivery

Ultimate guide to last minute holiday gifts you can buy, make, order, subscribe to, send virtually, pick up locally... we've got you! | 2023


1. Last-minute holiday gift idea: Books! Audiobooks! E-books!

Best last-minute gifts: Books, like Dolly Parton's latest memoir


2. Last-minute holiday gift idea: Subscription box gifts

Breo Box: one of the best last minute subscription box gifts for the holidaysBreo Box is one of the best curated boxes I’ve seen — and given myself as a gift!

First  they receive the notification about their gift — then they get a second gift when they receive the first delivery! Whether you send a single subscription box or a full year’s worth, here are some for everyone on your list:



3. Last-minute holiday gift idea: Food and drinks

The best last-minute gift ideas: Sugarwish candy and cookies

In addition to the subscription box ideas above, we’re huge fans of Sugarwish ecards — your recipient gets a festive notification via text or email, then pick out 2-12 of their favorite cookies, candies, popcorn, or other treats depending on what you specify. It’s perfect for kids, grandparents, teachers, colleagues, or that new mom surviving the fourth trimester. Psst… there’s a reason it’s also in our best gifts for teens list too.

The Cool Mom Eats Holiday Gift Guide is filled with even more great gift ideas — if they won’t ship in time, use them as inspiration for things you can pick up at a local store like these practical gifts for home cooks, or gifts for foodies and cooks that support small businesses


Tons of amazing last-minute gift ideas: Corgi marshmallow hot cocoa bombs from Uproot KitchenCorgi marshmallow hot cocoa bombs from Uproot Kitchen

Check our giant list of more than 200+ homemade holiday gift ideas, which includes links to tons of homemade food gift ideas, but here are a few worth highlighting:



eCreamery Holiday Ice Creams Deliver for last-minute food gifts



Last-minute gifts: local spirits like Distillery 43's Spiced Rum


4. Last-minute holiday gift idea: Printable artwork

There are so many independent artists who do amazing work and are kind enough to share it with the rest of us — in the form of printable downloads. Some of them are even free, which…wow. Their creations make lovely holiday gifts, and we love supporting them during this season — and all year, really.

Last-minute gifts: Printable Taylor Swift lyrics artwork from Artie Print Shop

If you’re panicked because you forgot to order something from our best Taylor Swift gifts for your special Swiftie post, you’ll never go out of style with the cool printable Taylor Swift Lyrics Art from Artie Print Shop.

Last-minute gifts: Printable art from indie artists like KT Graphic Design Shop make great gifts.

If you want something more festive, check out the retro-modern holiday ornament art from KT Graphic Design.

Search “printable quote art” on Etsy for a lot more affordable options. If you don’t have the supplies at home, visit any local copy shop, FedEx or UPS, which are open for extended holiday hours.

5. Last-minute holiday gift idea: A digital subscription

Gift subscriptions that make great last minute holiday gifts



6. Last-minute holiday gift idea: Cool tech, of course.


AirPods Max: best gifts for teens


7. Last-minute holiday gift ideas: Experience gifts and memberships

Best last-minute gift ideas: A Groupon experience gift


  • Gifts like an annual family membership to a local museum, zoo, science center, or indoor play space is a gift really does keep giving.
  • These virtual experience gift ideas for kids and adults were a great idea during Covid, but still keep long-distance families connected.
  • Uncommon Goods now offers a wonderful array of Uncommon Experiences online.
  • Tickets to a show at a local theater, concert venue, or other performing arts institution would be wonderful — both for the venue and for your giftee.
  • You can never go wrong with a library membership for your kids, if they’re ready to upgrade from the children’s library
  • Yes, Groupon is still around and you can grab an affordable Groupon local experience gift or gift memberships — minute experience gifts like a session or full-year membership to your local trampoline park! Great for kids who already have tons of toys and lots of energy! You’ll also find fantastic options for dining out, local getaways, and classes of all types. (Our recommendation: Always read the reviews to ensure you’re truly getting both a great deal and a wonderful gift.)

    Trampoline photo by BenMoses M via Unsplash

8. Last-minute gift ideas: DIY gifts or crafts from the kids.

DIY Christmas gifts from the kids: Photo ornaments at Homey Oh My

Handmade phone ornament via Homey Oh My from our 12 cool DIY holiday gifts from the kids


Aw, it’s hard to go wrong with handmade. Check out our giant list of more than 200+ homemade holiday gift ideas. A few highlights:

You can also turn your photos and videos into a gift using free, easy services like Animoto or one of these video editing app. The end products are still so thoughtful and personal, and worth cherishing.

Last minute holiday gift ideas: Zombie Survival Kit by Sandy Toes & Popsicles

Zombie Survival Kit | Sandy Toes & Popsicles

  • DIY gift baskets can be so fun. Start with this DIY gift basket tutorial and then go wild. But need some idea starters?
  • How about a zombie survival gift kit for Last of Us fanatics? Or a family movie night gift basket that helps you put together a home theater.
  • You could give someone who you just know would love bingeing The Crown a Netflix subscription plus one of these cool The Crown fan gifts, along with some microwave popcorn — and a tiara of course. Maybe in a hat box?
  • Have a Ted Lasso diehard in your life? Gather a few of these cool Ted Lasso gifts, plus some of their favorite coffee and of course homemade biscuits, and you’re good to go.
  • Give someone the gift of chill with a DIY pampering basket filled with lots of scented candles and bath bombs.
  • For kids, think art and craft supplies, mini games, or gifts around a theme they love, like superheroesStar WarsFortnite, or rainbows and unicorns.
  • Visit a local restaurant and put together a few faves for their biggest fan — they may have cookbooks, t-shirts, mugs, coffee, or other gifts.


9. Last-minute gift ideas: Beauty and pampering gifts

Last-minute gifts: Juvia's Makeup to pickup at UltaJuvia’s Place eyeshadow palette – order online and pickup in-store at Ulta!

  • There’s no doubt as to how many cool beauty gifts await you in person at your local chemist, pharmacy, or gift shop so start there! If you are thinking Sephora or Ulta, they have lots of last-minute gift ideas on sale, plus you can order for quick in-store pickup. You might even find one of our fave tech beauty gifts there.
  • Check out these  7 beauty splurges that are totally worth it for a body scrub or a massage oil that make amazing last-minute gifts.
  • Some stores, like Lush, will accept orders as late as 12/20.
  • Local stores same-day delivery through Doordash, if you don’t have time to brave the mall.
  • Don’t forget unexpected beauty destinations. Our favorite NARS cheek duo  can be grabbed from Sephora stores inside Kohl’s.
  • Sugarwish now offers spa gifts! From $25 minis to a $99 deluxe pack with 8 choices, your recipient can pick the items they love best.
  • Anthropologie and Target also offer body and beauty gifts in every price range and of course local salons and small chemists do too. Liz swears by City Chemist in NYC, which always has gifts from high-end brands like Tata HarperSmashbox and Dr Hauschka.
  • Contact local hair salons, spas, gyms, or aestheticians for high-end beauty gifts that you may not be able to find in regular stores.


10. Last-minute holiday gift idea: Gift cards, done cooler.

Cassette Gift Wrap for a Music Gift CardFree printable “mix tape” gift card box at Handmade Charlotte

If you think that gift cards are impersonal, stop right there —  most people really do appreciate them. Especially our teens! And we’ve got some creative ideas for giving them. While everyone loves a card to their favorite store, restaurant chain, Apple Music, Nintendo, or Google Play of course — we also love supporting small and local businesses.

  • Check out 12 ways to make the most popular gift cards even gifty — like the cool printable boxes above!
  • Here are some more DIY and printable gift card holder ideas that beat a store-bought gift card holder. (Though are fine too.)
  • Stop by your favorite local coffee houses, salons, toy stores, restaurants, salons, and boutiques. And they often have their own gift certificates for sale. (Who couldn’t use a massage right now?)
  • There’s always e-gift cards too. (Don’t forget Etsy gift cards.) And yay for shopping in your PJs!
  • Oh, and did you know you often don’t have to go to say, Sephora to purchase a Sephora gift card?  This is a fantastic tip for procrastinators (like us, ha):  Stores like CVS, Target, Duane Reade, Walgreens, and local grocery stores all carry a wide variety. You may be hitting those places in the next few days anyway for cards or last-minute gift wrap or hand soap, so you can stock up without going out of your way.

11. Last-minute gift idea: A thoughtful charitable donation

This is the one kind of gift that may be last-minute, but it’s never last in our hearts. On our 2023 guide to 20 special gifts that give back to great causes, we’ve included a full list of our favorites. But what really matters is what your recipient is passionate about. If you pick the right organization, nothing will be more meaningful to them.