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Thoughtful Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Posted by cfeehan on December 23, 2015

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The title seems like an oxymoron, right? How can a gift that’s bought the day before Christmas be at all thoughtful? Well, I’m here to let you in on a few tricks of the trade. Listen up for some creative gifts that leave no evidence of last-minute shopping!

First of all, we have to get one thing straight. At this point, ordering any sort of product online is off the table. I know you’re trying to be optimistic, but even overnight shipping probably won’t do the trick this time. I’m sorry, but it is what it is.

 On the bright side, there are a ton of amazing things you can buy online that don’t need to be shipped the night before the big day. That’s right, this means no wading through crowds or waiting in giant lineups – you can go shopping in your pajamas! Here are just a few ideas to keep in mind:

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Anything from Groupon

Groupon is a website where you can buy vouchers for many different things in many different categories, and most of them happen to be unique and fun experiences. These things involve vouchers for a local restaurant, concert or event, spa package…the list goes on. These gifts make it seem like you’ve put a ton of time into them, but since the actual physical gift is just a printout or a code, you could literally buy it five minutes before they open it if need be. It’s the ultimate last-minute shopper gift! Check out our blog post about Groupon and other coupon sites here if you’d like more gift-spiration.

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A TV Streaming Subscription

You may be thinking, “How am I going to wrap up a Crave TV subscription?” and the beautiful answer is, you don’t have to! This gift is great, because there’s no gift-wrapping necessary – all you have to do is let them know that you’ve bought it for them and they’ll be over the moon! Access to hundreds of TV shows on demand? Who wouldn’t love that? Plus, it’s a gift they’ll continue to use throughout the year!

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An Online Game

I recently played a series of online games at a party, and they were so much fun. All that was required was a laptop, the purchase of the actual games, and a few players and their smartphones in order to play. The host bought a package of five online games for around $25, so they’re reasonable as well – plus, you get to play over and over and they never get old, because the questions are always new. Even though they only take a few minutes to buy, they’ll provide hours of fun! And it’s much easier than getting out to a game store on Christmas eve, that’s for sure.

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Monthly Subscription Boxes

These things are seriously awesome. You pay a one-time fee, usually for 12 months, and whichever company you choose will send you a box of products, or one product (depending on the type of subscription box you want), once a month! That means the receiver of your gift gets not only one gift, but 12! It’s the perfect last-minute gift because even though they don’t get something tangible right away, the suspense of waiting for their package each month will more than make up for it. It’s like having a birthday every month, and they’ll think of you all year round! Here are a few suggestions for different types of people:

For the Reader: GiftLit, which sends you books every month. There are a bunch of categories to choose from, including ones for kids, so start browsing now!

For the Health Nut: Naturebox, a company that delivers healthy snacks right to your door every month.

For Kids: Yes, there are even ones for kids! Green Kid Crafts has a subscription box of crafts and activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. So your kids will get to not only get a present in the mail every month, but they may even learn a thing or two! Who would have thought?

There’s even a beef jerky of the month club! Fantastic. Faith in humanity: restored.

Charity-Ribbon.jpgA Donation to Charity

This one is for the truly selfless gift receiver. You can go online and donate money straight to the charity of your choice, then let your gift receiver know you donated in their name. It’ll make everyone feel good knowing that your money went to a great cause, and there will be no indication of last-minute gifting. Make sure to do your research first, though – a lot of popular charities actually give very little of the money they collect to charity. A few good options that give almost all of the donations directly to charity are the Salvation Army and Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Although these next couple of ideas aren’t online, they’re really quick to pick up or make.

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Any Type of Gift Card

Stores like Shopper’s Drug Mart and Zehrs often have a huge selection of great gift cards, so you can go to one store for all of your gift card needs. This is perfect for the last-minute shopper, but only if you feel like you can face the crowds!

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A Homemade IOU Coupon

Depending on how old you are, you may be able to get away with this. And be strategic – an IOU for a vacation to the Caribbean would make anyone’s Christmas, but an IOU for a sweater vest might just come across as lazy.

In the end, no matter how you gift, be sure to gift with love – because that’s what the holiday season is all about. Happy holidays, Execulinkers!

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Caitlin Feehan, Blogger & Editor


Converse have been my footwear of choice for the past 9 years, I’m convinced that all doors and sidewalks are conspiring against me, and I enjoy sticking my head out of the passenger window on long car rides.