Save Your Behind with these Last Minute Gift Ideas

Beth Forester


We’ve all been there — the dry mouth and panic that sets in when you realize you’ve forgotten to buy a gift for your best friend/aunt/significant other for some occasion. You scrounge around for something to re-gift, get hit by a load of guilt, come up empty-handed, then resign to issuing a groveling apology. Well save yourself some drama the next time you’re in a bind for a last-minute gift, and try out one of these ideas instead.

Gift idea #1: Homemade body scrub

If you’re a DIY-er, a body scrub makes a lovely little gift and best of all, you likely have most of the ingredients already sitting in your pantry. There are lots of recipes out there, but here’s an easy-peasy 3-ingredient scrub we found: mix together brown sugar, olive or canola oil, and some Vitamin E oil (you can probably find that easily in your neighborhood health food store). Transfer your homemade concoction into a pretty glass container or a Mason jar, tie a ribbon around it, and call it a day. Spa in a jar — need we say more?

Homemade scrub

Gift idea #2: Animoto video

We always think an Animoto video makes a great gift. Sure, we’re biased, but given the fact that all it takes is a few minutes to whip up a beautiful video using only a few photos and video clips, it’s really a no-brainer. While this gift may not be as handy for someone you don’t know very well, it makes for a wonderfully unique present to people you’re fond of and are close enough to have at least a few photos together. Here’s an example of a Mother’s Day gift, but you can create a video gift for any occasion, with whatever photos you have on hand!

Gift idea #3: Subscription box

There’s a box for evvveerrryyything these days. And that actually works in your favor, because chances are, you’ll find something that your recipient will really enjoy. From coffee to DIY crafts to dog treats and survival gear (yup, there’s a box for that), the possibilities are endless. And the box doesn’t have to arrive right away — just give the recipient a card letting them know what they can expect!

Gift idea #4: An experience

What do you get for the person who seemingly has everything? Certainly not another fancy wine bottle opener or a ridiculously overpriced candle. Instead, the gift of an experience can often be more meaningful, if not enjoyable. And here, the experience can really range from something as simple as tickets to a movie or passes to a museum, to something grander like a hot air balloon ride.

Gift idea #5: Local goodies/edible treats

For the foodie, there’s nothing better than a box of local treats unique to your region or city. Most popular stores have online ordering, so it just takes a few clicks to order up something fun (and edible!). Here in NYC, we would be remiss if our box didn’t include stuff like Mast Brothers chocolate, Levain Bakery cookies, something from Zabar’s, or Milk Bar, to name a few.

Bonus gift idea: Gift card

Alright, so this gift may not win you huge points for creativity, but if you’re really in a bind, it may just be the easiest thing to pick up. A lot of grocery stores stock a wide variety of gift cards, which means you don’t even have to swing by the brand’s store to pick up a card (and of course, you can always buy a gift certificate online). If you’re going this route, just make sure to at least pick a store that you know your recipient likes to shop at — say, Sephora for a beauty junkie, or Cabela’s for a fly-fishing enthusiast.

Have you come up with any brilliant last-minute gifts? We’d love to hear about ‘em! Share your tips below.