It seems like no matter how diligent I am in making my gift giving lists, I always manage to have at least one surprise gift situation!
Luckily, that type of gift is not for someone like one of my kids or my in-laws, so I have found that I can stock up on a few items when they are on sale and create a last minute gift stash.
Here are some great last minute gift ideas – things you can purchase ahead of time and have on hand, just in case you need a last minute hostess, teacher, Sunday school or other gift.
My favorite spot to stock up on soaps is Bath & Body Works. Sign up for their emails to get lots of sales and coupons mailed to you. Strike during a sale on foaming hand soaps and stock up on favorites like Warm Vanilla Sugar, Japanese Cherry Blossom and Kitchen Lemon. You can easily find these for about $3 each and they make a lovely gift that just about anyone can use. If you want to give a bit more, add in a pretty kitchen towel in a neutral color or a holiday pattern.
Stock up when you find Lindt Truffles or Ferrero Rocher or Ghirardelli goodies on sale. Any of these come in lovely packages and are decadent enough to be a treat without any wild flavors that might not appeal to the masses.
What? Like a real, snail mail note? Yes indeed! A lovely set of stationery or blank notes is a truly decadent gift in a day of email and text messages. Find beautiful thank you notes or opt for blank inside cards that gift your recipient a few options. I keep my eyes open for items on sale at places like Target and Hallmark.
I know it might be a little cliché, but a candle is a good all purpose gift for a reason – it appeals to a lot of people at once. I like to stick with options that are mellow, like vanilla or cinnamon. It is always nice to give a consumable gift, as everyone seems to struggle with clutter these days. Each time your recipient enjoys the soft flicker and nice scent, you will be fondly remembered. Unless it stinks – check it first.
When you find a wine you like at a reasonable price point, stock up. Wine is a great gift to bring to a party, because it can be served at the party or saved for later – whichever the host or hostess prefers. In our area, we have some warehouse liquor stores that offer discounts on bulk purchases, if you like to have some wine on hand, anyway. You can add some cheese and crackers for a more robust gift, if you like.
With the popularity of micro-breweries, having a six pack or two of an interesting micro-brew can make a great last minute gift for the appropriate person. Round it out with a bag or barrel of pretzels.
Whip up a platter of homemade cookies or candy or hot cocoa mix. Many people are too busy during the holidays to do their own baking and appreciate a platter of goodies they can put out at their family gatherings.
Get creative! You might be surprised what you can pull off at the last minute if you have to. For more inspiration, check out some of these frugal last minute gift ideas for procrastinators.
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Amelia Onnen says
I love your last minute gift giving ideas, I try to plan my gifts out though and this year I am making most of them homemade and only focusing on the children of the family and baking cookies for the rest of the family, I am making blanket for the babies, and quiet books for the toddlers! If you want check my frugal blog out at http://firstname.lastname@example.org