With the rush of the holiday season, you may find yourself in a moment of dread when you realize that you still have a few names to cross off your shopping list. Now is not the time to panic!
We have compiled a list of last minute gift ideas for everyone on your list. Whether you’re planning to brave the malls the weekend before Christmas, or if you will be relying on your Amazon Prime account to save the day, we have you covered with a thoughtful list of gift ideas on any budget. As an added bonus, we are also sharing a few ways to elevate your gift-wrapping too, because opening the presents are half the fun!
Your parents or in-laws
- A personalized gift basket. Think about what the recipient loves and create a gift basket with that central theme. An example for a movie buff; put together a variety of movie tickets, DVD’s for the collection, snacks, and a bottle of wine to enjoy for their cozy evening in.
- Event tickets. If your parents or in-laws are not big on material gifts, consider gifting them with an experience instead. Living in Southern California presents all sorts of unique options ranging from a sunset dinner cruise for two, a professional sports game, a highly anticipated concert, or a romantic wine tasting vineyard tour.
- A monthly subscription. Subscription packages are the gift that keeps on giving and allows the recipient to think of you for months to come! Sign your loved ones up to receive a few months of a meal delivery kit, a pet-centric package for their furry friends, or a wine of the month club. These types of services usually have flexibility in the length of contract so you can gift them just a couple of months to get them started, or go ahead and splurge on a full year subscription, which usually includes an extra discount.
Your friends who are new homeowners
- Gift cards. Although gift cards often get a bad reputation for not being thoughtful or personal enough, there are some situations where they are the best option for the recipient. Buying your first home is a huge investment and it is likely that a large portion of their income is going directly back into the house. Unless you know a specific item that they want or need for their home, now is not the time to buy them a knick-knack or any gift on a whim. A gift card will be well used and extremely appreciated.
Your friends who are new parents
- An at-home date night kit. As new parents, it will be important for them to have time to focus on their relationship with each other. Put together an easy at-home date night kit including a movie to watch, ingredients for a simple dinner to prepare together (or meal delivery voucher), a bottle of wine, and a board game for two.
- An offer to babysit. If you’re watching your budget, a very thoughtful and helpful gift idea is a DIY voucher for an evening of babysitting services. Be sure only to suggest this if you are comfortable with young children and can responsibly take on the role of babysitter for an evening. You want this gift to help take some of the stress off of the new parents, not add extra worry!
- Gifts for the baby. Although you’ll want to make the new parents feel spoiled too, anything you buy for the baby is sure to make their life a little easier. Never underestimate how many diapers and tiny pairs of socks are needed for a newborn. Tip: be sure to check out their baby shower registry if it is still posted online to see if there are any items they specifically want and need that were not yet fulfilled.
- Something to enjoy at home. If you happen to know that your boss loves to unwind after a long work week with a certain varietal of wine, or beer from a favorite local brewery, this always makes for an appreciated gift.
- Something to enjoy at work. Take a look at your bosses office and see if there are any items that may bring a little more joy into their space. A new business card holder, a fun coffee mug, or desktop décor item will be sure to bring a smile to their face.
Your nieces and nephews
- An experience. Living in Southern California presents easy access to a variety of theme parks and attractions for kids of all ages. Consider gifting your nieces and/or nephews a day of fun at Legoland, SeaWorld, the Zoo, Disneyland, California Adventure, or Universal Studios. Volunteer to take them to one of these parks yourself or include tickets for their parents as part of a family gift arrangement.
- An activity together. Consider a gift that you can help them with at home, depending on their current interest. A lego set to build together, a child-friendly meal kit if they are interested in cooking, a puzzle or a board game. When it comes to nieces and nephews, quality time together is often one of the best gifts you can give them.
- Ask their parents. When in doubt, feel free to ask their parents. Children’s interests are always changing, and their parents will always have a pulse on what the best age-appropriate gifts would be.
Time to wrap it up!
Don’t forget that opening presents can be half the fun! Adding a personal touch to your gift wrapping is sure to make the recipient feel special and excited to see what’s inside. Here are a few of our favorite ways to add an extra DIY touch to your wrapping.
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Use a simple wrapping paper or box, but opt for a more luxurious feeling ribbon. Velvet accents are right on trend this winter and will add an extra layer of texture and luxe to your gift. Tucking in a sprig of rosemary or pine branch also adds a beautiful and minimalistic touch.
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Get creative with your gift embellishments. You can buy decorative items such as ornaments, bells, cookie cutters, etc. in bulk and add them as a functional and inexpensive bonus gift on top!
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Embrace your inner artist. From DIY potato cut out stamps, to simple sharpie or paint on paper, your creativity is truly the limit when it comes to dressing up a blank wrapping paper canvas.
When it comes to the holiday season, don’t forget that the most important gift you can give is the quality time with your loved ones. Whether it’s a cozy holiday at home or an extravagant affair, simply being present is the greatest gift of all.
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