Life Hack: 9 Last-Minute Gifts for Anyone

No matter how many gifts you purchase or how prepared you are, chances are you’ll forget someone. Maybe your nephew will show up on Christmas with his girlfriend. Unexpected things always come up. Has your child ever told you the day before the school Christmas party that their class is responsible for filling up the lunch ladies' Christmas basket?

The possibilities of embarrassment are endless! The best option is to prepare ahead of time by tucking away a few gender-neutral gifts. When endless planning tends to leave you a gift short, here are nine last-minute gift ideas that anyone would love!


Who doesn’t love a wonderful scent in their home? Stock up on great smelling, long-lasting candles! There’s something to suit every taste. You can choose from bakery scents, fresh fruit, woodsy, sweet or masculine. Maybe even choose mood-setting holiday aromas like a balsam Christmas tree, peppermint or cinnamon spice! Have long handled lighters from the Dollar Tree on hand for a beautiful, thoughtful gift that anyone would appreciate!

Lottery Scratch Off Cards

Purchase some 50 cent Christmas cards at the Dollar Tree. Add a couple of scratch-off lottery cards inside the envelope. When unexpected guests come by or you are short on time, all you have to do is address a to and from line. You might wind up giving the recipient the gift of a lifetime!

Baked Goods

If you’re baking goodies anyway, what’s a few more? Cookie tins are a steal and dollar stores sell those as well. Have a few small ones on standby to fill with cookies, cake slices or whatever else you might bake up. Personalize with a tag and you’ll have an instant gift from the heart! Your secret will be safe!

Gift Cards

Normally I am not a gift card giver. But it is certainly better than not having a gift at all! Purchase a few but make them a variety, such as coffee, restaurants, movie theaters and more. That way, if you are a deer caught in the gift-giving headlights…you can redeem yourself by having a shot at personalizing your gift to the recipients liking. They’ll never know you didn’t think of them ahead of time! If it turns out you don’t need to give them out, you can treat yourself to dinner, a movie and a latte after the holidays! It’s a win-win!


Music can be a bit too personal but everyone loves a good movie! Pick up a variety of genres to keep in your unclaimed gift stash. A lighthearted Christmas movie might be an appropriate choice for anyone of any age.

Wine or Champagne

With New Year’s Eve right around the corner, give a gift that will keep the celebration going! If children are in the mix, add a bottle of sparkling grape juice so bubbles can tickle their noses, too! December is a great month to cash in on some discounts so having a few spare bottles on hand will be easy on the wallet and a lifesaver if caught off guard!

Flowers and Christmas Arrangements

If you are about to spend some serious, gift forgetting time in the doghouse, spruce up your reputation with a plant or flowers! Most florists and flower delivery options are open all the way through Christmas Eve. Many will deliver on Christmas Day! You could choose a fruit basket, flower arrangement or a plant that will keep on giving. The best part is it can be done in a snap…with no wrapping needed!


Games are an inexpensive yet fun gift for anyone! Bring back childhood memories or create new ones. Sometimes life gets too serious and the gift of fun and laughter could become someone’s Christmas treasure!

Christmas Ornaments

I keep a collection of Christmas ornaments on hand, regardless of the date on the box. As long as they are officially new, never used...they make perfect gifts and lifelong treasures. Stay away from those that are for “our first new home” or age-oriented ornaments. You’ll need choices that could be given to anyone at any time. Don’t worry about when it was made. As with most cherished items, the more vintage they are, the better!

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