Last Minute Gift Ideas

Time’s almost up! Here are a few last minute gift ideas that don’t require standing in line on Christmas Eve.  My personal favorite is an Amazon gift card, which may be printed out or emailed to the recipient.  You can buy just about anything at Amazon these days–books, DVDs, electronics, even groceries!

Amazon Gift Card. used to be the one-stop shop for buying books online. In fact, it still is.  But Amazon now offers so much more!  I have bought everything from packs of diapers to household appliances from Amazon, and I’m sure an Amazon gift certificate would go a long way towards pleasing someone on your list.  They offer several options for procrastinators like print from home or email delivery, so no waiting on a gift card via snail mail–perfect for last minute shopping.

Netflix Membership.  Plans start at $4.99 a month, and are a wonderful last-minute gift idea for the movie buff in your life.  Simply select the plan, length of time you would like to gift and you’re all set.

Magazine Subscription.  My first introduction to the world of personal finance was taking up an interest in magazines like Kiplinger’s Personal FinanceMoney, and Smart Money.  All offer great personal finance information on topics such as debt reduction, investing, household finances, etc, and make a great gift for a twenty-something just starting out (I personally like Kiplingers best, but subscribe to all three). Also check out my personal favorite, Backwoods Home Magazine.

Cash. If all else fails, give cash.  Cash is the universal gift. It can be spent anywhere that accepts money!  No worries over expiration dates, stores going bust and gift cards becoming invalid.  And one of the best things about cash is the recipient doesn’t have to spend it at all.  Maybe they can use it to add to their debt snowball, or get a jump start on an emergency fund.


  1. @ChamFamDad: Ha! Yeah, I might get the same reaction. But when you consider how much things like iPods and jewelry cost it might could be considered a bargain!

  2. Just a suggestion, because you mentioned it in an earlier post, about your Kiplinger magazine subscription. That is, why don’t you just go to each day like I do? You get the same info, free, w/out paying for the subscription. (Thanks for the info, and reminder, about My brother got me a gift certificate from there one year for Christmas, and I just loved it. I could purchase everything in January when the sales were high).

  3. I’d just like to thank you for the Amazon idea. With publishers large and small announcing layoffs and freezes, many of us authors (as well as our Authors Guild) are trying to encourage people to give books this holiday season. So, thank you!

  4. Any type of membership is a great gift and requires little effort. You cans simply order it online and it lasts a whole year. That is something I am looking into for others.

  5. I’m a huge fan of ProFlowers. The flowers arrive pre-bud so you get to enjoy them for a while.

    Even better than, “have these delivered to the office, unbox them and take them home once a month to score some major brownie points!” is have them delivered to HER office.

    Getting flowers at work is always enjoyable, and sometimes the delivery is even more exciting than the flowers themselves, esp. if you’ve been together a long time and it’s not something that normally occurs. She can decide to bring them home if she wants.

  6. I dunno Frugal Dad, I’m not with ya on the flowers thing. I think it is a big waste of money. I would rather have my dh hand make me something from the heart, or write me a love note or a song. Or come home to see the whole house vacuumed (like I did today)– Honestly if going the horticultural route, I would much prefer a potted scented geranium or a pretty orchid that will last or lilacs picked in full bloom or some daisies– something that showed he was thinking of me right then and not just an “automatic” sending of flowers. Just doesn’t get the romance vibes a flowin’ for me.

  7. I, too, would probably kill my husband for something like a 6-month subscription. But we aren’t buying big things this year.

    But I love the thought behind it. I always look for things that can get plenty of use. And one reason magazine subscriptions are nice (so long as you’re sure it’s one they read) is because the person is weekly/monthly/quarterly reminded about your thoughtful present. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. Especially with craft magazines.

    The only caveat there is: find someone else into the craft… Some of those beading/crocheting/knitting mags are truly awful.

    I do love gift cards. I always tell people: For that broke couple you know? Get movie GCs. It’s a night out and you don’t have to worry, as you would with a restaurant GC, that they’ll have to supplement with their own money.

  8. Frugal dads unite: a tool has been born just for us and last-minute gifts. It is I won’t even explain it. Just go and you will never go back. No driving, no malls, no lines. Might not make the cut for a wife or girlfriend but your tech-savvy kids will love it.

  9. Love gifts that you don’t have to stand in line for. The flower idea…as a wife…I would TOTALLY love that! I have been buying flowers for myself for years. Maybe you could tweet that to @dadadvice (my hubs) so he knows how special that is 🙂

    Happy Holidays!!

  10. Awesome list. What about last minute stocking stuffers? I would like to suggest VOIKE for a free last minute gift. Voike allows you to send a recorded holiday message, pictures, links and text to love ones, friends and people who you might forget about around the world. Voike is a social networking site that really gives uses their own private PHONE COMPANY housed in a Social Site like Facebook, only much better. The service is new and so is offered completely for free. Don’t panic – get on and make this the most memorable season of giving ever by sending a heartfelt greeting in your own words.

  11. The ProFlowers idea totally saved my bacon! I got them for my Mom for Christmas, and they were delivered yesterday. She was THRILLED to know she’d get more in the coming months.

    I admit I had really blown off her gifts this year. I had the flu and was just pooped (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) The flowers made it look like I had done more planning than I really had.

    Thanks for the idea, man.