45 Unique Last Minute Gift Ideas

Last Updated: July 24, 2024

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Ever gone to the internet and started typing last minute gift ideas after looking at the calendar and seeing a glaring reminder staring back at you?

 Aunt Mildred's birthday? Your best friend's anniversary? 

Yep, completely slipped your mind. Don't worry, friend, we've all been there.

Life throws curveballs, schedules get hectic, and sometimes, that special occasion sneaks up faster than a birthday balloon.

But here's the good news: a last minute gift doesn't have to be a thoughtless panic buy. 

In fact, with a little creativity and resourcefulness, you can still show someone you care, even if the clock is ticking. 

This guide is your secret weapon. It is packed with unique and thoughtful quick gift ideas that are sure to leave a lasting impression (without the stress).

The ultimate list of last minute gift ideas (but make them unique)

Forget the stress of one-size-fits-all gifts! This list is bursting with unique ideas that are perfect for those times you need a present in a pinch. 

No matter the recipient's interests, you'll find something thoughtful and special, even if the clock is ticking.

Digital gifts

Digital gifts
Give digital delights

Let's be honest; sometimes life gets away from us. But that doesn't mean your gift has to be an afterthought. This category is all about quick and convenient options that still pack a punch.

  1. Video greeting card: A heartfelt video message card is a personal touch that goes a long way.
  2. E-gift card: Combine the ease of an e-gift card with a short, recorded message expressing your good wishes.
  3. Subscription box delivery: These days, there's a subscription box for practically everything. Find one that caters to their hobbies and watch the excitement unfold.
  4. Donation to their favorite charity in their name: A digital gift that gives back! Support a cause they care about while showing you're thinking of them.
  5. Online class: Fuel their passion for learning with an online cooking class. A virtual museum tour or a voucher for a unique online experience.

Pampering Last Minute Gift Ideas

Sometimes, the best last minute gift ideas are the ones that encourage relaxation and self-care. After all, who wouldn't appreciate a little pampering?

  1. Luxurious bath bomb and candle set: Create a spa-like atmosphere at home with soothing scents and fizzy bath bombs.
  2. Cozy slippers and a scented eye mask: The ultimate comfort combo for unwinding after a long day.
  3. Spa gift certificate (e-gift cards available!): Treat them to a professional massage or facial – pure bliss!
  4. Subscription to a meditation app: Help them find their inner zen with a subscription to a guided meditation app.
  5. Comfy robe and a selection of their favorite teas: The perfect outfit for a relaxing evening filled with calming sips.

Foodie Fun 

Gift ideas for foodies
Gift basket with treats

Who doesn't love a delicious treat?  These edible delights are sure to put a smile on anyone's face.

  1. Gourmet gift basket filled with sweet and savory treats: Assemble a basket overflowing with artisanal cheeses, cured meats, gourmet chocolates, and other delectable goodies.
  2. Delivery from their favorite local restaurant: Skip the cooking and treat them to a delicious meal from their go-to spot.
  3. Selection of artisan cheeses and crackers: A sophisticated and tasty option for the cheese lover in your life.
  4. High-quality coffee or tea sampler pack: Fuel their caffeine (or tea) addiction with a variety of unique blends.
  5. DIY cocktail kit with recipe cards: Everything they need to whip up delicious cocktails at home – perfect for a fun date night.

Personalized gifts

Last minute gift ideas
Personalized gift ideas

Spark their creativity with these gifts that encourage artistic expression and learning new skills.

  1. Personalized notebook and a set of colorful pens: A beautiful notebook is a blank canvas waiting to be filled with ideas and dreams.
  2. Adult coloring books and a box of gel pens are examples of printable gifts that are surprisingly therapeutic ways to unwind and de-stress.
  3. Subscription to a creative service like Skillshare: Give them access to online classes on everything from painting and photography to writing and animation.
  4. DIY pottery kit or painting class voucher: Let them unleash their inner artist with a kit for creating their own pottery masterpiece or a voucher for a fun painting class.
  5. Journaling prompts and a beautiful leather-bound journal: Encourage them to capture their thoughts and feelings. Give them a guided journal and elegant writing tools.

Homebody Bliss 

Gift for the homebody
Cozy gifts for homebodies

Unwind and embrace the cozy vibes with these gifts that create a haven of relaxation at home.

  1. Weighted blanket: The ultimate stress reliever, a weighted blanket provides a comforting hug-like sensation.
  2. Luxury throw blanket and a scented candle: Induce pure relaxation with a super soft throw and a calming scented candle.
  3. Subscription to a streaming service: Gift them endless entertainment options with a subscription to their favorite streaming service.
  4. Selection of cozy socks and a fluffy bathrobe: There's nothing better than snuggling up in comfy socks and a plush robe.
  5. Indoor herb garden kit: Bring a touch of nature indoors with a kit for growing fresh herbs at home.

The Entertainment Enthusiast

Subscription gifts
Movie night gift ideas

For the person who loves movies, music, or games, these gifts will hit the right note.

  1. Movie tickets and popcorn gift basket: Plan a fun night out at the movies with tickets and a basket filled with their favorite popcorn flavors and candy.
  2. Subscription to a music streaming service: Give them access to millions of songs with a subscription to a music streaming service.
  3. New video game release: If it's for a gamer's birthday, a new game release is the ultimate present. Throw in a birthday card with voice recording singing an off-key tune.
  4. Board game night starter kit: Spark some friendly competition with a new board game and all the essentials for a fun game night.
  5. Tickets to a concert or local show: Treat them to an unforgettable live performance experience.

The Experience Seeker

Theme park tickets
Tickets to theme parks

For the adventurous spirit who craves new experiences, these gifts will fuel their wanderlust.

  1. Weekend getaway voucher: Surprise them with a relaxing weekend getaway to a nearby cabin, bed and breakfast, or charming town.
  2. Tickets to a sporting event or theme park: Get their adrenaline pumping with tickets to a thrilling sporting event or a fun-filled day at a theme park.
  3. Class voucher for an exciting activity: Let them explore a new hobby with a class voucher for anything from rock climbing to sushi making.
  4. A subscription box for outdoor adventures: Fuel their love for the outdoors with a subscription box that delivers curated gear and activities each month.
  5. Gift certificate for a hot air balloon ride or skydiving: For the ultimate thrill-seeker, gift certificates or digital gift cards for a heart-pounding adventure will create a memory that lasts a lifetime.

The Home Chef

For the person who loves to cook, these last minute gift ideas will inspire them in the kitchen.

  1. Gourmet spice kit or exotic ingredient sampler: Expand their culinary horizons with a selection of unique spices or hard-to-find ingredients.
  2. High-quality kitchen gadget or tool: A new food processor, spiralizer, or high-performance blender can make cooking a breeze.
  3. Subscription to a meal kit delivery service: Take the stress out of meal planning with a subscription to a meal kit delivery service that sends fresh ingredients and recipes right to their door.
  4. Beautiful set of cookbooks or a cooking class voucher: Help them hone their culinary skills with a new cookbook or a voucher for a fun and informative cooking class.
  5. Personalized cutting board or engraved set of measuring spoons: Add a sentimental touch with a personalized cutting board or engraved measuring spoons. To make it more special, you can also add a video gift with a heartfelt message.

The Techie Enthusiast

Electronic gifts
Gift ideas for the techies

For the tech lover who's always on the cutting edge, these gifts will keep them entertained and connected.

  1. Wireless headphones or portable speakers: Upgrade their music listening experience with a new pair of wireless headphones or a portable speaker.
  2. Smart home device or gadget: Introduce them to the world of smart home technology with a voice-activated speaker or another innovative gadget.
  3. Subscription to a gaming platform or streaming service: Fuel their gaming passion with a Valorant gift card or subscription to their favorite platform or streaming service.
  4. Portable phone charger or charging case: Portable chargers or charging cases allow users to keep their devices powered up on the go.
  5. Subscription to a learning app or online course: Help them expand their knowledge with a subscription to a learning app or online course on a topic that interests them.

Video greeting cards: the ultimate last minute gifts

With a free online greeting card maker like GiftLips, you can send a personalized video message to all your loved ones on any occasion, adding a special touch to your greetings.

Want to thank a friend for their unwavering support, a colleague for their help on a project, or simply express gratitude to someone who made a difference? 

A heartfelt video message is a thoughtful and memorable way to show your appreciation.

Can't be there in person for a graduation ceremony, a wedding, or another special event? 

A video greeting card expressing your love and well wishes can bridge the physical distance and make them feel your support.

Share a funny memory, send warm wishes, or even sing a (slightly off-key) happy birthday song. 

It's the gift of your presence, virtually delivered.

How to create a video message card in under 3 minutes

Video greeting card
Create a video greeting card

Here's how to make a video greeting card with GiftLips: 

  1. Select a card: You can browse the templates or upload your own custom photo to personalize your greeting card.
  2. Upload or record your video: You have two options: upload or record videos that speak directly, expressing your gratitude and love.
  3. Invite other people: Share a special link with your family so they can add their video message, too. 
  4. Preview and send: You can check the preview of your free printable greeting cards before sending them straight to your recipient’s email or phone. You can also choose to print the card and hand it to him personally.

It's all about the thought (even when you're short on time)

We've all been there: staring down a calendar that screams “occasion approaching!” with nothing but frantic energy and a looming sense of last minute gift ideas despair.

With a little creativity and these handy ideas, you can still show someone you care, even if you're down to the wire.

Remember, the most meaningful gifts are often the most personal.

A heartfelt video message or even a simple handwritten note can make a bigger impact than a generic present ever could.

Ready to create a personalized video greeting card?

Head over to GiftLips today and make a heartfelt video message that will leave a lasting impression.


Frequently asked questions 

What is a thoughtful gift? 

A thoughtful gift shows you care beyond just a generic present. It's personalized to their interests, reflects you paid attention to them, and is presented with effort. 

The key is it shows you put time and thought into something they'll truly appreciate.

How do you give a late gift?

Forgot a gift? No sweat! Here's how to recover:

Apologize: Be upfront and say sorry.
Extra Thoughtfulness: Make the gift more special (check our last minute gift ideas!).
Humor (Maybe): A lighthearted joke can help, but use caution.
Delivery with Care: Hand-deliver if you can, or add a handwritten note.
Celebrate Anyway: Focus on the occasion and why you care about it.

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