50 Best Last-Minute Gift Ideas
Here are the 50 buys that'll help you wrap up your list—no need to check it twice.
The holidays have a funny way of arriving, well, all too quickly. From Thanksgiving to December 24th, it’s a mad dash: Wrapping up end-of-year projects, frantically booking flights home, and, of course, scrambling to buy presents for everyone that matters to you. If you could buy one thing during this spastic sprint of the year, it’d be time. But sadly, you can’t.
To that end, allow us to make life a little bit easier, by helping you wrap up all of your gift-buying responsibilities. What follows are the absolute best last-minute gift ideas—from grooming products to high-tech iterations on everyday household goods—for everyone in your life. So happy shopping, and happy holidays. And for more great gift ideas, check out the 100 Best Presents For the Person Who Has Everything.
An Amazing Suite of Monthly Hair Products
$44; buy now at Hims
Women aren’t the only ones who want great hair. Give any guy the gift of great strands for life with this four-piece Complete Hair Kit pack from the terrific new subscription company Hims, which includes everything he needs to not only maintain his hair but also to stimulate its growth. The monthly box includes vitamins (30 Biotin Gummies), the hair-growth drug finasteride (30 x 1mg pills), the topical hair-growth cream minoxidil (2 oz. bottle), and Hims’ proprietary DHT shampoo (8 oz. bottle).
Note: He’ll need a prescription for the finasteride—which Hims offers via their own in-house physicians—but you can also buy their “OTC Hair Kit,” which contains everything but finasteride. It costs $30 per month.
A Chic Water Bottle (and Vitamins!)
$39; buy now at Sephora
Bkr has made drinking water chic AF with its simple, clean lines and bold use of color; likewise, HUM has made vitamins look as yummy as candy. But together, the pair is unstoppable—it’s a great idea for someone whose resolution is to slim down come January 1.
A Sweet New Gaming System
$300; buy now at Amazon
Nintendo’s new gaming console, the Switch, is far and away the hottest tech accessory of the year: It contains new entries in both the flagship Mario and Zelda franchises (the new Zelda game just won Game of the Year, in fact), and it’s currently available at most retailers. And for more holiday shopping, don’t miss these 40 Great Gift Ideas for People Over 40.
A Snazzy Tea Set
$42; buy now at Kusmi Tea
If you take your tea time seriously—and you should, drinking it mindfully is essentially meditative—whip up one of these brews from Kusmi Tea, including fan favorite BB Detox, which will leave your skin positively glowing after just one cup.
$20; buy now at Amazon
There’s perhaps no way to better break up family tensions during the holidays with a classic board game, which requires no WiFi, no social media, and no news programming. We’re partial to GetPacking! from JetBlue (yes, the airline). Why? There’s a free flight with every game. Literally: A certificate for a flight comes in the box. And for more great games, here are 20 super fun games to play on Christmas Eve.
A Compendium of Lipstick
$650; buy now at Hourglass Cosmetics
30 lipsticks may seem like a lot, but ask any beauty junkie and she’ll likely tell you she hoards at least 100 tubes at any given time. This epic gift set is luxuriously packaged but is both eco-friendly (the tubes are refillable) and vegan—in fact, all of Hourglass Cosmetics will be vegan by 2020. And for more great beauty products, here are 10 top-selling Korean ones worth the hype.
A Great NBA Team Hoodie
$42; buy now at NBA.com
No league is killin’ in the U.S. right now quite like the NBA, and we’re loving all of the league’s retro-inspired wear, like this awesome hoodie bearing the throwback logo. Pick his favorite team and go. This is effortless last-minute gift giving at its finest.
A Silk Kimono
$595; buy now at Saks Fifth Avenue
Kilian makes some of the most niche—and subversively unisex—scents to date. By collaborating with lingerie brand Fleur de Mal, the duo created the most elegant, sexy, and luxurious trousseau of scented bras, panties, garters, and robes—the kimono being my favorite.
An Indestructible Messenger Bag
$400; buy now at Mr. Porter
The bespoke Remix brief, from Bleu de Chauffe, is handcrafted entirely from Cordura canvas—a variation on traditional canvas that essentially rebuffs scrapes and scratches. Plus, get a look at that sumptuous burnished leather. Any guy would be lucky to have this beauty lead his bag-carrying repertoire.
A Pair of Exercise Headphones
$130; buy now at JBL
The latest Bluetooth headphones from the speaker masters at JBL and the athletes of Under Armour prove that you can finally listen to music no matter how much you sweat.
A Do-It-All Alarm Clock
$119; buy now at Sandman
Here’s one thing we can all agree on: The smartphone alarm clock is the worst. Instead, surprise someone with a fully tech-integrated clock, like Sandman’s Doppler, which—between Wi-fi, Bluetooth, and Alexa plug-ins—can tell you the weather, play your favorite tunes automatically, and even remotely lock your front door. Oh, and it also tells time.
A Shoe Buffing Kit
$40; buy now at J. Crew
As the saying goes, you can tell a lot about a man by looking at his shoes. Help any dude in your life keep his kicks in tip-top shape with a shoe shining kit. For our money, Red Wing’s offering is a sturdy foundation for any kit. It comes stocked with all the stuff you need (conditioner, cream, and oil) and none of the stuff you don’t (trimmings, fine-comb brushes).
A Baby Onesie
$70; buy now at We Are Knitters
Pet parents dress their puppies and kittens up like humans. So, real parents, you should dress your kids up like a pet! You could do worse than this 100-percent merino bunny getup.
Available in 10 effervescent colors—from “lagoon” green to “briny” blue to, as pictured, this incandescent rose fold—Aladdin’s Fresco is the best cooling water bottle on the market: Purportedly, it keeps liquids chilled for 16 hours.
An On-Demand Personal Trainer
Price upon request; buy now at Aaptiv
Some folks just need an extra push to get to the gym. Aaptiv, a personal training app, will help. Each week, the app adds 30 (or more!) new classes, all crafted by certified personal trainers. And for more golden nuggets from fitness pros, don’t miss the 15 Secrets Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You.
A Pet Blanket
$39; buy now at Carpenter Hill
Monogrammed pet blankets are a dime a dozen. But the special part about the Buff Pet Blanket, by Blankets From Emma, is the inherent generosity: For every five blankets sold, Blankets From Emma will donate a blanket to a local pet shelter.
A Fitness Tracker… Ring
$199; buy now at Motiv
Everyone and their mother has a fitness tracker. But what about a fitness tracker ring? The sized-down wearable does everything you need a tracker to do—keeps track of sleep, breathing, heart rate—without the bulk of traditional wrist-wear.
A Game Fit For A King
$395; buy now at Neiman Marcus
Everyone knows how to play chess. You know what’s cooler? Backgammon, the game of kings—literally. (It’s believed that the Persian royal court invented the modern iteration of this game in the 6th century.) A colorful board, like this one from Jonathan Adler, brings the game into the 21st century, and it’s sure to be more of a stunner than whatever blasé black-and-cream edition your friend may have.
A Super-Stylish Cheese Set
$45; buy now at Hampton Forge
For the friend that’s always entertaining, spring for Hampton Forge’s style-oozing cheese set. The four copper-and-titanium-coated blades can tackle anything, from camembert to cheddar, with equal parts function and form.
A What’s In Your Box? Subscription
Price upon request; buy now at What’s In Your Box?
What’s In Your Box?’s raison d’être is to empower women to have healthy, safe, shameless sex. Each month, the company sends subscribers a box full of products—from condoms to sex toys to probiotic wipes—to enforce that mission.
A Chameleon of a Candle
$125; buy now at Anna Sheffield
For candle connoisseur, Anne Sheffield’s three-wick creation is the cream of the crop. One minute, you may be smelling bergamot; the next, chamomile and jasmine. Being in the room with this candle means embarking on a bona fide aromatic adventure.
A Beneficial Blanket
$99; buy now at Canyon Ranch
Every blanket sold from this Canyon Ranch and Mind in Motion collaboration means a blanket will be donated to a person in need: The company will match purchases by offering blanket donations to the National Alliance of Mental Illness. Plus, black-and-white works in any room.
A Bespoke Soap Set
$36; buy now at Natura Brasil
Crafted from Cacaueiro, a Brazil-native tree, and the main ingredient in cocoa butter, these Vitamin E–rich hand products will leave your skin feeling soft and smooth—but notably without a trace of that oily feeling most cocoa butter products give. Plus, they come with a super suave hand-crafted raffia dopp kit.
A Set of Salted Shot Glasses
$35; buy now at Root7
It’s a process as old as time, or at least frat houses: pour a shot of tequila, dab a line of salt on your finger, shoot the liquor, and lick (your finger). With these shot glasses, however, the process becomes a single step. They are literally made of salt.
A Smart Blow Dryer
$399; buy now at Sephora
Blowdrying your hair isn’t as safe as you think: You run the risk of doing everything from drying out essential nourishment to even burning strands. But Dyson’s Blown-A-Ouai a high-tech, high-powered, high-speed (the blades rotate faster than a typical blow dryer), you never have to worry: The thing is equipped with “intelligent heat control” so it will never go too hard.
A Box of Innovative Chocolates
$112; buy now at Mr. Chocolate
Fact: Everyone loves chocolate. It’s the universal equalizer. Jacques Torres’s holiday celebration box has some of the most unique holiday chocolates on the market, including chocolate-coated Cheerios and Frosted Flakes (like, yes, the cereals).
A Twist on the Classic Corkscrew
$38; buy now at Gala Tuesday
A two-pronged wine opened makes popping open bottles a heckuva lot easier. Just twirl in and push down, no forearm strength necessary. Spring for an option in a snazzy rose gold and funky adornment, like Gala Tuesday’s Rose Pineapple Corkscrew.
A Fun Calendar
$25; buy now at Uncommon Goods
Four feet of time-tracking fun, Uncommon Goods’s bubble wrap calendar turns life into a game. As each day passes, pop the bubble, like you would with bubble wrap.
A Pair of Long Distance LED Lamps
$150; buy now at Uncommon Goods
Between ignored texts, missed calls, dropped Skype sessions, and the whole being-really-far-away-from-each-other thing, long distance relationships can leave you (and you partner) feeling unloved. But with these two Wifi-connected lights, that negativity never has to come around again. Tap one and the other one will light up, no matter how far away, so you can also let your beau know they’re in your thoughts.
A Pound of Merlot-Infused Coffee
$25; buy now at Uncommon Goods
Coffee plus wine. Do you need to know any more? (For the record: The stuff is non-alcoholic.)
An Elevated Bar Kit
$80; buy now at Crate and Barrel
Openers, a strainer, ice scoops, shot glasses—this exquisite, stylized bar kit runs the gamut on anything you’d expect to find in well-equipped bar. Pair it with a nice bottle of belly-warming whiskey for a home-run of a holiday gift.
A Super-Luxe Game of Tic Tac Toe
$1,250; buy now at Bergdorf Goodman
With Zegna’s ultra-sumptuous game set, replete with leather-bound noughts and crosses, your luxe-loving friend will never play tic-tac-toe on pen and paper again.
A Pair of High-End High-Tops
$795; buy now at Barneys
Crafted from camo-print neoprene and done up with a sumptuous black leather trim, Giuseppe Zanotti’s high-tops are sure to wow any sneaker lover in your life.
A Pack of Sultry Incense
$50; buy now at L’Objet
Inspired by the hedonistic love-for-everyone summer of 1969, L’Objet’s Oh Mon Dieu! 69 incense stars undertones of sexy leather and caramel.
An Essential Design Injection
$68; buy now at Jonathan Adler
Everyone’s home could use a little injection of splashy design. Up your friend’s décor dosage with a fun and flirty porcelain tray, like the Full Dose, from Jonathan Adler.
A Compact Umbrella
$35; buy now at Bergdorf Goodman
When this umbrella is fully opened, it’s large enough to cover anyone completely. But when it’s closed, the thing shrinks down to a scant eight inches—small enough to fit in any bag.
A Catchall Self-Care Mechanism
$120; buy now at Pilgrim Collection
Part meditation light, part aromatherapy diffuser, and part humidifier, when it comes to ambient at-home relaxation, Pilgrim Collection’s Zoe can do it all.
A Portable Photo Printer
$130; buy now at Bloomingdale’s
For your Instagram power user friends, a mobile photo printer is the way to go, and this incandescent red one, from Polaroid—the pinnacle of on-the-go photo screening—is your best bet: It works with all current mobile devices.
A Throwback Jukebox
$100; buy now at Bloomingdale’s
All the vintage mien of a jukebox combined with the modern tech of your best vehicular audio systems (it comes equipped with both Bluetooth and a CD drive), Victrola’s NostalgicWood is the perfect gift for any music junky in your life.
A Permanent Note-Taking Strategy
$680; buy now at Bloomingdale’s
The worst part about taking notes is that they always disappear. (In 2017, it’s nigh impossible to keep track of paper.) With Montblanc’s high tech note-transfer set, however, everything you jot is permanent: As you write, your scrawls transfer to a connected device of your choosing.
A Pair of Luxe Flip-Flops
$175; buy now at Bloomingdale’s
Yes, luxe flip-flips are a thing. We’re enamored with the Slater slides, from Bally, which are done up in high-quality rubber and are just the right amount of flashy—especially in the black-and-yellow iteration.
An Au Natural Tanning Kit
$60; buy now at Tan-Luxe
Sometimes the tanning process goes awry, and the result is grotesque orange skin. But, by making use of the right products—like Tan-Luxe’s signature kit, which is enriched with raspberry seed oil and aloe vera, for a totally natural look—the result is enviably bronzed skin. (On second though, this might be a better last-minute gift idea for yourself.)
A Pair of Never-Leaving-Home-Again Slippers
$120; buy now at Ugg
Your friend loves their boots. So, get them the slipper version—same amount of coziness, plus even more reason to stay in the house. (Seriously, who wants to leave when a good pair of slippers are around?)
A Collection of Grooming Products
$49; buy now at Jack Black
Cleanser, moisturizer, and face wash—it’s the holy trinity of skincare. And for men, few companies top Jack Black, whose products exude a musky manliness worthy of even the toughest tough guy in your life.
An Actually Fun Cashmere Scarf
$435; buy now at Bloomingdale’s
A scarf is the ultimate in crunch time gift-giving—a catchall present that works for anyone, especially friends in crisp climates. But this year, don’t spring for a solid black or grey (boring!) merino piece. Instead, pick up something with a touch of funk, like Burberry’s giant checked cashmere scarf, which fits in just as well in a boardroom as it does a boardwalk.
A Set of Emoji Mugs
$8 per cup; buy now at Bloomingdale’s
“Don’t speak to me until I’ve had my coffee” mugs—out. Emoji mugs—in. (Who needs words to convey emotions in 2017?) This set, from Sparrow & Wren, is a touch artsier than the pixels on your screen. And if you’re confused about what those expressions mean, read our guide to the 13 Most Baffling New Emojis.
$40; buy now at Williams Sonoma
For your health-conscious friends, carbs are the devil. Chances are, for them, pasta is verboten. Well, give them the best gift of all: Pasta, but healthy! With a spiralizer, healthy folks can make spaghetti out of anything: zucchini, sweet potatoes, radishes—you name it. Or, you could just direct them to the 10 Healthiest Ab-Friendly Carbs On the Planet.
A High-Tech Decanter
$130; buy now at Amazon
Ullo’s signature product is the decanter, elevated. The top is equipped with a high-tech purifier that eradicates any sediment and sulfites—and even aerates the wine.
A Modern Turntable
$70; buy now at Bloomingdale’s
A record player is one thing. But Crosley Radio’s Cruise Deluxe comes equipped with Bluetooth, so if you’re short on vinyl, you can still play your favorite tunes.
Nail Polish for Kids
$54; buy now at Côte
Little girls tend to love glitter. And love what their moms have, which is, often, a good manicure. But if you’re thinking twice about letting the little tyke in your life get her nails painted, opt for a 5-free, safe formula like the above set, designed for kids and free of harmful chemicals, too.
A Collection of Globe-Trotting Salts
$130; buy now at Uncommon Goods
Your chef friend knows pink Himalayan salt. They know Hawaiian sea salt. But what about Chardonnay oak-smoked salt? Or Cyprus black lava flake salt? In this collection, there are two dozen more exotic salts where that came from.
A Set of Games for Everyone
$15; buy now at Amazon
The world is your oyster, and UNBORED Games: Serious Fun for Everyone is here to help you shuck it. Chock full of innovative games you can do nearly anywhere—from clapping games to tricky Google earth expeditions—this book offers (seriously) serious fun for everyone.
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