1. Movie theater gift cards. I buy them in $25 increments so people can have a date night. I don’t care how many Hulus, Netflixes, and Amazon Primes you have, everyone loves seeing a movie on the big screen. I get those for teachers, coaches, etc. Everyone loves it.
2. If they live somewhere chilly, an electric heated blanket. Fucking gamechanger.
3. Massage voucher. Most adults don’t really need physical things. The ones who do either buy it themselves (if they can afford it, of course) or they would ask for it, which would make the gift not so much a last minute one.
4. If they’re drinkers, a nice bottle of Champagne. New Year’s is right around the corner, and that way they’ll have a nice bottle of bubbly to enjoy their night with.
5. My broke college friends love getting gift cards to things like GrubHub and Uber Eats.
6. Homemade cookies. One year I was particularly broke and decided to make everyone Christmas biscuits. Felt a bit stingy as I didn’t really spend anything on it (had all the flour, eggs, spices etc already at home and only had to buy a single chocolate bar to make chocolate chips) but people LOVED it and now ask me for them each year. I usually personalize the flavors or ice the person’s name/something they like on them.
7. Shop vac. Eminently practical and it sucks having to buy one for yourself. The giftee will laugh and then you’ll get a text or a call like a month after saying it’s the best thing they’ve ever gotten.
8. My mom friends enjoy those gift baskets that come with bath bombs lotions and stuff or a new, fluffy robe.
9. Books from a secondhand or used book store!
Almost all of my books are used books from the local used book store, and they have an exchange policy: bring in a book to trade in, and get your new book for 1/2 the price!
Same goes for video games! I’ve gotten some used games for around 1/2 the price or less at used game stores!
Don’t waste money on new things, there’s plenty of used stuff out there that’s just as good, if not better!
10. If you’ve got a fairly geeky group of friends, fancy leather notebooks from Barnes and Noble will do the trick easily. If not, the Amazon gift card always works.
11. Fuzzy socks, they are comfy and most of the people I know LOVE them.
12. Scratch off lottery tickets. They’re cheap and are actually pretty fun when you don’t pay for them yourself.
13. Stop by a salon and get manicure or pedicure gift certificates. It only takes a minute, you help a business, and it’s a thoughtful gift that they can enjoy after the holidays or when they’re feeling down. Some places even let you order online.
14. High quality honey – it’s consumable and never expires! You can find nice jars of the stuff at almost any fancy grocery store, farmer’s market, or craft market.
15. iPhone charging cords and bricks.
16. A subscription box themed to their hobbies. You don’t have to leave the house and nothing to wrap.
17. “Fancy” hot chocolate. It’s like getting people nice coffee, but far less obnoxiously expensive. Plus, you can make the person a mug, and then give them the actual container as a little, “Yeah, this shit’s great. Oh, you want more? Bam, it’s all yours.”
18. Adults: A board game or some other type of game that can played by the entire group. Kids: An outdoor toy or a toy that involves exercise/movement somehow. You can get a skip-it is like $10 at Target.
19. Chocolate. Lindt classical truffles. If they don’t like them, they don’t deserve them.
20. Women love plants. I don’t really understand it. But it’s a thing and they will love it.
21. Personally, when I’m in a tight spot for gifts, I get them their favorite candy, and draw them a picture. Drawing is my passion, and giving a friend a drawing tends to show them how much I care about them, whether it be of themselves, their favorite character, or their own character!
22. Last year I put hundreds of the best rock music on a USB for my dad to listen to in the car. It was the night before Christmas. He uses it everyday still.
23. My husband makes pots and things and makes his own glazes so everybody I know gets pots with succulents.
24. Those little at home weather stations where you put a piece outside and it tells you the temperature on a screen inside. Throw it in the kitchen and it’s great to look at every morning while you’re making your coffee or breakfast to get an idea of the temperature. Easier than having to turn on the tv/radio and then wait for the weather report or else boot up the computer to check the weather online.
25. Food basket with sausage, crackers, and cheese. I love getting them, it makes for great snacks or even a good meal.
26. For me, scented candles. Can never have enough, and even if you give me the same smell twice, now I have an excuse to burn through them.
27. I might be a bit biased, but those mind teaser puzzles where you try to get the loop out of the contraption.
28. High school or college students could always use more mechanical pencils or some nice pens. Office workers can always use some nice pens as well. Teachers can use nice colored pens for marking up papers.
29. Framed picture (family only).
30. Gloves that you can wear and still use your smartphone.