50 Thoughtful Last Minute Gifts

Updated
If you’re desperately searching for a last minute birthday gift for a friend or loved one, we have some great gift ideas here that will be delivered or can be picked up quickly!

Article It happens to the best of us. Suddenly we realize one day that we have an important event for a friend or family member – a birthday, or anniversary, or graduation – and we don’t have a present for them!

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find a last-minute gift. Many products on Amazon can be shipped to arrive a day or two after they’ve been ordered. Stores like Nordstrom, Target, and others offer same-day pickup, which allows you to check their website to find a gift and have it waiting for you when you arrive at the store.

Gift cards and subscriptions are another great idea for last-minute gifts. Often, when you order a gift card or subscription, you’ll get an email you could print out and wrap up to present. Subscriptions are always fun because the receiver doesn’t end up getting just one gift – they get one a month!

So take a deep breath, don’t panic, and keep reading for some great ideas for last-minute gifts!


50 Thoughtful Last Minute Birthday Gift Ideas

Excellent last-minute gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, housewarmings, and more!

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DoorDash Gift Card

  • Easy Delivery

  • Food & Drink

Gift cards make great last-minute gifts – they can often be printed out at home or delivered quickly. A gift card for a perk like food and food delivery is a thoughtful present that saves your friend or family member time and energy. They’ll appreciate this present, and enjoy a nice meal on you!


Veuve Clicquot Champagne

  • Pop The Bubbly

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Toast to someone’s birthday with this gift, perfect for the person who has everything! Of course, it’s also a wonderful gift for someone who is watching their pennies and can’t splurge on a good bottle of champagne right now as well. Saucey will deliver the champagne in less than an hour, so it makes a great last-minute gift when you need a belated present.


Cashmere Scarf

  • Luxury Accessories

  • $$$$$
  • Clothing

Many retailers offer same-day pickup if you order online, making them a great option for last-minute gifts! This cashmere scarf feels soft and luxurious and comes in a variety of colors for her. If you order with plenty of time, you can get Nordstrom’s free shipping, but if not, look for the “Free Pickup” option to pick it up that day.


Amazon.com Gift Card

  • Buy Anything

  • Decor, Entertainment, Hobbies, Clothing

An Amazon gift card makes an easy, unfussy last-minute gift, but that doesn’t make it any less useful! Your friend or co-worker can order just about anything they want using an Amazon card, from food to clothing to books and much more. Also, if this gift is for a going away party, a gift card won’t be something they have to pack, and they can use it to set up their new home.


Customized Wine Rack

  • Wine Keeper

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Many online gifts from Amazon offer next-day or fast shipping so if your gift isn’t too last minute, you may be able to nab a present that way as well. This customized wine rack is a fun, unique present for a wine lover! It includes space for wine bottles and glasses and can be customized with a family name or short phrase.


Beautiful Flower Arrangement

  • Beautify The Room

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

Flowers make wonderful last-minute birthday gifts (or anniversary gifts!). Choose a cheerful, colorful bouquet for a friend or family member’s birthday or red, pink, or pastel flowers for your beloved. You can’t go wrong with roses, and their sweet scent will just add to the beauty of the flowers.


Kindle Book

  • For A Bookworm

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

A Kindle book is a cheap, easy last-minute birthday gift for friends that is delivered immediately to them! Pick from among thousands of best-sellers, classics, niche books, and others and the book can be sent straight to their Kindle for them to read.


Netflix Gift Cards

  • Stream Shows

  • Entertainment

A gift to help a friend pay for a service they enjoy is a great last-minute birthday idea! Get your friend or loved one a Netflix gift card so they can stream popular movies and shows at home or even host a movie night. The fact that they don’t have to worry about the bill makes it even better.


Magazine Subscription

  • Keeps On Giving

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

Magazine subscriptions make fun last-minute gifts because the recipient gets one gift a month (or however often the magazine is sent) for a year! Order up a magazine subscription for a topic your friend is interested in, and you can present them with either the confirmation of your order or grab this month’s copy of the magazine at the grocery store to wrap and give them.


Audible Subscription

  • Listen To Bestsellers

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

If you have a friend who listens to a lot of media while running or commuting or just puttering around the house, they may love an Audible subscription! They can listen to popular audiobooks or catch up on all those classics they were supposed to read in high school.

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Raddish Kids Cooking Subscription Box

  • Junior Chefs

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Get a last-minute present the entire family can enjoy! A Raddish Kids box comes with step-by-step recipe guides, a cute new cooking tool, a grocery list, and notes to modify recipes for different dietary needs. The whole family can enjoy cooking together, and then eat their creation!


Bluetooth Karaoke System

  • Sing It Loud

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

This gift works equally well for a tween or for a rowdy friend who loves karaoke night! They can connect wirelessly or use the CD player to play the tracks for songs as they sing and impress their adoring fans. They can also record their performance. The system also comes with LED disco lights to add to the ambiance and fun.


REVLON One-Step Volumizer

  • Good Hair Day

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

Give her the gift of time with this all-in-one hairdryer and volumizer. It adds body and curls to hair while drying it at the same time. She won’t need to use two or more devices, and it takes less time since everything’s happening at once. The volumizer also reduces frizz and has 3 different heat and speed settings for more options.


Hazel & Creme Cookies Gift Box

  • Tasty Treat

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

These delectable cookies make a great last-minute gift for anyone with a sweet tooth! They’re covered with dark chocolate and topped with sprinkles, chocolate chips, ganache, and other delicious additions. They’re a perfect gift for him (or her) to savor or to share with friends.


Comic Book Subscription Box

  • Comics Relief

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

Just because a present is late or last-minute doesn’t mean it can’t be well thought out! If you have a comic book-loving friend, this subscription box is perfect. They’ll get 10 comics every month – some of them new and some of them classics. Boxes are tailored to each person since you can choose the characters they love best and the boxes will focus on them.


Ticket To Ride Board Game

  • Game Night

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

This would be a great last-minute gift for a family or for someone who moved into a new house! Players embark on a journey to build their rail lines across the country to various assigned destinations while trying to block their opponents from doing the same. Target often has options for same-day shipping or picking up items in-store or in the parking lot the same day.


Amazon Basics Sherpa Blanket

  • Comfy & Warm

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

A warm, cozy blanket is almost always a great idea for a last-minute birthday gift for friends! This one comes in a variety of colors and patterns, including cats and bears. It also comes in a throw or twin sizes. It’s perfect for cuddling up on the couch for a movie night or to bring along to picnics or outdoor movie nights in summer.


Minted Gift Card

  • Meaningful Artwork

  • Decor

Help a friend afford some meaningful art for their home with a gift card to Minted! They can choose to have a picture of a home they love made into a letterpress print. They could also choose from a variety of family picture collages. The heart collage is a beautiful way to display pictures from a special event. There are also prints and pictures by artists available at Minted as well. This would be a great housewarming or wedding present!


Sips by Tea Discovery

  • Tea Time

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Tea drinkers will love this monthly subscription box! Each shipment includes 4 teas chosen from more than 150 brands all over the world. They can brew at least 16 cups of tea from each box, and they’ll get both loose leaf and premium tea in each box. They may find some new flavors they love, and they’ll get the classics as well.


Jade Roller & Gua Sha Facial Tools

  • Quick Face Lift

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

A jade roller is a fun, indulgent-feeling gift that’s actually quite inexpensive. Give the gift of a little pampering – your friend can use this roller on their face each morning to wake up the skin and get the blood moving. It also comes with a gua sha tool that slides over skin and also feels wonderful.

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Gardenia Plant

  • Sweet-Smelling Decor

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

Plants are perfect last-minute gifts, and with the right care, they can last forever! This gardenia plant will perfume the entire house with its wonderful scent. It’s perfect for a table or office desk, and live plants always help brighten the mood on cold winter days.


Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager

  • Work Out The Kinks

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

Help your friend or loved one work out the knots and kinks in their back and neck with this massager! It has 3 speeds and 3 automatic programs so they can tailor their massage to what they need. It can also get at the muscles in their neck, back, and in hard-to-reach places to help soothe soreness.


Whiskey Stones Gift Set

  • Not Watered Down

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

This gift set comes with everything people need to enjoy a good bottle of whiskey, bourbon, or scotch! The wooden box protects 2 whiskey glasses and 8 whiskey stones. The stones also come with a velvet bag for storing – put them in the freezer to chill. When it’s time for drinks, put the stones in for a cold drink that isn’t watered down.


UGG Three-Point Leather Gloves

  • Stylish & Warm

  • $$$$$
  • Clothing

These sleek black gloves look sophisticated and keep hands warm on cold winter days! They’re lined with faux fur for extra warmth. They also have conductive index tips so wearers can still operate a smartphone, tablet, or other touchscreen device without needing to take them off. Check for same-day pickup if this is a really last-minute gift!


Bath Bomb Gift Set

  • Spa Day

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

Bath bombs make great last-minute birthday gift ideas, and since they’re consumable, people can always use more! This gift set includes 24 bath bombs scented with lavender, lemon, mint, rose, and other fragrances. They also come in a variety of bright colors for extra fun.


Beard Grooming & Trimming Kit For Men

  • Beard Beauty

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

If you know a man with a beard, this is the perfect last-minute gift for him! He can keep his whiskers in working order with this grooming kit that includes beard oil, trimming scissors, a comb and brush, and wax.


Chef's Vision Wildlife Kitchen Knife Set

  • Scenic Knives

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink, Decor

These knives are a unique, beautiful last-minute gift for anyone who spends time in the kitchen. The blade of each colorful knife has a different animal printed on it. The full set includes a peacock, a tiger, a toucan, and other exotic animals. The knives are also excellent quality with a comfortable, ergonomic design that makes them easy to handle.


Atlas World of Coffee Sampler

  • Coffee Around The World

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

This coffee sampler box has 4 bags of gourmet coffee from 4 different countries, along with postcards from each country and tasting note cards for each bag. Atlas also pays above-market prices so growers can practice sustainable farming. This would make a great last-minute present, along with a cute or funny mug.


TheraFlow Foot Massager Roller

  • Happy Feet

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

Perk up tired feet with this massager roller! This is a great present for a runner, or for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet. A foot reflexology chart that accompanies the roller can show how to massage feet to alleviate a number of different problems.


Grey Goose Vodka

  • Delicious Drinks

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Celebrate a birthday or special event with a great bottle of vodka! You can have the vodka delivered within an hour of ordering. If everyone is gathered together for the celebration, mix it up in some celebratory cocktails or sip it together. If you’re far away, you could arrange a video call so your friend can toast with their new liquor!


Kate Spade Mini Initial Pendant Necklace

  • Sweet & Sophisticated

  • $$$$$
  • Clothing

This dainty goldtone pendant has a single initial. It’s a pretty, easy piece to wear every day, or with fancier clothes on a night out. It’s a great way to give someone a personalized present, just for them! Be sure to check same-day pickup at Nordstrom if you need this quickly.


Hand Cream Gift Set

  • Healthy Hands

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

Hand lotions are always useful and are especially helpful during the dry winter months! This set comes with 6 hand creams in scents like Cherry Blossom, Lavender, Shea Almond, and Peony. The tubes and the box the lotions come in are decorated with pretty flowers and bright colors.


Great Reads Subscription Box

  • Well Read

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

If you’re shopping for a book lover, they’ll love a subscription service that sends them new books each month! Fill out a form to let the curator know what kinds of books the recipient enjoys reading, and they’ll choose 2 books based on that information. The box also includes 1 or 2 extra goodies like book accessories.


Cleverfy Shower Steamers

  • Scented Showers

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

Shower steamers are a fun perk that make great last-minute birthday gifts for friends! They can make an ordinary shower seem more like a spa treatment, with scents like watermelon, grapefruit, lemongrass, and more. Just place one in the corner of the shower, and let it disintegrate and permeate the air.


Spotify Gift Card

  • Stream Music

  • Entertainment

A gift card to stream music is a great option for a last-minute gift, especially for a housewarming present or a wedding gift! Although it’s a quick gift to purchase, it can relieve some of the stress of paying for the service when there are many other expenses. They can listen to podcasts, stream music, listen to audiobooks, and more.


Chesapeake Bay Scented Candle

  • Light It Up

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

Scented candles are simple last-minute gifts that are still useful! This Chesapeake Bay candle comes in an elegant frosted jar with a wooden lid. It burns for 50 hours and smells like Water Lily and Pear. It’s made from all-natural soy wax and has essential oils for fragrance.


24-Pack Facial Mask Sheets

  • Korean Skincare

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

These face mask sheets are an inexpensive way to feel pampered! This set comes with 24 masks that include ingredients like green tea, cucumber, collagen, vitamins, and ginseng. They help to moisturize and brighten skin and reduce puffiness. If you give these as last-minute birthday gifts to a friend, she’ll enjoy using them and may even want to have everyone over for a spa and facial night!


LeafLife Premium Bamboo Thermos

  • Drink Up

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

This beautiful bamboo thermos is not only well-insulated and elegant to look at, it also hides a loose leaf tea infuser inside! The thermos is perfect for hot or cold drinks since it has a double-walled interior and vacuum insulation. It has both short and a longer loose leaf tea bag infusers, or the recipient can simply use tea bags instead. It’s the perfect gift for someone who loves carrying around a hot cup of tea (with a little help to make sure it won’t spill).


Birthday Celebration Sweets Tower

  • Tower of Love

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Shower your birthday loved one with treats and they’ll never realize this was a last-minute gift! This birthday sweets tower includes jelly beans, chocolate-covered pretzels, candy, a present-shaped cookie, popcorn, and cake batter cookies. It’s a fun gift to bring along to a party or to have sent to a friend far away.


Premium Hot Sauce Making Kit

  • Feelin’ Hot

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Have a friend who laughs in the face of pain? Who doesn’t think food’s worth eating unless their mouth is on fire? Get them their own hot sauce-making kit, so they can turn up the heat on their food! This kit comes with bottles, caps, labels, a funnel, ph test strips, gloves, 5 bags of dried peppers, powders for several sauces, a gourmet spice blend, and more.


Learn to Knit Premium Beginner Knitting Kit

  • Knit Kit

  • $$$$$
  • Hobbies

Help a crafty friend (or just a stressed-out friend) learn a new skill! This kit comes with everything they’ll need to learn to knit socks and to produce 3 pairs of socks. It includes a book for absolute beginners at sock knitting, along with yarn, needles, and the accessories they’ll need to complete the project.


Kindle Paperwhite

  • Read All The Books

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment, Hobbies

If you’re looking for a present for a bookworm, a Kindle is the perfect last-minute gift! The Kindle Paperwhite has an adjustable light and up to 10 weeks of battery life. It reads like a real paper book, but without the bulk of bringing books along. It’s great for someone who travels or likes to load up on library books without having to go to the library often! It’s also waterproof, so it’s great to read poolside or at the beach.


Linen and Sea Salt Glass Diffuser

  • Good Room Smells

  • $$$$$
  • Decor

This diffuser is a great last-minute birthday gift for someone you don’t know too well! You may not know most of their tastes, but an elegant glass diffuser that gently perfumes a room is a good present for almost anyone. They can set it in a bathroom, bedroom, or office and let the scent waft through the room.


Sugarwish Candy Box

  • Sweets For The Sweet

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Give a sweet friend a delicious last-minute birthday gift! Sugarwish boxes can be customized with different candies. Choose from old-fashioned candies, gummies, chewy candies, or chocolates and customize a box for your loved one. If you’re lucky, they may even share.


Complete Beginners 7-Piece Yoga Kit

  • Find Your Center

  • $$$$$
  • Health & Beauty

If you have a pal who’s been wanting to try yoga or who enjoys it but needs some supplies, this kit will get them all set up. It includes an extra thick mat, foam blocks, a yoga strap, yoga towels, and a bag to keep everything in. The bag also has room for extra clothes and a water bottle, so she’ll be all set for yoga class.


Amazon Prime Membership

  • A Handy Service

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink, Entertainment, Hobbies, Decor, Clothing

An Amazon Prime membership is a helpful service for a friend! They’ll get free shipping on a number of items on Amazon. They’ll also get access to Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Prime music, and the books and magazines on Prime Reading.


Apple AirPods

  • Listen Up

  • $$$$$
  • Entertainment

AirPods make awesome last-minute birthday gift ideas! They feature a universal fit that’s comfortable for just about everyone. They’re easy to set up and pair with Apple devices and switch easily from one device to another. The AirPod charging case also gives more than 24 hours of battery life, so the AirPods can play uninterrupted for quite a while. When ordering these from Target, be sure to pick same-day pickup if you need them quickly.


Chocolate Covered Strawberries

  • Delicious Fruit

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

They’re a fruit, so they must be healthy! These chocolate-covered strawberries will be a hit and make a great last-minute present for a friend or co-worker. The berries come dipped in dark, milk, or white chocolate and drizzled with contrasting chocolate. They’re shipped overnight on ice, so they arrive fresh.


Canon EOS Rebel Digital SLR Camera Bundle

  • Cool Camera

  • $$$$$
  • Hobbies

Just because a present is last minute doesn’t mean you can’t pull out all the stops! This digital camera bundle comes with the camera, along with a wide-angle and a telephoto lens. It also has a memory card, tripod, flash, UV filter kit, and more.


French Press Coffee Maker

  • Tasty Java

  • $$$$$
  • Food & Drink

Anyone who takes their coffee seriously will appreciate this coffee maker! Many coffee aficionados say a French press is the best way to make coffee – now, you can give your friend one and see if they agree. The carafe is made of temperature-resistant glass and won’t rust or corrode. This press makes coffee-making a fun experience.


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About the Author

Laura Falin

Laura Falin is a freelance writer from Colorado. She worked in TV news for more than ten years, and since then has written for publications and websites including BabyCenter, Colorado Parent Magazine, and Denver Parent. She loves being outdoors and reading.