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16 Easy But Still Thoughtful Last-Minute Gifts (No Shipping Required)

I want to start off by saying this is a safe place for all of my fellow procrastinators. Trust me I know how you are feeling. It can range from mild personal frustration to being in a total shame spiral. The good news is all of those bad feelings are about to go away with this post. We wanted to make our final 2022 gift guide serviceable to anyone that has yet to get a gift but doesn’t have enough time to get something shipped. And while we don’t pass judgment on a last-minute Prime purchase, that’s not what you’re going to find here. These ideas are a little out-of-the-box, thoughtful and as the title says, don’t require shipping. Let’s get right to it then…

The Perfect Artsy Daily Newsletter Subscription

If you don’t know about The Jealous Curator, Danielle Krysa, then you are in for a treat. Her tagline reads “Turning jealousy into get-your-ass-back-in-the-studio inspiration since 2009” and boy has she been delivering. I’ve loved her account and site for years and Emily is actually friends with her. So what’s the gift?? Well, she just started a daily newsletter that features one to two artists and I can’t tell you how much I love it. She was kind enough to give me and Em a week free to check it out and as soon as it ended I immediately subscribed. It’s bite-sized so not overwhelming, gives me a burst of creativity every morning, and is only $36 for the entire year. If you have an art and/or design lover in your life, this is a GREAT gift. 10/10

Maybe Baby Newsletter and Podcast Subscription

Emily and I also both love Haley Nahmen, former Deputy Editor of Manrepller, and her writing. Haley’s newsletter, Maybe Baby, started out as a thought-provoking weekly article and is now that plus a weekly recommendation list and a podcast. Her description of what it’s about is this – “Chipping away at the inscrutability of modern life, popular culture, and how we feel about both.” It just makes you think and look at things in a way you might not have otherwise. I also really love the podcast and her monthly “Dear Danny” episode where she and her friend Danny answer reader questions. It’s always entertaining and I love hearing both of their perspectives. So if you have someone in your life (especially in the millennial and gen z age group) this is a really cool gift. It’s $5 a month or $50 for the year. It can also be free if you only want the weekly Sunday newsletter but I highly suggest it all:)

Buy Them Some Lunches At Their Favorite Lunch Spot

Last week, I got an email from Sweetgreen (my favorite salad lunch place ever) promoting their gift cards. At first, I didn’t think much of it and was ready to hit delete until I realized what a great gift that would actually be. Not necessarily Sweetgreen specifically but a gift card to cover your loved one’s or even coworkers’ lunch (or a set amount of lunches). I am NOT great at preppy my lunches and still don’t love to cook so if I got a gift card to my favorite lunch spot it would be a dream. I know people tend to give gift cards to fancy restaurants for dinner but I think gifting lunch is such a sweet gesture. Obviously, this depends on the restaurant you choose and your budget but how wonderful would it be to say “Hey, lunch is on me your first week back after the holidays”?? And if you don’t know where they like to eat Postmates or Grubhub are great options too (just remember to factor in those delivery fees:))

Inspire A New Hobby

We’ve clearly talked about Skillshare (where Emily has a class) and Masterclass before but it’s still SUCH a sick gift. Personally, I really want to expand my world/mind this year way more than I have in a while. I’ve been in a bit of a rut and I know that a lot of people I know are feeling the same. A really great way to shake yourself awake is to learn about something you’re interested in from a cool expert. Here’s to learning more about new things and ourselves in 2023:)

A Night Away

A night (or weekend) alone in a hotel was the #1 request when we asked moms what they wanted for Mother’s Day. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Christmas time works too. Of course, this would be an incredible gift for any adult on your list. So whether it’s a great spot in your town or something a little further out (like one of these two amazing hotels we got to stay at in Nevada City) I don’t think you can go wrong. But maybe a hotel isn’t their thing. Emily highly recommends getting an Airbnb gift card. This would also be really sweet if you already know they are renting an Airbnb soon but you can’t cover an entire stay. Your gift card will help make it more affordable!

The Gift Of A FUN Workout

Mallory is a big fan of Classpass and she’s not alone. Almost everyone I know that has used it loves it for its great classes and flexibility. So if you have a person in your life that loves group classes or wants to start getting into some this is the ultimate gift.

Upgrade Their Favorite Streaming Service

This idea came from Caitlin and I think it’s kinda genius. I feel like there are very few people who love ad breaks, right? So why not upgrade their favorite streaming service!? Caitlin’s boyfriend is the inspiration behind this idea because YouTube Premium is on his wishlist. As someone who only watches the occasion YouTube video, I forget how huge it is and how many people watch videos all of the time. I just found out it’s how one of my best friends starts her morning! So for the YouTube upgrade specifically you need to get a Google Play gift card which can then be redeemed on YouTube.

Hulu is another great one to upgrade! I’m SO bummed every time an ad break comes up when I’m watching Abbot Elementary. It doesn’t have to be this way!

Make Their Life A Little (Or A Lot) Spicier

I know a ton of people who are hot sauce lovers and know that they would really love this gift. Mallory was the one who suggested this company because her hot sauce-loving friend received it as a gift and highly recommends it! Here’s what she had to say about it:

“If you are or know someone who is a hot sauce fanatic, then this is the perfect gift. I have a friend who is obsessed with this subscription – you can choose the level of ‘hotness’ you want and how many hot sauces you want to give, but they have some super unique bottles from a billion different places. Such a unique gift idea!!”

A Concert They’ll Always Remember

This gift should be gifted more often! Every time I go to a concert I think, “Why don’t I do this more?!” And why yes, that is a picture of an Alicia Keyes concert with a surprise visit from HER I got invited to. NBD. Singing “No One” at the top of our lungs is a forever memory for me:) There’s just nothing like live music. So look up the artists coming to your area, get tickets for their favorite band or get something like a Ticketmaster gift certificate if you think having them choose is better. You could also potentially buy tickets directly from your local venue (if that’s where the person you are gifting to lives too). Caitlin gets this for her mom every year and they always have an incredible time. What a cool tradition to start, right???

Get Your Wine Lover The Perfect Gift

I am a BIG natural wine fan and I can’t tell you how much I would love getting a delicious natural wine delivery. We can personally vouch for Dry Farms because I have heard great things from my friends and Mallory is also a huge fan. Here’s what she had to say about it.

“We got a wine subscription to Dry Farms as a gift one year and it was incredible (especially for natural wine drinkers). The one we got was 3 bottles a month for 6 months, and it truly was the gift that keeps on giving. I LOVED having bottles constantly in my fridge without having to think about it and they were all incredible. I especially love natural wine because it’s less sugar and ultimately makes me feel better the next day (like I’ve never had a hangover after drinking natural wine) which is awesome. Plus it’s so fun to explore new wines I’ve never heard of and they’re all soooo unique! Highly recommend.”

They also have an option to just do a one-time delivery if you don’t want to get the monthly subscription. So while shipping is technically involved with this one, you can easily give a card telling them they have something to look forward to:)

Give Them The Gift Of A Lift!

I don’t know if Ubers and Lyfts have gotten more expensive in your area but they have in Los Angeles. So getting a gift card from either of these companies would be so so great! What’s better than knowing you are helping someone you care about to get home safely? Not much. 10/10!

For The Snack Lover In Your Life

This is the only recommendation that none of us have tried ourselves. But I saw it on Instagram and thought it was so fun! What a fun and creative way to expose people to things around the world. Plus the more we experience each other’s cultures the more we can appreciate and understand them. I know it’s only snacks but who doesn’t love snacks?!

They Deserve A Nice Service, You Deserve A Discount

I have been singing the praises of Groupon for YEARS!! This is the easiest and most affordable way to get someone a great service whether that’s a massage or a car detail, or another one of their many options. I actually told my brother I wanted a car detail when asked what I wanted for Christmas this year. If you are unsure about what they would like Groupon also sells gift cards. I think this is a truly great and thoughtful gift.

Give Them A Smokey Treat

Please excuse that horrible header (smh). Sometimes “cute” titles are hard. But this is actually a really cool gift for the cigar lover in your life. Ryann’s husband was the one that inspired this idea because of how much he loved getting this particular subscription. It’s also pretty affordable too! Here’s what Rocky had to say about it.

“I liked it because they would send exclusive cigars you couldn’t get in-store anywhere, and most of the cigars were small batch and pretty rare.”

That all sounds pretty great and special to me!

Vintage Lovers Will LOVE You

If someone on your list loves vintage or handmade things then you just simply can’t go wrong with an Etsy gift card. We got one for Ryann for her birthday last year and she loved it! Everything I’ve purchased on Etsy I have loved and knew came from a great small business. You really can’t lose. And if you want to give them some shop suggestions get out this post Ryann wrote🙂

Give Them A “Hello” From A Celebrity

Last but definitely not least there’s Cameo. If you don’t know what this is, it’s a company where celebrities, athletes, and pop culture personalities send messages to the person of your choosing for a set fee. It’s a pretty special gift for the person that never needs anything but would love or just get a total kick out of their favorite celeb saying hi to them.

Do you feel better? Breathing a little easier, I hope. Regardless, best of luck in all of your holiday gifting adventures. You’ve got this.

Love you, mean it.

Opening Image Credits: Design by Brady Tolbert | Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Brady’s Holiday Decor

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1 year ago

Our fam received universal yums as a gift last year and loved it so much I gifted it this year to a relative. We made a point to choose three snacks a night ( each of our three kids picked one) to sample/distribute to the five of us while we watched a Christmas movie together. (We happened to have been in covid quarantine so we had all the time in the world!) There’s a little booklet explaining the snacks so we read about those too. This made it last and made it special. We loved it, but would probably never buy it for ourselves so it made in the perfect gift! I’d love it every year!

1 year ago

I did Universal Yums for my mom one year and it was a huge hit! Definitely recommend if you have a snacky person in your life.

1 year ago

This isn’t gonna work for all gifting scenarios, but I was super pleased with my last minute idea for my husband. I booked us tickets to a play he’s wanted to see for ages and I booked the corresponding babysitter and dinner rez too. Nights out are hard for us right now and it’s not a cheap show (we live in London) but I feel so pleased with this idea and there was no shipping time!

1 year ago

Such a nice and informative article.

1 year ago

One of my favorite gits was a subscription to NYTCooking! I never would have splurged on it for myself, but it’s been so awesome and I’ve tried a ton of new recipes. I think newspaper and magazine subscriptions for the website are great too. I would love a subscription to things that would be splurges for me: The Atlantic, The New Yorker, Architectural Digest, etc.

1 year ago
Reply to  Lori

I love this one! I was just thinking about asking my husband for a last minute gift of full access to NYT. Their recipes always look so good, the games are fun, Wirecutter always has interesting recommendations, and of course, there’s the news!

1 year ago
Reply to  Lori

AD’s been offering me a year’s subscription for $10 via an Instagram ad for a while now and it was good for gifts. It was $20 when I went to their website. If you’re on Instagram, maybe search for them and see if the algorithm will get the hint and show you the same ad!

1 year ago

As the author of a Substack newsletter (same platform as those above), three cheers for the subscription idea! It’s a way to give an eco-conscious gift, support small creators, and gift something that a person may not splurge on for themselves. Plus, there are so many excellent writers on Substack!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago

What a great idea – experiences instead of stuff (mostly).🤗
Some excellent and diverse suggestions!

I’m concerned about the fact that cigars are being promoted though?! Like, really? Smoking?
It’s a choice individuals can choose to make, but it’s still a significant health hazard and a no-brainer to avoid at all costs, let alone promote. I’m both surprised and shocked that it is being promoted here.

1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Ditto. For a blog that it generally so conscientious, it’s really off brand (and off-putting).

1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Some people enjoy an occasional fine cigar. It’s a gift suggestion for them. Wine and snacks are also promoted on the list. I believe the team considers us adults who can quietly take or leave any ideas presented here. I skipped right over the cigar idea without a thought. Who are you so eager to protect, I wonder.

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Alice


Fast Facts and Fact from the US CDC (Centers for Disease Vontrol and Prevention):

“Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body.

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.

The tobacco industry spends billions of dollars each year on marketing cigarettes.

Smoking costs the United States hundreds of billions of dollars each year.

States do not spend much of the money they get from tobacco taxes and lawsuits to prevent smoking and help smokers quit.

CDC recommends that states spend 12% of those funds on tobacco control.In 2020, 12.5% of U.S. adults (an estimated 30.8 million people) currently smoked cigarettes: 14.1% of men, 11% of women.

Each day, about 1,600 youth try their first cigarette.

Many adult cigarette smokers want to quit smoking.”

1 year ago
Reply to  Alice

Please. Alcohol and snacks are not on the same level as tobacco.

1 year ago
Reply to  🥰 Rusty

Smoker of all things here…cigars, cigarettes, etc. I would also prefer y’all not advertise a product that causes cancer. I don’t think it’s pearl clutching or hating to provide that feedback. Cigar smoking causes cancer of the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and lung. It’s just a bad gift idea to give someone a product that causes cancer, full stop.

1 year ago

Absolute great ideas!! I just booked a Cameo Santa Claus message for our family in the Netherlands for Christmas. Hopefully Santa isn’t too busy and can deliver the message on time ;-))

1 year ago

So thoughtful. Perfect ideas for last minute shoppers like me! I love that most of these are available in Europe as well. I don’t know if many readers can relate, but for me it’s so nice to have a list of things I can actually order. And if not, I can easily find something locally produced that is similar. I love it. Thank you EHD team for putting this together.

1 year ago

Created four “super stockings” for college/high school age kids from Target, 2 guys and 2 gals:
Candy For All
Peeps Peppermint Bark
Reese’s Holiday Lights
Reese’s PB Trees

High School/College Guys
Crumpled Up Cash
Black T-Shirt
Crest Trial Size
Harry’s Post Shave Balm w/ Aloe
Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Multipack, Beef
Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Multipack, Teriyaki
Kiwi Sneaker Balls
Sharpie S-Gel 4pk Black Barrel
Stasher Silicone Bag Set
Van der Hagen Shave Butter
White Tee
Whoosh Screen Shine Kit

College Gals
Crumpled Up Cash
Conair Compact Mirror 1X/10X
Crest Trial Size
Ello Silicone Straws
Invisibobble Power Multi
Revlon Oil Absorbing Volcanic Roller
Sally Hansen Spa Foot Mask
Sally Hansen Spa Hand Mask
Sharpie S-Gel 4pk Blue Barrel
Stasher Silicone Bag Set
Touchland Watermelon Sanitizer
Whoosh Screen Shine Kit

1 year ago

This year a lot of my gifts for adults in the extended family include things I know they enjoy and buy regularly. Those things could also be found in some supermarkets, whole foods, trader Joe, even Target (depending on a budget) and Amazon. So good coffee, coffee pods for their machines, dark chocolate, wine, matcha tea, a reliable hand cream, good hot dark chocolate mix, hag of pistachios or macadamia in dark chocolate, natural bath sponge. Nothing that fancy, but good quality products and not a waste of money either. That perhaps will leave them money in their pocket to decide what other experiences they might enjoy. So gift certificates or ticketmaster certificates can be great. But they could create a burden to use before the expiry date. Podcasts and newsletters are interesting, but will they have enough time to listen or read? I’d love a print magazine subscription to The Atlantic, AD, Bon Appetite, but those are specific I’d enjoy, would someone else?Perhaps it’s good to ask, and keep the surprises to coffee, tea….. That’s just my preference.

Annie K.
1 year ago
Reply to  Lane

I love the print subscription idea! I was also going to add ad-free Pandora or Spotify subscription to the list.

These are all such great ideas! Thank you, Jess, and EHD team.

1 year ago
Reply to  Lane

Love these! Just fyi in case you haven’t heard: some dark chocolate has just been found to have heavy metals in it! Google to see which brands!

1 year ago

I love the idea of gifting experiences!

1 year ago

For the readers in your life, check your local bookstore for book of the month subscriptions. They usually provide a card to give to the recipient. I loved this gift the year I received it.

Other subscriptions that look fun…
For someone who loves to craft:

For someone who loves to sew:

There are others that look interesting in terms of crafts, sewing, and fiber arts, like:

1 year ago

You guys seriously have the best gift guides ever. This post reminded me that a subscription to Molly Baez’s cooking club would be amazing!

1 year ago
Reply to  c

Molly Baz 🙂

1 year ago

I have three more ideas to throw in here. I got my dad an Omaha Steak thing that arrived this morning and he called me EXUBERANT. I was hoping it would arrive after Christmas so I could gift it to him in a cars, but so it goes!
Coffee subscriptions for that caffeine addict are so great.
And—Julia Turshen’s does cooking classes virtually every Sunday. Wouldn’t that be a fun gift to gift your family so you could do it together whether near or far?