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GOOD Last-Minute Gifts?? Here Are Awesome, Practical Ideas For Everyone On Your List

It’s here: the final gift guide. Have you waited til the last minute to find the perfect present? Are you still feeling adrift, despite looking at thousands of gift ideas over the past few weeks? IT’S OKAY, I’VE GOT YOU. Let me introduce you to a tried-and-true tradition in my family household: the practical present. I know that flashy gifts usually get all the hype – a dream vacation! A new car! Whatever other thing that TV commercials are pushing non-stop this holiday season! – but honestly, I love a good daily essential gift. Like, I’m receiving a thoughtful and necessary item that I don’t have to spend my own money on? A DREAM.

Below, you’ll find 16 different personas (based on my real-life friend group, for the record) along with a few corresponding gift ideas. These gifts ship quickly, they’re actually useful (verified by me, an average American woman), and they’re the kind of thing that’ll make the recipient say a tiny, silent “thank you” every time they pull it out. Let’s start out with one of my favorite recommendations forrrrrrr…

The Chronically Dehydrated

Thermoflask | Stanley Quencher

MY PEOPLE. Everyone needs water, you know? I’m partial to the Thermoflask because it’s durable (read: you can drop it a lot of times) and affordable, but the Quencher is also a guaranteed winner. (If you’ve ever heard your loved one drop the phrase “hot girl walk,” go for the Quencher – Orchid, Lavendar, and Citron are safe color bets.)

The Girl’s Girl

Wavy Talk Heated Brush | Babyfoot Peel | Heated Period Belt

She’s quick with a compliment and the first to offer a sip of her drink: she’s a GIRL’S GIRL. Maintain her locks with this affordable, uber-viral hot brush! (My hair has never gotten more compliments – full review here.) Skip the face mask grab bag in favor of this iconic foot peel! (If she likes popping zits, she’ll LOVE how gross this is. In the good way, obviously.) And honestly…everyone with a period should just have one of these cramp-relieving belts on hand, just in case. (Brenda grabbed me one in 2022 and I’m a huge fan.)

The Workaholic

Upgraded Keyboard | Multifunctional Charging | USB to iPhone 15 Cables

If they work with numbers, a keyboard with a dedicated number pad is an unexpected upgrade that’ll make daily life so much easier. This Courant charging pad will wirelessly charge their iPhone and AirPod (and it also includes a port to plug in their watch, too!). And if you’re upgrading to the iPhone 15 this holiday season (or if you’re planning to upgrade someone else in the fam), take it from experience – the world has not upgraded with you! Grab an extra USB-C to USB-A charger so you can still charge your new phone using the classic USB plug in the car, on airplanes, via your older desktop computer, with your old USB bricks, etc. It’s the little things!

The CleanTok Obsessive

Electric Spin Brush | Little Green Machine | 3-in-1 Vacuum/Mop Combo

If they spend their free time scrolling #cleantok, you can be sure that they’ll FREAK OUT over this very-famous spin brush. (Gotta admit – there is something very cathartic about watching folks scrub their showers and grout with one of these.) The Green Machine is a must-have for any pet owners and this new Tineco vacuum/mop will give them back hours of free time (it’s an especially brilliant gift for parents – read Arlyn’s review here and see Em’s vacuum in action here!).

The (Mostly) Responsible Car Owner

Portable Jump Starter | Portable Tire Air Compressor | Local Car Wash or Detail

Look – I get it! Car gifts aren’t sexy, immediately understood, or super thrilling to unbox! But let me be clear: when they’re alone and in a strange parking lot with a dead car or when they’re stranded miles from a gas station with a tire that’s basically empty, they will be ENDLESSLY THANKFUL. (No joke: that air compressor saved my life this year! And you can use it for bikes and basketballs, too!) Beyond that, give them the gift of a clean car from a local car wash or detailing pro – there’s nothing as relaxing as stepping back into a freshly vacuumed car, don’t you think?

The Decor Lover

Etsy Gift Card | Cheap Old Houses Book

Pro tip: you can’t go wrong with an Etsy gift card. They can pick something handmade, something custom, something vintage – it’s a really nice way to say, “I know that you have broad, discerning taste and I want you to be able to pick something you can’t find anywhere else.” A coffee table book is also a great idea (decor you can read? Brilliant.) and I think the Cheap Old Houses book is a great pick for this year – it just came out and features beautifully restored, architecturally-diverse homes. Super inspiring stuff!

The Frequent Flyer

Trtl Pillow | Airplane Footrest | In-Flight Wifi

The Trtl pillow is lightweight, easy-to-carry and provides great neck support; the airplane footrest is INCREDIBLE at giving some relief to sore legs during long-haul flights (it’s most recommended for folks 5’4″ and under, but I’m 5’8″ with shorter legs and it works for me – but you might want to skip this for any really tall folks). But the real coup here? IN-FLIGHT WIFI PASSES. They’re so expensive when you’re in the air ($10 for 30 minutes?!) and most folks don’t travel enough domestically to justify the enormous subscription price – grabbing a handful of passes for their airline of choice is such an underrated and thoughtful gesture! You can buy these for United, Alaska, and Air Canada flights via Wifi Onboard; other passes can be purchased directly from the airline (just google the airline’s name + “wifi pass” for details).

The Airport Dad

Packing Cubes | Toiletry Capsule System | TSA Pre, CLEAR, or Global Entry

Cue the Home Depot theme song: your Airport Dad friend is here! (You know the type – 4 hours early to the airport, preternaturally organized, carrying some sort of Mary Poppins-style magic bag that seemingly contains the contents of an entire local pharmacy, etc.) ANYWAY – treat that friend to some sweet packing cubes or some satisfying toiletry storage (Dennis gave me these a year and a half ago – they deserve all the hype and then some! So much better than bottles that take up way too much space). Alternatively, give them peace of mind by covering their fee for TSA PreCheck, Clear, or Global Entry. (Added bonus: many credit cards reimburse these charges, so it’s like a free gift!)

The Gamer

Twitch Gift Card | FC Points

If you’re loved one is obsessed with Twitch, a gift card will allow them to subscribe to their favorite streamers and it’ll unlock a few site-wide perks. More than that, though, I’d suggest some currency for their favorite video game – Dennis has been playing EA FC lately (translation: the soccer one – and with over 11 million players since its launch earlier this year, there’s a good chance that this idea might work for someone in your life, too!) so I’ve been eyeing some FC Points, which will (hopefully) help him achieve his in-game goals (unintentional pun). I’d like to think this idea is pretty nice 🙂 especially for folks who wouldn’t normally spend money on in-game purchases!

The City Dweller

Stair-Climbing Rolling Cart | Rattan Market Cart

There’s nothing I can say about these carts that hasn’t already been perfectly articulated by this tweet (I’ll wait). I’ll be singing the praises of the ultra-functional stair climbing cart until my last breath (Great for groceries! Laundry! Flea market runs! Taking my cans to the recycling!) but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t low-key (or, uh, high-key) obsessed with this chic wicker version. It’s got me HANKERING to get to my local farmer’s market for some organic produce, fresh flowers and crusty bread, you know?

The Master Chef

Adjustable Rolling Pin | Thoughtfully-Designed Apron | Ove Glove

If they know their way around the kitchen, why not give them a little upgrade? This rolling pin has silicone spacers so you can manage the thickness of any doughs or crusts; this timeless apron features built-in pot holders, extra long straps, and deep pockets; the Ove Glove is a recent recommendation from EHD MVD (most valuable dad, obviously) Les Bunge’s Father’s Day gift guide (and he knows what he’s talking about!).

The Microwave Maestro

Air Fryer Liners | Silicone Lids

This section is muuuuuch more my speed, TBH. I love these silicone inserts for the air fryer – they make cleanup a total breeze! And these silicone lids are AWESOME, too. Pop them on a bowl to keep microwave spills at bay; seal up any dishes in the fridge; keep food on the table warm – the possibilities are endless. (If there are out of stock – and they might be, because they’re that good! – here’s an affordable, highly-rated dupe.)

The Homebody

Ember Heated Mug | Doordash Gift Card | Slippers

A toasty drink, a meal on your couch from your favorite restaurant, and warm cozy feet? SIGN ME UP. The Ember is a classic (read Em’s review here!), and these Ugg Slippers are high-quality and obscenely comfortable. (If you’re a Gen Z parent, your kid may have requested the now sold-out Tasmans – these are the next best thing!) And I mean…the Doordash is self-explanatory, no? (PS. This is also my go-to gift for new parents.)

The Social Butterfly

Uber Gift Card | Lyft Gift Card

Do you know what your most extroverted friend actually needs? A BREAK from spending a ton of money on rides every month! Help them get to-and-from their many social obligations safely with an Uber or Lyft gift card (or both, honestly – they can pick whichever service is more affordable at the time so each gift will help them go a little farther, literally!).

The Media Mogul

YouTube Premium | Criterion Collection | Basic Streaming

I gotta recommend the YouTube Premium gift – that’s what I got for Dennis last year and he requested it again! The process is a little laborious (you need to buy them a Google Play gift card in the amount of a subscription – $140 – and it’ll take some effort for them to redeem it towards their YouTube subscription, but it’s worth it if they watch as many videos as my boyfriend does :)). The Criterion Collection is actually an idea I stole from Den’s current streaming services, too – he’s a big movie buff and I feel like I never see folks highlighting the Criterion Collection’s service! And of course, in a pinch, you can cover a year of their favorite streaming service (or maybe even gift them one they don’t have yet – I’d take a Paramount+ subscription since I think it’s the only one I’m missing!).

The Forever Forgetful

Airtags | Airtag Keychain

I ALMOST FORGOT. (Ironic.) Over the last few years, Airtags have proven themselves to be incredibly useful – you’ll never lose your luggage, your keys, or your wallet again! (Pro tip: include a keychain, like this one, so they don’t accidentally lose their Airtag. Take it from me, a woman who misplaced FOUR driver’s licenses in 2023. Us memory-challenged folk need all the help we can get.)

PHEW. Okay. What say you? Any other great recommendations? We’re all ears. xx

Opening Photo Credits: Photo by Kaitlin Green | From: The OFFICIAL First Farmhouse Christmas! (+ A Great Ribbon Hack And My Dream Color Palette)

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7 months ago

Charitable donations to a cause that’s near and dear to their hearts is always a go-to in my family!

7 months ago

I came here to comment on the delightful art that has accompanied the gift cards this season. Compliments to the artist for the whimsical addition to the photos ❤️

7 months ago
Reply to  Donna

* gift guides

7 months ago

I have a 20 year old daughter and a few of these are straight off her actual list. Great recommendations! I love that cramp belt. What a genius idea. Wish it had been around 30 years ago.

7 months ago

You’ve given me some great ideas for next year! I especially love in-flight WiFi passes, Uber gift cards, and Etsy plus I bought the silicone lids (the Amazon version) and I want the DoorDash gift card myself. Thanks for the good suggestions!

7 months ago

Emily posted in Stories that the blog was hacked. I’m so confused! Is it? Has there been an update on this?

7 months ago

I pride myself on finding practical gifts that I know my recipient will love. It is a gift I seem to have! I also love receiving practical gifts.

My birthday is in April. My favorite gift is to a nursery for a new bush, tree or, flowers for the year. My Mom does not ever disappoint. Every birthday, and for Christmas, I can rely on my gift cards. It has only taken my boyfriend almost 7 years to just get me a gift card. My mom has finally rubbed off on him. So for the gardener in your life, buy them a gift card to their favorite nursery. Trust me!

Shannon L.
7 months ago

A giftcard to their favorite hair/nail/spa salon! Also, experiences – my stepdad loves movie theater giftcards. My dad loves Lowe’s giftcards.

7 months ago

I always look forward to your (and Brenda’s!) practical gift recommendations. So helpful.

7 months ago

My boyfriend got a bunch of gift cards when he retired last year and all of them were a waste except the Barnes & Noble one, which he loved because he’s a book nerd. So my tip is to either know your recipient or go general with the gift cards (he got TWO Chipotle cards and he hates Mexican food).

Ruth Anne
7 months ago

I got that rattan market cart several years ago, and use it at the farmers’ market every summer. Numerous people stop me and ask where I got it. It lets me buy heavier/bulky things like squash and melons, and keeps berries from getting squished.

7 months ago

What’s the android option for airtags? Any suggestions?