Procrastination isn’t uncommon when it comes to holiday shopping. So if you find that it’s Christmas Eve and you don’t have a gift for your brother-in-law or for that old friend who you forgot to shop for, here are some last-minute gift ideas that could get you out of a bind. Next
A last-minute gift as tried-and-true as baked goods, homemade coupons can give you the opportunity to get creative and show the person how well you know him or her.
Give your new-parent friends the gift of a free night of babysitting, or your partner a coupon for a 30-minute massage. It can be as imaginative as you want it to be.
To jazz it up a little, print the coupons on high-resolution paper or laminate them. Next
Hot cocoa in a jar
A quick search of the Web will turn up plenty of easy recipes for make-your-own-cocoa that will make a great gift for any chocolate lover.
Simply fill a mason jar with layers of cocoa powder, sugar, espresso powder, powdered milk, chocolate chips, and salt and tie it with a colorful bow.
This can also work like a charm for various cookie recipes. Next
An ‘of the month’ club
For every vice someone has, there is likely to be an “of the month” club made just for them to indulge in their obsession of choice every few weeks. There are always the old fallbacks on beer- and cheese-of-the-month clubs, but here are a few less predictable suggestions:
The Pig Next Door delivers artisan bacon to your door every month. A six-month package is $185.
Craft Coffee will send you beans from three different roasters for $20 a month for 12 months.
The Put This On Gentlemen’s Association will send your sartorial friend a pocket square each month. It’s $147 for 6 months.
Chocolate or cupcake crawl
Most everyone loves sweets, so buy a ticket for a chocolate or cupcake crawl to gift. Boston Chocolate Tours, which advertises its “always open” box office online allowing you to buy a gift certificate for the tours up to the last minute. Prices range from $48 to $88.
Shown: Oreos from Flour Bakery + Cafe Next
It may not be a golden facial from a high-end hotel, but if you are in a pinch, just swing by the grocery store or a local convenience store and buy some beauty supplies—like facial cream, lotions, or masks. Throw in nail clippers and a file, polish, remover, and chapstick and put them into a basket or other container with a bow and you are good to go. You could also put together different products from a certain brand, like Burt’s Bees, to make it look more planned out. A good addition would be a gift card for a massage or professional manicure, which can often be bought at a site like Groupon or LivingSocial. Next
Concert or sports tickets
Tickets aren’t too expensive when they are bought far enough in advance, and the further ahead you buy them, the better someone can clear their schedule. Just print them out, stick ’em in a card, and try to make it in time for dinner. Next
If you know someone who likes to cook, hit up your local grocery store and buy some nice spices, perhaps even a spice rack to keep them in. The spices can go into a nice bag with tissue paper, and the spice rack can stand alone with a bow. Next
Donate to a charity
Know someone who already has it all so you put off buying their gift to the last minute? Make a donation to a cause that is dear to their heart, and be sure to put it in their name. It will be more meaningful and can be pulled off very quickly, since a lot of charities accept monetary donations online. Click here for a list of local charities.
Shown: Vincent Balich, 4, and his sister, Alana, 2, put money into the Salvation Army kettle in LaPorte, Ind. Next
For the person who only needs some time or an extra hand, Boston is one of the few areas that has access to TaskRabbit, a company that hires people to run errands. You can buy a gift certificate for the local service and they can get help with cleaning, pet -sitting, or hire an extra hand for events. Next
Whether they are interested in sports, fashion, news, beer, or robotics, there is a magazine out there for everyone. Subscriptions can be bought easily online on websites like Amazon.com, or if the person has an e-reader, you can sent it straight to their device. Next
Obstacle course, race registration
Extreme obstacle courses have been surging over the past couple of years. The two main courses are Tough Mudder and the Spartan Race, and registration costs can be a little pricey, though worth it. You could also register for a more traditional road race. Either option can be a great motivator for someone looking to lose weight or exercise more, especially if you plan to do it together.
Shown: Participants go through the Mud Mile obstacle in the Tough Mudder event at Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. Next
If you’re looking for one of the most practical gifts out there, check out Manpacks. Depending on what kind of guy you are shopping for, you can order a gift pack that includes a different combination of boxers, socks, t-shirts, and other basic manly products to help get them through the day. You could also put together your own version of it by visiting any department store and then putting together a colorful explanatory card. Back to the beginning
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