The Best Last-Minute Gifts, Because You Procrastinated Again This Year

Put down the elbow macaroni, hot glue, and “one free hug” coupon book—there’s still time for you to pick up a thoughtful, last-minute gift that doesn’t involve construction paper or figurative IOUs. We know you procrastinated (even though we totally warned you about supply chain issues), and we forgive you. Your friends, significant others, and family members, however… Well, they may not be so full of grace.  

The best last-minute gifts are the ones that show up on time. Don’t bother with murky delivery estimates and fine-printed guarantees from overseas sellers—even if you got someone the best gift ever, showing up empty-handed to the gift-swap is 1,000% not the move. Instead, play it safe and get someone a unique last-minute gift that doesn’t suck. None coming to mind? That’s where we come in. We’ve strung together a candy necklace of the best last-minute gifts that won’t break the bank (or your loved one’s heart) from celebrity Cameos, tie dye classes, and non-corny gift cards to wine subscription boxes and more.

A message from their favorite celeb

You can tell them how much they rock as much as you want, but it’ll never be as great as a personalized “you rock” message from their favorite celebrity. Perhaps they’re Wayne Knight stans, or maybe they’d love a shoutout from the Tommy Chong or Lindsay Lohan. 


Personalized Video From Wayne Knight


Personalized Video from Tommy Chong


Personalized Video From Lindsay Lohan

A gift they can guzzle

Because Uncle Sam can’t get his greedy, puritanical paws out of your hooch, you can’t make your own liquor at home in the States. Instead of trying your hand at an illegal home distillation setup, buy your giftee a nice bottle this holiday season. Whiskey is always a hit, but a unique amaro they haven’t tried yet is also a great gift. 

Amaro Nonino

Amaro Nonino Quintessentia

Wild Turkey

Wild Turkey Rare Breed

A present that keeps on giving

You know what’s better than ONE box full of something you really like and didn’t have to pay for yourself? Three, six, or 12 boxes stuffed with wondrous new possessions. Subscription boxes are a great way to pay it forward, literally, and these days there’s something for everyone, from the shameless gourmand to the skincare-obsessed hyaluronic acid addict. 


3-Month Wine Subscription


‘Home Alone’-Themed Dog Toy Box


Japanese Snack Subscription Box

Teach a friend to fish (or tie-dye) 

While there is certainly truth to the old adage that ignorance is bliss, education also has some positive gains, we guess. We can certainly say that about learning how to tie-dye your clothes, make killer cocktails, paint your masterpiece, or cook a bomb meal—all options if you gift one of Uncommon Goods’ “Experiences.” The lucky recipient will be mailed a kit with everything they need ahead of the virtual classes, which take place in January and February. Your friend or fam member can still partake in plenty of cool DIY experiences if you sign them up now, including a date night painting class, tarot card reading, astrology charting, the aforementioned tie-dye class, and more.

Uncommon Goods

Next-Level Tie Dye Class + DIY Kit

They watch a ton of MUNCHIES videos 

We love them. We are them. Our Place is one of our favorite kitchen gear retailers, from the brand’s super-popular Always Pan to aesthetically pleasing drinkware and ceramics. Plus, a gift card is a great move when you’re not sure what they’re in need of in the kitchen department—let them take their pick, because there are lots of crazy-cool color options. 

Our Place

Our Place Gift Card ($50)

Our Place

Drinking Glasses (Set of 4)

The gift of (plant) parenthood

Plants are a great gift, but it’s tough to gauge someone’s level of readiness when it comes to owning a photosynthesizing friend. Instead, get them a gift card to The Sill, one of our favorite plant purveyors. That way, if they’re not looking to get into a serious, committed relationship with, say, a large Croton, they can ease into plant parenthood with an easy-care variety

The Sill

The Sill Gift Card ($25)

The Sill

Xerographica Air Plant

Knowledge is power 

It’s also a choice last-minute holiday gift. Everyone can stand to learn a little more about pretty much everything, and a MasterClass is a great way to help further or kick start a new hobby. Do they like making their own sausage and smokin’ meats? Get them Aaron Franklin’s guide to barbecue. Is Dad finally ready to take his neighborhood garage band to the next level? Let Metallica show him and his beer-drinking buddies the ropes. 


Aaron Franklin Teaches Texas-Style BBQ


David Sedaris Teaches Storytelling and Humor


Spike Lee Teaches Independent Filmmaking

A streaming service that feels a little luxe

You know the type: They’re always asking you if you “saw the fights last night,” and can’t believe you didn’t wake up at an obscure hour to root for your favorite Premier League team. If your giftee is this person, they’ll love a ESPN+ subscription for streaming UFC Fight Nights, baseball, college basketball, soccer, golf, and more. 

ESPN+, $6.99/month

A Huckberry gift card for the aspiring outdoorsperson

There are a lot of reasons why we love Huckberry, with its smart synthesis of modern tech and style with rugged lumbersexual vibes. The site is full of genius gifts, but if you’re blanking on what to get or worried about shipping delays, go with a gift card; there’s truly something for everyone, from cozy workwear to camping gadgets.


Huckberry Gift Card ($50)

Here to save the day is…

…Nordstrom! There are still plenty of products from the department store—which has an ocean-vast selection of stuff—that will arrive before the holidays, and you can also spring for next-day shipping on a slew of items. Perhaps your significant other needs a new pair of gloves, or you really want to blow Grandma away with a sick candle this year. Add to cart, receive, gift. (You can also order online and pick up at your local Nordstrom brick and mortar store.)


Baies/Berries Candle

The North Face

Etip Salty Dog Knit Tech Gloves

Primed and ready to rock this holiday season

If there’s one thing that Amazon is good for, it’s shooting gifts from a cannon directly to your doorstep in a matter of days. If you’re browsing, just switch the little filter on the side of the page to “Prime Only” and peruse a seemingly endless string of gifts that will arrive in just a few short days. We’ve been eyeing cycling computers, mini Fujifilm cameras, and noise-canceling earbuds by Bose.  


Bose QuietComfort 45 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Ricoh Theta

SC2 Beige 360° Camera With 4K Video

Let there be luggage

Look for travel gifts for the perma-OOO friend? If you’ve got a feeling that they’re jonesing for some new bags or on-the-go accessories, an Away gift card is the move. Pick your denomination, and wish them bon voyage on their next getaway that’s lowkey making you super jealous.

A getaway for a special someone

Wuh oh; did you super screw up, and this person is a long-term boo who deserves something nice this year? Last-minute pro tip: Plan a special trip with them, whether that means a romantic weekend in a treehouse, a vibey voyage to Joshua Tree, or a cozy cabin upstate. When the gift exchange comes around, show them a photo of your destination, and wipe the sweat off your bro that you dodged looking like a low-effort jabroni.

See you next year, when you hopefully learn your gift-procrastinating lesson. (You won’t.)

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.  

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