15 Last-minute gift ideas for under $25

What do you do when you waited until the last minute to buy gifts for friends, neighbors, siblings and co-worker and blew most of your Christmas budget on that awesome new pair of Frye boots you just had to have? You grab a glass of wine or a cup of coffee, take a deep breath and kick back with these ideas.


Wine glasses $25

Wine glasses

Wine glasses are a perfect and most welcome last-minute gift at the holidays. Folks are stressed and frazzled from all the running around, baking, social commitments and impending family visits. They’re going to need a bit of the vino and they are going to need new, festive glasses to drink it out of. The best part of this gift? You can help break it in! These beauties from Pier 1 should do nicely.


Funny flask $20

Funny flask

We don’t want to beat the alcohol drum too loudly, but if you’re looking for the perfect girlfriend gift, look no further than a funny flask. Flasks are the perfect accessory for shopping trips, vacations, an afternoon hike and the soccer field. (We’re kidding about the last one. Kind of.) The “old enough to know better… too young to give a rat’s a**” slogan of this flask from Fridgedoor.com compliments friends of all ages.


Bacon book $20

Bacon book

If you meet someone who doesn’t like bacon, smile, shake their hand… and slowly walk away. You can’t trust someone who doesn’t like bacon. That’s why this book from Crate and Barrel that celebrates the bacon revival is a sure hit with anyone in your gift-receiving crowd.


Famous Dave’s gift pack $24

Famous Daves

Having a dude on your last-minute holiday list is enough to strike fear and panic in the calmest of hearts. Guys are so hard to buy for, even when you have several months to do it. If you only have several days or hours, well, then we’ve got a full-blown emergency on our hands. Relax and remember that every guy’s inner caveman fancies himself a griller of fine meats over an open flame in the great outdoors. That’s why this Famous Dave’s barbeque kit from Target will speak to any of the men on your holiday gift list.


Lighted cat chime button $19

Cat chime

Everyone has a crazy aunt who has about six too many cats. She’s the one who gives you a box of cookies that were proudly baked in her studio apartment in the Bronx and that are filled with cat hair. Her heart is in the right place (even if her head isn’t). Finding something that speaks to the quirky cat lady in your family (that she doesn’t already own) can be a challenge. That’s why we love True Value’s lighted cat doorbell button. It will go perfectly with your aunt’s doorbell that sounds like a house of meowing cats.


Funky jewelry $22

Funky jewelry

We’re going to step atop our soapbox for a moment and issue an impassioned plea. When you are holiday shopping this year, please remember to shop fair trade sites and stores. They are an absolute treasure chest of funky jewelry, excellent coffee, unique pottery and exquisite baskets. This gorgeous leather and beaded piece generates revenue for the reproductive health of women in Mali. Giving a friend a cool gift and helping the less fortunate are what the holidays are all about.


Red foil journal $19

Red foil journal

Can’t you just see grandchildren for generations to come opening this red foil journal with the utmost care and treasuring it for the stories it holds about those who came before them? Before you get too panicked about last-minute gift ideas, head online or hop in the car and visit your closest bookstore. There you will find oodles of great ideas from photography and funny books to journals and stationary that inspire the receiver’s creativity.


Wine bottle fur hat and shawl

Fur wine bottle wrap

It’s the holidays, so we can’t veer too far from the “eat, drink and be merry” portion of the season. How incredibly adorable is this festive wine-bottle packaging? Decorative wine bags are so last year. Not only is this a fun and sassy way to dress up your holiday spirits, at $7 you have plenty of money left over for a bottle of wine to put it on.


Lavender eye pillow $13

Lavender eye pillow

If you’ve ever been in a yoga class, you know how amazing lavender eye pillows are. They magically transport you from the most stressful of days to a place of serenity and relaxation. If the person you are giving this to has never used one, encourage her to gently press it over her eyes and forehead when she goes to bed that night. This gift will help her transition from frazzled to long winter nap in no time.


Owl bird feeder $11

Owl bird feeder

Owls are one of the few fads we loved the first time around and we love even more this time around. They are just so ridiculously cute. If you have a friend with a yard, this adorable owl bird feeder from Wild Birds Unlimited will bring the owner hours of enjoyment watching real feathered creatures swoop in to feast on this bountiful harvest. At a scant $11, these make the perfect gifts for neighbors and bird enthusiasts.


Fabulous scarf $18


Scarves aren’t hard to find this time of year, but attention-getting, show-stopping scarves are. We were shocked to find this gorgeous scarf at crackerbarrel.com. It comes in several colors and styles, and if the person on your list is more of a shawl kind of gal, Cracker Barrel has a stunning array of those for less than $25 too. Who knew?


Better Homes and Garden fleece blanket $16

Fleece blanket

While you are still recovering from the shock of finding such a great holiday gift at Cracker Barrel (of all places), we’re going to take your breath away again with the beautiful fleece throw blanket from the trusted folks at Better Homes and Gardens. Where do you find this little gem for just $16? Walmart. You read that correctly. We had to have one of these last year, and it has held up and washed well.


Owl tote bag $11

Owl tote bag

Please indulge us in one more owl idea. If the person on your last-minute gift list happens to be of the female persuasion, you can’t go wrong with a tote bag. They always fit, and we have a curious way of assigning bags for different uses. Your friend might be in need of a knitting bag, a snack bag for the kids’ soccer and mall outings, an overnight bag to stay at a friend’s or a reusable grocery bag. We found this one at zazzle.com for $11, which gives you a little extra money left over to fill it with other little treasures.


Sequined head wrap $19

Sequined head wrap

Knit headbands serve two cold-weather purposes — they cover your ears without messing up your hair and they are adorable. This last-minute holiday present and others like it can be found at Kohl’s for $19. This is the perfect cold-weather idea for the fashionista on your list.


Stress relief body wash and lotion $23

Stress relief body wash and lotion

The key to a successful last-minute gift idea is tapping into those universal certainties that affect all of us during the holidays. Anything that provides a little breathing room and stress relief from a busy time of year is sure to be a hit. Bath and Body’s Stress Relief body wash and lotion contain eucalyptus and spearmint, two fragrances that are known for their ability to transport us to places that have nothing to do with cookie exchanges and demanding mother-in-laws.

More on holiday shopping

Don’t forget the stocking stuffers
7 Shopping tips to reduce holiday stress
The kindness catalog


Comments are closed.