For me, the best solution to a last-minute gift dilemma is to fire up my laptop and shop online. If something’s last-minute it means I forgot or ran out of time, which means a trip to the store for this one thing isn’t convenient. The good news is, it’s 2022 and overnight shipping is almost ubiquitous — especially if you’re willing to pay for it. So, whether you’re jumping online or in your car, here’s a handy little round-up of ideas that are so brilliant they’ll look anything but last-minute. Now you can make it look like you’d planned to give Aunt Bonnie that coffee mug all along!

For adults:

The best last-minute gift is one that doesn’t require shipping or pick up and lands straight in the recipient’s inbox, allowing him or her to choose exactly what they want. Gifters can easily purchase gift cards to hundreds of brands, restaurants, and retailers directly from their site, or through Amazon or

Subscription boxes are fun to receive and unbox, and all you need to present to your recipient at the time of gifting is proof of purchase and maybe a small token item in keeping with the theme of the box (because presentation matters.) Crate joy, a one-stop online shop for gifts and subscriptions (including those from female and BIPOC-owned businesses), caters to a variety of ages, themes and interests including self-care, wellness, family fun, cocktails, food, books, and date nights.

Home goods and furnishings retailer Wayfair offers fast 2-day shipping on thousands of items, and free shipping within the US for orders $35+. Shopping for someone who recently moved, renovated, or updated their space? Check out Wayfair’s selection of bar accessories, décor and pillows, small kitchen appliances, and pet accessories. Whatever it is you’re after, Wayfair has you covered with incredible selection and the promise of timely arrivals.

For *just* $20, Nordstrom will ship your purchase the next business day if you order by noon ET, meaning you can go ahead and splurge on that Nest candle for your sister, the Stanley insulated travel tumbler for your hubby, or the UGG slingbacks your bestie has been eyeing since 2020. Not in a rush? Order by 8 pm ET on December 17 and choose FREE standard shipping at check-out.

You probably don’t need us to tell you this but Target not only has, well, everything, but it also offers free 2-day shipping on purchases of $35 or more, or purchases made with your beloved red card. This year we’re loving the Mr. Coffee iced coffee maker with reusable tumbler (for under $35!), this awesome collection of holiday family pajamas (starting at just $7), and—for the person who always wants to borrow your charger—a variety of Apple Tech accessories that will never go unappreciated. Download the Target app to purchase online and take advantage of fast shipping or in-store pick-up to avoid the lines and crowds.

If you had every intention of finding not only the perfect gift, but the perfectly unique gift, a stroll down the virtual aisles of uncommon goods is a must. Not only do they carry a nearly unparalleled collection of gadgets, décor, and must-haves for all ages, but you’ll also find a wide range of edible delights that are perfect for the foodie and/or the perpetual host or hostess. Expedited 1–2-day shipping will run you $19.95 but it’s worth it if you know someone who’d absolutely love a Whiskey-making kit, these gorgeous (and delicious) mimosa sugar cubes, or these gourmet, Belgian chocolate peanut butter cups.

For Kids and Teens:

Experiences make a great gift, especially for busy kids who like to get out and explore the world. And best of all, experiences don’t clutter up the toy box or family room. For the kid(s) on your list, consider a ticket, day pass or membership to your local zoo, amusement or water park, art gallery, museum, theatre, restaurant, or sporting event.

For the cooler-than-you’ll-ever-be teen or tween, Urban Outfitters is THE place to shop. Bonus #1: there’s always tons of stuff on sale. Bonus #2: Hail Mary 1-2 business day shipping is available for a whopping $24.95 (consider it an investment in never making that mistake again.) For the hard to buy for teen or tween, UO’s Top 50 Gifts list includes a remote sun projector (for the perfect moody selfie, obviously); this Girls Do Everything Better baby tee (available in 3 colours, sizes XS-L), and this disco ball light-up wireless speaker for in-room dance parties.

For the nature and animal lover, a symbolic adoption from the World Wildlife Fund means support for more than 100 species. Each “adoption” includes a certificate that’s emailed right away and a plush replica that’s sent by mail. If you’re outside the WWF shipping cut-off (Dec 14 for delivery by Dec 24), print or forward the certificate, then surprise your recipient with the toy when it arrives.

When you think of Best Buy you probably think of middle-aged men wandering aimlessly, but the retailer’s terrific free next day delivery option makes it a great spot to shop for last minute gifts. Whether your recipient is into plush toys, collectibles, STEM and educational toys, trading cards, LEGO and building toys you’re likely to find something at Best Buy.

I might be projecting here, but I think an Etsy gift card is a pretty great gift, especially considering all the amazing shops for kids on the site, including kid-owned Zandra Beauty, (plant-based skin care in dynamic, self-affirming packaging); countless slime and foam shops, personally engraved baseballs, and so much more. Support a small business and let your recipient select something s/he couldn’t find anywhere else. Win win!

Subscription boxes aren’t just for adults! To give the gift that keeps on giving (and might end up on TikTok), consider Bookroo’s Tween Book Club Box for kids 7-10 and 9-12;  The Kids Craft, a monthly DIY craft box for kids 3-9; Little Feminist, a female-owned company that curates inclusive stories by LGBTQI  and POC writers; and Brick Loot featuring LEGO bricks, sets and minifigures.

And don’t forget the labels to help them keep track of all their new stuff! Mabel’s Labels has FREE Shipping, always! From now until Dec 16th you can get a FREE SHIPPING UPGRADE!



Jen Millard is a writer who's not afraid to say what everyone else is thinking about parenting and relationships. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram via @jennemillard or at

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