Last-Minute Gifts: A Procrastinators Guide to Gift Giving

Christmas is almost here and, for all the procrastinators out there, this is the last weekend to buy gifts. Even if you’re on top of your gift giving game, it’s likely there’s still someone left on your Christmas list that you’ll need to come up with a last-minute gift for.

We’re still shopping around as well and want to give you our recommendations for the best places to look for those last-minute gifts. There’s also some do-it-yourself (DIY) ideas that show you care, but let you avoid the long lines and swarms of people at shopping centers. Make sure to check out some of the Stola team’s personal picks!


last minute gifts, gift giving

You can find a range of great gift items at Target®. This store has so much cute merchandise available you’ll be hard-pressed to buy only one item here. You can go to buy a last-minute gift and likely end up getting early Christmas presents for yourself as well.

From home goods to clothes and accessories to appliances and electronics, Target® can be a one-stop shop to meet your gift giving needs. And if you’re unsure what to get someone on your list, roaming around the aisles should help you find the perfect gift you never even knew existed.

Jessica’s* Last-Minute Gift Pick:

last minute gifts, gift giving

“My friend group and I are always complaining that we don’t take enough pictures. With this camera we can make instant memories together.”

Emma’s* Go-to Gift Picks: 

“When I can’t come up with anything to get someone, these are my go-to gifts. They’re fairly versatile and will work for most people.”

For Girls

last minute gifts, gift giving

For Guys:

last minute gifts, gift giving


Kaitlyn’s* Last-Minute Gift Pick:

last minute gifts, gift giving

“We played this game with a big group of friends and laughed so hard we were crying. This will be my go-to white elephant gift this year!”

TJ Maxx® 

last minute gifts, gift giving, fashion bag

If you’re looking for department store gifts but not department store prices, TJ Maxx® is where you should be shopping this holiday season. With merchandise availability constantly changing, this store always has new items. So, even if you visited the store earlier this month, you might find some new stock available leading up to Christmas.

There’s also an abundant stock of discount designer items rotating on the racks of TJ Maxx®. It’s a great option if you’re looking to buy some upscale gifts on a budget. Though there are toy and home décor sections, it’s probably better to search for fashion, accessory, and beauty gifts at this store.

Jessica’s Last-Minute Gift Pick:

last minute gift, giving gifts, Christmas

“My roommate basically collects make-up, so I thought this set would be perfect to add to her collection.”

Emma’s Go-to Gift Picks:

For Girls:

last minutes gifts, gift giving, Christmas 

For Guys:

last minute gifts, gift giving, Christmas

Kaitlyn’s Last-Minute Gift Pick:

last minute gifts, gift giving, Christmas

“I love to wrap gifts in cute gift boxes or bags and add details like bows or ornaments to dress it up. It always makes the gift look so nice, elevating the simplest of presents.”

Bed Bath & Beyond®

last minute gifts, gift giving, fashion bag

The “Beyond” is what you should really focus on when it comes to this store. Though they have some great gifts for bed and bath, the store has a plethora of other sections to shop from. This includes kitchen, decorations, home décor, toys, and even gifts for the book-lover friends in your life, like a whole section of Harry Potter collectibles.

Bed Bath & Beyond® has a range of unique gifts, including items you would never think existed but make life way easier, such as a grow your own vegetables/herb system or a revolving bottle dispenser to quickly add to your mixed drink. This is an excellent stop to find some cool, and useful, last-minute gifts. 

Jessica’s Last-Minute Gift Pick:

last minute gifts, gift giving, Christmas

“My mom loves snowmen—her favorite Christmas decoration—so I know she’ll love this!” 

Emma’s Go-to Gift Picks:

For Girls:

Last Minute Gift, gift giving, Christmas

For Guys 

Kaitlyn’s Last-Minute Gift Pick:

last minute gifts, gift giving

“I love using a diffuser in my house, so this is a gift that I like to share with others.”

DIY Gifts

DIY gifts are often more cherished than store bought ones. It allows your loved ones to proudly display a craft you made for them, enjoy some home baked goods, or be delighted at a thoughtful gift. We’ve come up with a few ideas for DIY gifts below and, though some still require store bought items, you can enjoy the leisure of dressing comfy while making these at home. 

Hand-Painted Frame

You can buy a plain wooden frame at a craft store, such as Michaels®, and decorate or hand-paint the frame however you like. Including a picture of yourself and the gift recipient inside the frame really adds a special touch to this DIY gift.

Christmas Cookies

Baked goods are a favorite, especially around the holiday season. Try this simple cookie recipe below to make a delicious gift for someone on your Christmas list. This is an especially good gift for that person who seems to have everything, or really doesn’t need any more material items.

Red Velvet Cookies w/ Green Frosting


1 box red velvet cake mix

3-4 large eggs

1 cup milk

6 tablespoons melted butter

1 cup powdered sugar


3 cups powdered sugar

5 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 ½ tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon green food coloring


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl stir together cake mix, milk, eggs, and butter.
  3. Roll the cookie dough into little balls, then roll them around in powdered sugar. Place 2-inches apart on a greased baking sheet.
  4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven.
  5. While the cookies are baking, begin making the frosting. Combine all of the frosting ingredients into a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Add more milk as necessary to make the frosting smooth, or more powdered sugar for thickness.
  6. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool, 15 to 20 minutes. When cool, frost the cookies.

The ingredients of these cookies will depend on the type of velvet cake mix you buy. Adding an extra egg and substituting water for milk and oil for melted butter really improves the taste, so I always do that for my recipes that use a box mix. To personalize this gift, buy a cute cookie tin to place the cookies in and wrap it with a festive ribbon. 

Hot Chocolate Kit

You can use either a mason jar or pastry bag to make this gift. Simply layer all the hot chocolate ingredients listed below to create a homemade hot chocolate kit. Then the recipient just has to combine it with hot milk or hot water to enjoy a steamy cup of this winter favorite. Include a handwritten recipe wrapped around the jar or tied to the bag to add a personal touch to this gift.


Handful of mini marshmallows

1 tablespoon stevia or confectioners’ sugar

3 tablespoons powdered milk

¼ cup of cocoa powder

DIY Gift Basket  

Rather than buying a pre-made gift basket for a hard-to-shop-for relative, buy a few different items you know they enjoy and combine them in a gift basket. You could create a basket that includes their favorite candy and drink, such as a bottle of wine or coffee grounds. Or maybe a basket with some of their go-to makeup products or ingredients to make their favorite food dish.

Making a gift basket from scratch allows you to get a few different items that you know the recipient will enjoy, instead of buying a pre-made one that might have only one or two things they like. You can just put everything in a basket and give it as is or wrap it and tie closed with a festive bow. You should include a handy list of all the items in the basket as well.

What will you choose?

Hopefully this list gives you some ideas of where to shop (or what to make) for those last-minute gifts! Whether you choose Target®, TJ Maxx®, Bed Bath & Beyond® or somewhere else, you should be able to find some useful and unique gifts for everyone on your list.

Or you could always go more sentimental with the DIY gift projects. Feel free to let us know in the comments of any great last-minute gifts you’ve made or bought this holiday season!

*Professionals at HMS Mfg. Co. for the Stola brand

Written and Published – Writer at HMS Mfg. Co. for the Stola™ brand

Copyright © 2018 by HMS Mfg. Co. All Rights Reserved.

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