Gift Guide #7: (Thoughtful) Last-Minute Gifts

Oh shit, the party is TOMORROW?!

Last Minute Holiday Gifts | APW

Houndstooth Slanket ($29.99)

If there is a celebration that requires gift-giving, I will most definitely be in a store twenty minutes before it’s set to start, purchasing last minute gifts. This is my truth. It’s not that I don’t appreciate putting thought and effort into gift-giving; I just usually put more energy into the planning aspect of the present than into the execution part, and the next thing I know, it’s party day and I’m empty handed. But just because you’re giving last-minute gifts, it doesn’t mean you have to give thoughtless ones (it wounds my pride when I buckle and give a gift card). So today we’ve put together an assortment of last-minute gifts, all of which are either available with free two-day shipping from Amazon Prime or from a major national retailer that more likely than not exists nearby or at your closest mall (I live on a farm; the closest stores to me are Target, Walmart, and three more of each in the opposite direction). ONE A butter crock is the one kitchen item everybody needs and nobody knows exists (and you’re pretty much guaranteed that your recipient doesn’t have one already). It keeps your butter soft on the countertop! In pretty stoneware! Why don’t you have one already? Oh, because I wasn’t invited to your holiday party, that’s why. ($34.95)

TWO One year, I spent three months sourcing vintage decanters to give to a friend for Christmas (she eventually received that present in March, I think). Turns out you can buy pretty etched crystal ones on Amazon for $30. Who knew? ($30.99) Or if there’s simply no time to bother with shipping, head to your local mall and get one engraved at Things Remembered (bonus points for clever personalization). ($35)

THREE Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch, and Irish Whiskey. For your most badass of lady friends. ($17.04) Paired with an equally badass set of old fashioned glasses like these ($45.88), these ($79.95), or my personal favorites ($29.99).

FOUR This tray has foxes for handles. I’m assuming you need it. ($29.99) ONE Leather touchscreen gloves are for taking selfies when it’s freezing outside (the cold air makes my cheeks look rosy, you can’t blame a girl.) ($20.25)

TWO On the lazy scale, subscriptions fall somewhere between an actual gift and a gift card. Pair three months of Audible ($45) or Hulu ($23.97) with a Slanket (scientifically proven to be more awesome than the Snuggie) in their favorite color.

THREE Cards Against Humanity. For the friends with the most twisted sense of humor. ($25 for the original; $10 for each expansion pack)

FOUR Green soldier book ends or Nerf gun ($19.99), because you’re never too old.

FIVE Hyperbole and a Halfthe book. ($10.79) (Editors Note: Seriously, this is my book of the year; it’s HILARIOUS. – Lucy)
ONE Babies like to put earrings and necklaces in their mouths, but that shouldn’t forbid you from getting to wear colorful jewelry. Kate Spade bangle in “Gild The Lily.” ($32)

TWO A good travel mug, for running to and from daycare. Because, caffeine. ($30.21)

THREE A book that’s easy to read. (This one was written by Meg’s first cousin once removed out-of-law, a smart feminist who happens to be a best selling author in the UK. She has lots to say about how women’s commercial fiction should be taken as seriously as men’s commercial fiction, FFS.) Just because they’re too tired to make it through a book that won a Pulitzer shouldn’t mean they’re confined to US Weekly.

FOUR A subscription to Piccolo, which pulls your Instagram and Facebook photos and then mails you the prints each month. For obvious reasons. ($36)

FIVE A gift certificate to Artifact Uprising or Pinhole Press, because you’re an enabler and you know they are just looking for an excuse to make a puzzle out of their baby’s face.

Six A few hours of babysitting, so they can go to a movie, or get a drink. Because it’s all they really want, and they are probably not going to ask.

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  • We got Cards Against Humanity as a wedding gift. We played it at our after-party, which was downright awesome. My parents and our officiant had some of the BEST (meaning: worst) combinations. I laughed so hard I cried that night, and it’s quickly become our most-shared wedding gift ever.

    • I LOVE cards against humanity! It’s like “apples to apples,” but specifically made for that one person who’s the instigator in the group.

      • Oh yes. my parents LOVED it.

        • My partner and I bring it, and alllll the expansion packs, to every social gather. I played it with my mom for the first time and ended up having to explain to her what “pixelated bukake” was.

    • can you play it just the two of you? i’ve already committed to the gift, but if not apparently I’ve also committed to a project of getting friends together. (or making new ones?!)

      • It’s more of a group game, which is great when you have friends over for dinner – we have played through the whole box plus the christmas expansion pack with friends.

    • Anna

      Okay, that is a great idea! I’m not going to risk the game not being gifted; I’ll buy it especially for that purpose! ;)

      I agree, the side-splitting laughter is the greatest part of CAH!

      • It is! It gets more fun, I think, the more you play it, because then you figure out your trump cards – which seem to change from group to group.

  • Amy

    Dear Mister: When you see this comment after I send you this list, because I know how you are and I love you anyway — I’d like the gloves, please.

    • YetAntherMegan

      LOL I’m trying to figure out how to accomplish the same goal

  • Gina

    A plug for the Zojirushi thermos, and a warning. This is the best thermos ever. It kept coffee *hot* at -15 degrees for 8 hours when I was backcountry skiing last month.

    Warning: It will be just as hot when you drink it as when you put it in. Don’t gulp.

  • These are great gifts! I actually have that butter crock and it IS pretty awesome!

    I just purchased Eric’s Christmas gift, pretty last-minute because I honestly didn’t know what to get him. I’m pretty excited about the Spotify gift card as a stocking stuffer. Might have to add Cards Against Humanity as well…

  • SamiSidewinder

    Want EVERYTHING from the first section, most of the things from the second (that I don’t already own) and Maddie, will you pu-leaze come to my holiday party?!

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Yes. Duh. :)

  • Kayjayoh

    I love my butter crock. You need to remember to change the water, though. If you forget and don’t use butter for a couple of days, you are in sad town.

    • MisterEHolmes

      Explain why I want to keep butter on my counter, please?

      • Kayjayoh

        Perfect spreadable butter, rather than rock solid. The water keeps it from going racid at room temp.

        YMMV if you live somewhere super hot.

        • MisterEHolmes

          Oh, okay then. Hot Texas = just buy spreadable butter. Drat. I was all excited, too.

          • Kayjayoh

            In Wisconsin, there is maybe one week or two out of the year that it is too hot for the butter crock.

          • Kayjayoh

            And in Soviet Russia, butter crocks you…

    • I have had my butter crock for several years and…have never put water in it. Where does it go? What does it do?

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        The water creates the seal! It makes the whole thing airtight so you can keep the butter on your counter without any air getting to it and spoiling it.

      • Kayjayoh

        Ah. Specifically, it’s called a “French butter dish”.

    • My grandma introduced me to the fabulosity that is butter bells (or crocks). I scored mine for $10 at a local kitchen goods store. It’s one of those things you don’t think to buy but if someone gives it to you, you never forget it.

      • Kayjayoh

        I don’t quite remember where I first heard of them, but once I did, I was determined to find one in the kitchen goods section of my local thrift shop. Took a couple of months, but I did.

  • I was planning to shoot pictures of my nephews a few days before christmas, edit them, print them, and frame them to give to my sister in law and her husband. I might do that, but millage varies greatly on getting little boys to sit still, even when their auntie knows lots about spiderman and batman (and wonder woman! These boys need diversity!!!)

    Just in case I attempt this and decide we’d all be better off with a nap, I’m getting them a gift subscription to Piccalo. Maddie, you’re gift guide is my favorite.

    Also, now I want to a. Have a holiday party b. Invite you and c. Buy myself a butter crock.

    • Ok, Piccalo sounds like a great gift, but I think I had to plan farther in advance. :( They don’t offer the option to print or email a card (who DOES that???!!! $10 to ship just a card, and it takes over 8 days to get there?), so you have to have it shipped, and it still hasn’t come in time for Christmas. Bummer!!!!

  • Oh, and a great gift for the comic book nerds of the nerds out there, DC Comics makes an amazing hardcover encyclopedia that’s $31.50 on amazon.

  • Emma Klues

    I really want the nerf gun but I think maybe it got dropped from the list/links? Obviously I can search Amazon but I also thought I’d give a shout out. It’s a BRILLIANT idea.

  • Ashley

    Ladies, y’all are wonderful. Yours are the only gift guides that don’t make me go “have you met people, ever?”

  • lady brett

    oh! thank you for reminding me about the hyperbole and a half book! i wanted to get it for my mom, but had forgotten (we are in weird holiday limbo where we don’t know whether of not the kids will still be here for x-mas, so in the process of not being sure what to do about their stuff, have completely forgotten to buy gifts for *anyone*.)

  • The slanket/snuggie is also excellent for the road tripper. The cold person gets to stay warm without their back getting overheated and keeps your legs covered without having a blanket slide off your lap.

  • Lacie Webb

    HEY GUYS. IT WOULD REALLY MEAN A TON TO ME IF YOU COULD GO LIKE A STRANGER’S (ME) WEDDING PHOTO. My husband and I are in our wedding photographer’s photo contest and we need all the help we can get. THANK YOU SO MUCH!