Ten Last-Minute Gift Ideas on a Budget

By Charlestien Harris

There’s nothing worse than realizing you forgot to buy a Christmas gift for someone on your list. But don’t feel bad – having to buy presents last minute is common, and happens to the best of us. 

Sometimes, we just miss the shipping deadline, or we might even unintentionally leave a name off that long gift list (and forgot to “check it twice”). No matter what situation you’ve found yourself in, these 10 quick-and-easy gift ideas definitely won’t break the bank!

Charlestien Harris
  1. A gift card to their favorite music streaming service. 

If you have a music lover on your list, this would be considered a perfect gift idea for them. A free month or more of their go-to music streaming service can prove to be just as thoughtful as a gift that’s purchased weeks in advance.

  1. Mason jar gifts are so much fun to assemble.  

You may be pleasantly surprised at what items will fit in a jar! Gather a bunch of small items – such as buttons, highlighter markers, travel-sized soaps, lotions, etc. – with a similar theme and color, put them all in a mason jar, add a handmade label, and your gift is ready to go! 

  1. A personalized coupon book is another great idea. 

This can be such a simple gift but is bound to be received with enthusiasm. Create a personalized coupon book and either give the gift of time or the gift of experiences. The possibilities really are endless. Some ideas: a 20-minute back rub, one prepared meal, an evening of babysitting, an afternoon of doing whatever you want, a trip to your favorite coffee shop, a night off from doing dishes, an offer to mow their lawn, etc.

  1. Homemade food items are almost always a hit.   

If you have some baking skills, put them to good use. Fresh-baked goods almost always make a great gift. The thought of you spending your personal time in the kitchen to create those tasty treats will be so appreciated – especially if the person receiving the gift does not bake or have the time to bake homemade goodies.

  1. A membership subscription to the MasterClass platform. 

For those of you that are unfamiliar with MasterClass, it is an e-learning platform that provides an array of classes taught by well-known celebrities and industry leaders. Users can find everything from television writing classes taught by Shonda Rhimes, a style lesson with Tan France, or a cooking class by Gordon Ramsay. The membership fee ranges from $15/month and higher depending on the services you are requesting. You don’t have to pay for a whole year, but maybe a month or two to get your gift started. The recipient may enjoy it so much they continue with the subscription! 

  1. Slippers are another great, inexpensive item.  

Slippers are a great gift for her, for him – for everyone. They are a practical choice that can also be chosen by theme (such as movie characters or sports teams) for a touch of personality. Slippers can be worn year-round, and offer the perfect level of comfort and protection when walking around the house.

  1. Give the gift of relaxation with bath bombs or salts.  

A bath bomb is a combination ball of carbonates and scents that is placed in bath water to dissolve and impart therapeutic properties to the water. They are often sold in a set, but are also sold separately. If you want to be really thrifty, you can buy a set and split it into individual gifts, or use them as stocking stuffers.

  1. Homemade Christmas ornaments can be sentimental, as well as personal.  

Create a lasting memory by collecting items that you can turn into a Christmas ornament – such as photos (old and new), pinecones, construction paper, old ribbon, small whatnots, and any item that reminds you of the person for whom you are making the ornament. Homemade items can sometimes be the most practical and economical gifts to give.

  1. Grab some tickets to a movie theater.   

There is bound to be a movie or two that your receiver has not seen or wants to see. Theaters are usually buzzing with new movies this time of year, so purchasing tickets in advance for an upcoming movie can be a smart move – especially if the movie is quite popular or there is limited seating at the theater. Maybe the recipient will even decide to take you along as a bonus!

  1. Give a Christmas-themed coffee mug filled with candy or a package of their favorite beverage mix.  

Sweets are always a treat, and can be an inexpensive way to brighten someone’s day. If they are diabetic or dieting, then look for candies and beverages that are sugar-free and low calorie. This simple gift can bring smiles and joy knowing that you were thinking about them during this holiday season.

These 10 last-minute gift ideas should help you to complete your list and stay within your holiday budget. Remember: It is not about how much you spend on a gift, but rather the thought that counts. 

For more information on this and other financial topics, please email me at Charlestien.Harris@banksouthern.com, or call me at 662-624-5776. You can also visit www.banksouthern.com/blog/ to read more tips and tricks to living a healthy financial life.  

Until next week – stay financially fit!

Charlestien Harris is a financial contributor to DeSoto County News. She is a financial expert with Southern Bancorp Community Partners whose articles are seen in a number of publications around the region. You’ll be seeing her columns weekly on the DeSoto County News website and our social media channels.

Bob Bakken

Bob Bakken is the most recognized and most trusted name in DeSoto County news and sports reporting, as readers continue to express their appreciation for his accuracy and fairness in the stories he writes. Bob provides content for DeSoto County News and occasionally is heard on the OB Pod podcast talking about area happenings. A former newspaper editor and writer, his award-winning background also includes television news producing, sports media relations, and radio broadcasting.