The best last-minute gifts that should arrive in time for the holidays

The holidays can be a hectic time, which means one or two people on your shopping list may have slipped your mind. Fortunately, there are plenty of thoughtful gift ideas that won’t leave them feeling like you just threw something together at the last second. Many brands will even list a cutoff date on their site for when to place orders and have them arrive in time for the holidays. To help you find the perfect last-minute gift for anyone on your list, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ideas that should arrive in time for the holidays.

Best last-minute gifts in 2023

To help you find the best last-minute gifts for your loved ones, we rounded up ideas across categories like skin care, tech, home and more from NBC Select reader-favorite brands. We also listed ideas that our NBC Select staff have tried and loved. We narrowed down our picks below to only products that have fast, expedited or overnight shipping (some with an added fee), or subscriptions and gift cards your loved one can receive at any time.

Best last-minute gift cards and subscriptions

MasterClass Annual Membership

If your giftee wants to learn more about cooking, acting, writing, photography and beyond, a yearlong MasterClass membership can be a great way to heighten their knowledge. Designed for people of all skill levels, this streaming platform offers hundreds of video lessons taught by more than 180 pros. Each class includes 20 video lessons that average about 10 minutes and a workbook to track your progress. Lessons can also be watched from a smartphone, personal computer, Apple TV and FireTV streaming media players, MasterClass says. Right now and for a limited time, MasterClass is offering two memberships for the price of one.

Hand & Stone Gift Card

Who wouldn’t welcome a relaxing spa experience dedicated to improving their well-being? Hand & Stone offers facials, massages, Cryoskin and hair-removal services at over 600 locations across the U.S. and Canada, and they’re open seven days a week. Gift cards can be ordered online through the Hand & Stone website and sent the same day.

Book of the Month Subscription Box

For the bibliophile in your life, a Book of the Month subscription can ensure they have a new book to dive into each month. You can choose from three subscription plans to gift: A three-book, six-book or 12-book membership that delivers a monthly book directly to your giftee. They’ll be able to choose from up to seven new book titles every month and select their favorite to receive.

The Table Less Traveled Virtual Cooking Classes

This virtual cooking class can help your giftee learn new culinary skills while in the comfort of their home. The Table Less Traveled offers small classes of up to 15 people taught by chefs around the world, and you can interact with the instructors and ask them questions throughout the class, according to the service. If you aren’t sure which class will work with their schedule, you can buy them a gift certificate to redeem later.

Fly By Jing Gift Card

If your favorite person is a fan of delicious flavors with a kick, consider giving them a gift card to one of our favorite AAPI-owned businesses. Known for its bestselling Sichuan Chili Crisp, Fly By Jing offers a variety of sauces inspired by Chinese flavors, as well as gift sets and pantry essentials.

BloomsyBox Bloomsy Original

BloomsyBox sends monthly blooms straight to your loved one’s door. The Bloomsy Original monthly plan delivers a hand-tied bouquet of 22 to 24 stems of seasonal flowers and arrives within five days of being picked, ensuring they’re fresh, according to the brand. The box also comes with plant food and an informational card. You can choose the month-to-month plan or a three-, six- or 12-month prepaid plan.

Stitch Fix Gift Card

Stitch Fix is an NBC Select editor-favorite personal styling service that lets your giftee receive clothes and accessories tailored to their specific style preferences and taste. They can choose to receive a box every 2-3 weeks, every month, every other month or every three months. You can load up the gift card with amounts ranging from $20 to $1,000. The service offers clothes in sizes XXS to XXL and in maternity, petite and plus sizing.

Best last-minute food and drink gifts

Baked by Melissa Holiday Cheer Cupcakes

Baked by Melissa cupcakes are my go-to treat to send during a special occasion or holiday — they’re adorably bite-sized, beautifully crafted and delicious. The Holiday Cheer sampler comes with 25 cupcakes in four of the brand’s most popular holiday flavors: Christmas Sugar Cookie, Vanilla Fluff, Snowcap and Brookie (which is stuffed with cookie dough and topped with a blondie and nonpareils).

Bean Box Deluxe Coffee + Chocolate Tasting Box

For your coffee-obsessed loved ones, this gift set comes with eight bags of either whole bean or freshly ground coffee, along with eight chocolate bars to pair them with and tasting notes for each pairing. The 1.8-ounce bags of coffee in this box come from independent roasters across the country, according to Bean Box. If you’re looking to give a monthly subscription of coffee, Bean Box also has a couple of subscription plans to choose from.

The Sip The Classic Box

One of our favorite Black-owned businesses, The Sip offers several curated gift boxes to help your giftee try new wines and champagnes. The brand’s Classic Box comes with three 187-milliliter bottles of champagne, as well as your choice of a champagne flute or sip shooter glass. If you’re not sure what their favorite type of drink is, you can also give them a monthly membership for three, six or 12 months.

Boarderie Cheese & Charcuterie Board

There are few things better than a delicious charcuterie spread delivered right to their door. This Boarderie option comes with a variety of meats and cheeses in three spread sizes: small (serves up to three people), medium (serves up to five people) and large (serves up to 10 people). The small box includes 17 artisan cheeses, meats, dried fruit, chocolates, nuts and olives, along with a box of rosemary and olive oil crackers. Each spread comes with an acacia wood serving board and a bamboo cutlery kit for serving.

Best last-minute home and kitchen gifts

Urban Stems The Tinsel

Spruce up your loved ones table decor with this winter-inspired bouquet that includes roses, delphinium, thistle, mums, poms and greenery. It does not come with a vase, but you can purchase one for an additional fee. Urban Stems offers next-day delivery on most orders placed before 3 p.m. ET, as well as same-day delivery in select cities.

Threshold Oversized Primalush Throw Blanket

To help loved ones cozy up during the colder months, consider gifting this oversized throw blanket. A Select staff-favorite sleep accessory, the blanket is made from a soft and plush polyester material and comes in several colors. It’s also machine-washable for easy cleaning.

Dado 8-Inch Disco Ball Planter

For those who are fond of indoor plants, this disco ball pot comes with a chain and can be hung up around their home. Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin bought this planter for her apartment and said it’s one of her favorite pieces of home decor. Each planter also comes with a personalized note that tells you who packed it, according to the brand.

Yeti Rambler 14-oz Mug

Yeti makes some of our favorite tumblers, and this travel mug from the brand is great for anyone to use at home or take on the go. It’s vacuum-insulated, so it’ll keep your giftee’s drinks and food hot or chilled for hours, and the sliding lid uses magnets to keep your drink from spilling and prevent heat or cold from escaping, according to the brand. The mug is also dishwasher-safe and has a carry handle.

Baisite Paint by Numbers Kit

Paint by Numbers is exactly what its name suggests: The picture is divided into numbered sections that correspond with specific paint colors, so you can create a beautiful painting without needing to put in as much of the effort. You can choose from over a dozen canvas designs, and each comes with a kit of three different-sized paintbrushes to fill in both big and small areas.

Williams Sonoma S’mores Maker

A great gift for the colder months, this portable s’mores maker comes with a stainless-steel fuel can, a grill top and four roasting sticks to toast marshmallows. They can store all of their favorite s’mores ingredients, including chocolate and graham crackers, on the included ceramic tray, which has dips along the sides to store different types of ingredients.

Birthdate Candle

Give a personalized gift with this Birthdate Candle, which has a scent crafted uniquely for their birthday. Made from a natural soy and coconut wax blend, the candle has a burn time of up to 80 hours and comes in a reusable glass container. The container also includes a personalized horoscope for the upcoming year and information about their star sign.

Hues & Cues Game

This board game, designed for up to 10 players, tests their color knowledge and guessing skills. Players must guess one specific hue from a board of over 480 colors based on one or two word cues. The closer the guess, the more points players earn.

Brightland The Artist Capsule

Brightland’s The Artist Capsule includes four infused cold-pressed olive oils: Ardor (infused with red chili peppers, jalapeño peppers, chipotle peppers and paprika), Rosette (infused with garlic), Lucid (infused with lemon) and Arise (infused with basil). Each olive oil is packaged in a 375-milliliter fully-recyclable glass bottle that has been UV-coated to protect the olive oil from damaging light, according to the brand.

Sur La Table Gold Rim Coupe Glasses

For the gift recipient who loves entertaining during the holidays, consider these coupe glasses to up their hosting game. They come in a set of four and have a gold rim to add an elegant touch. You can also purchase a single glass.

Dash Mini Maker Waffle Maker + Griddle

This waffle maker and griddle combo pack lets you make a variety of breakfast foods that go beyond waffles, including pancakes, hash browns and eggs. Each device weighs about 1 pound and has a nonstick surface. They both also have indicator lights to notify you when they’re hot enough to start cooking, according to the brand.

Lodge 6-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

For the giftee who loves to cook, this Lodge 6-quart Dutch oven is made of durable cast iron with a chip-resistant, porcelain-enamel finish, according to the brand. It’s a more affordable alternative to the popular Le Creuset Dutch oven and great for braising meats and keeping the heat and liquids in, experts told us. This Dutch oven comes in a variety of colors, including Desert Sage and Blue.

Best last-minute beauty and wellness gifts

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Several Select staffers are fans of this Laneige lip mask for its sweet scent and hydrating formula, which is great for dry, chapped lips in the winter. This lip mask comes in scents like Vanilla and Peppermint.

Bala Bangles

If your recipient is a fan of Pilates-based workouts, Bala Bangles are one of our favorite ankle and wrist weights. These come in 1-pound or 2-pound options and can be easily secured to wrists or ankles with velcro, which creates a tight yet comfortable fit, experts told us.

Vitruvi Stone Diffuser

The Vitruvi Stone Diffuser is a Select staff favorite due to its sleek, ceramic design. The diffuser disperses an essential oil-infused mist in rooms up to 500 square feet and has a 7-hour runtime when used intermittently (or three hours straight), according to the brand. You can purchase a variety of essential oils from the brand’s site, but Vitruvi says you can also use any 100 percent pure essential oil with the device.

Best last-minute tech gifts

Anker Soundcore 2

If your giftee likes to bring their music wherever they go, the Anker Soundcore 2 is one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers for its portability and great sound quality — it’s my personal favorite accessory to take to outdoor picnics and parties. The speaker is also water resistant and has physical touch controls up top to play/pause music. 

Kodak Step Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer

This mini printer lets you print pictures directly from your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth, according to the brand. It’s small enough to bring on the go, has a rechargeable battery and prints 2-inch by 3-inch photos using Kodak’s Zink photo paper that has a sticky back. You can also use the Kodak mobile app to create collages, use filters, personalize photos and more.

Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 1 for iPhone 14

Smartish’s wallet case can hold cash and up to three cards, and it includes a built-in spring to ensure items are kept secure, according to the brand. This 2-in-1 wallet phone case is a Select staff favorite since it can help cut down on what you need to grab when you’re running out the door.

Beats Studio Buds

The Beats Studio Buds offer both active noise cancellation and a “transparency mode,” which lets in ambient sound when you need it. The earbuds can provide up to eight hours of listening time on a single charge (up to 24 hours when combined with the charging case), and they’re both sweat- and water-resistant, according to the brand. You can also use the on-ear controls to answer calls, play music, enable voice controls and more.

Why trust Select?

Mili Godio is an updates editor at Select who has rounded up gifts for a variety of loved ones, including dads, moms and sisters. For this guide, Godio researched dozens of products on the market and compiled highly rated and Select staff-favorite gifts that have fast shipping.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

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