Thursday, June 13, 2024

Sidelines Guidelines: Last-minute gift guide


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Photo courtesy of Flickr

Story by Wendy Anderson / Contributing Writer

Christmas — otherwise known as the procrastinator’s arch nemesis — is right around the corner, and the window for getting gifts is quickly closing. You can deny it all you want, but you know you’re running out of time and are dangerously close to just handing out gift cards again. Well, have no fear because here is a last-minute gift guide that’s foolproof and will help you navigate last-minute christmas shopping like a pro.

Coffee or tea package

If you know someone who lives off of coffee or tea, it’s really simple to snatch a gift that appears as though you put a lot of thought into it, when really it took no time at all. Start off by finding either a cup or travel mug, and make sure to have fun with this step. If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can find a blank mug and paint it yourself. You could also get a Custom Mug With Text And Dogs if you wanted to add a personal touch to their gift. Everyone loves receiving personalized gifts so this might be something for you to consider.

Next, grab a bag of coffee or a box of tea. If you know their favorite kind, great. If not, everyone loves a good assortment. Then, add something a little extra, such as coffee creamer, tea leaf strainer, a cute stirring spoon or maybe even some Baileys Irish whiskey if they’re the fun friend or family member. You could even go that one step further and Pre-Order Baileys Red Velvet Cupcake if you wanted to. Finally, toss it all in a bag, stuff it with tissue paper and slap a label on it. Voila! The perfect gift for any coffee or tea lover.

Massage or spa gift certificate

The secret to good gift-giving isn’t just finding what someone likes and sticking to it, it’s also knowing what they want but would never buy for themselves. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be something huge and expensive.

We all know someone who works hard and could use a few hours of pure relaxation. What better way to reward them than by gifting a free massage or spa gift card. You may be thinking, “Do I look like Richie Rich? There’s no way I have money for that.” Well, don’t worry. Spas and salons often offer great deals around the holidays, and many of them have it set up where you can purchase the gift card or certificate online. This means you can shop from the comfort of your bed, and you don’t even have to put on pants! It’s a win for everyone.


This idea is great for the person that you’re lost on. There’s so many different kinds of of magazines or tv shows that you can subscribe to, and once again, a lot of them offer deals around this time of year. You can even get memorabilia of their favourite characters as an additional treat, just look at these ‘The Office’ based gift ideas for example. Whether they love sports, fashion, hair, makeup, their dog, etc., there’s something for everyone. Barkbox, Nadine West, Birchbox and Winc are just a few examples of boxes that come every month filled with goodies. This is a gift that keeps on giving and will also make you look like you put forth a lot of time and effort, when really it just took a couple clicks of a mouse.


This gift idea is geared more toward the crafty gift-givers. Whether your passion is art or you just picked up on knitting, use those skills to your advantage. Handmade gifts always carry a special meaning because they require time and effort. There’s a wide range of things you can make, including knit hats and scarves, a framed piece of original artwork or something you found on Pinterest that you think you can execute well (proceed with caution, though, because you may get lost in the black hole that is Pinterest DIY ideas). Really, the name of the game here is uniqueness. It’s something that no one else is going to have because it came from you. However, if you have no creative bones in your body, please refrain from giving someone a macaroni picture, especially your mom. She’s received enough of those.

Wine and cocktail packages

This last gift idea is for all those people in your life that either love to have a good time or just enjoy the chance to unwind at the end of a long day. This is also a really simple package to put together. If someone you know loves wine, grab a couple bottles and throw them in a festive bag. If someone is more of a cocktail person, that’s also easy to do. Grab the ingredients for their favorite drink and toss those in a bag. To add a little extra thought to the this gift set, you can include a wine glass, cocktail shaker, wine stopper or a fancy ice tray. Again, this requires almost no effort at all and your present is probably going to be that person’s favorite, especially after dealing with family for the holidays.

So, there you have it. A few simple but solid last-minute gift ideas that don’t require worrying about shipping or fighting any insane crowds or traffic. You’ll look like like you had these gifts planned for weeks, and you keep your procrastination a secret for yet another year. Happy gifting!

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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