10 last minute Christmas gifts that are actually useful


young couple and children opening their presents on Christmas morning

Though we all love this time of year, Christmas can definitely be stressful, especially when thinking about all the presents you need to buy. Sometimes you forget, sometimes you put it off, and sometimes you simply don’t know what to get.

As we approach the big day, here are 10 last minute Christmas gifts that are actually useful to save you the embarrassment of forgetting.

1. Online subscriptions

Online subscription services dominate the market in so many key areas. Instead of buying an album, perhaps you stream it on Spotify. Instead of buying a book, you may use Audible. Instead of flicking through every available TV channel, you might just launch Netflix.

There are so many different types of paid services for all aspects of both social and professional life, you’ll be sure to find one that you can purchase for a loved one. Consider paying for:

  • Spotify Premium for the musician
  • Xbox Game Pass for the PC or Xbox gamer
  • Disney+ for the animation fan
  • Crunchyroll Premium for the Japanese anime fan.

The list goes on and on.

2. Book Box Club

Book Box Club is a monthly service that delivers a box containing a new mystery book (or books) to delve into. It is mostly aimed at teenage and young adult readers and is fabulous if they’re looking to diversify their literary interests.

The box also comes with extra merchandise related to the book, like branded clothing and a signed bookplate.

3. Clothing

You might think that clothing is a difficult gift to get right, but you don’t always need to get something that matches a person’s usual style. Provided you know their size, you could get them something they might wear for years to come.

In some ways, a clothing gift they may not have considered could be just what they need. People are often transfixed on what they already wear and wouldn’t risk branching out on their own.

Clothing is the second-most wanted gift this year, according to the Independent, so perhaps taking a shot in the dark isn’t such a risky move.

4. Educational material

Perhaps someone you know has been saying how much they want to pick up a new language, or that they’re really interested in learning how to sing? A gift relating to their interest can motivate them to get started if they haven’t already.

A language textbook, singing classes, a documentary series on something they’re interested in; the possibilities are endless when someone is passionate about a specific subject.

Gifts that help and motivate them to achieve their goals can often end up as the most cherished.

5. Cooking gear

No matter how much we like (or dislike) cooking, it simply needs to be done. Gifts for the kitchen can make someone’s life a lot easier when preparing food, especially if they don’t enjoy it.

Resources like a quick and easy cookbook or appliances like a slow cooker or rice cooker can really simplify life when cooking. Step-by-step guides and appliances can do the work, allowing for a stress-free time every evening.

If the recipient likes to cook, think about getting them a new set of pans to replace the old ones that are no longer non-stick, or a themed cookbook for their favourite cuisine.

6. A calendar or journal

The pandemic has made it easier than ever to forget what day it is and what needs doing. If someone you know is struggling to keep track of everything, perhaps a calendar or journal could be perfect to help them stay on top of their to-do list.

One option is to look for a themed calendar centred around something they enjoy, since most big names in gaming, film, and television produce one every year. Alternatively, you could always get one featuring cute animals, because no one is going to turn that down!

7. Toys or accessories for their pet

People love seeing their pet happy, so gifting them a toy or treats might bring a smile to their face. For example, some dogs go through toys incredibly quickly, and it can be hard to keep replacing them over and over.

Though maybe not as a main gift, pet accessories could be the perfect stocking filler for the pet enthusiast of the family.

8. USB accessories

Because of the pandemic, many people now work from home. Even those who don’t work from home have spent more time indoors on PCs and laptops. To help those suffering at their desks, consider finding some USB gadgets which might be suitable for their needs.

Desk fans, coloured lamps, and clocks are just some examples of items that can operate directly from the power source of a computer. They can help make an office feel more alive and less dreary, while also providing a practical use without taking up much space.

9. Gift cards

You may consider gift cards to be a fairly predictable present, but they actually convey two major things to the recipient.

Firstly, a gift card shows that you know what they like because they are usually for specific shops or products.

Secondly, it gives them the power, in terms of what they use it for. It saves both of you the embarrassment of getting a present that they either don’t like or won’t use.

10. Cash

As we have discussed previously, money is the most sought-after gift of 2021, and the possibilities of what to do with cash are endless.

At the end of the day, gifting money is safe. It may not be the most personal present but leaving the option of what they do with it entirely up to the recipient gives them freedom. It can be used to save for the future, or it can be used to buy an item they’ve wanted for months.

Either way, the gift of financial help might end up being the most important.