10 Last-Minute Holiday Gifts That Look Super Thoughtful (But Are Actually Effortless)

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Because it’s less than a week until Christmas and you still need to get everyone gifts.

Even though you completely blanked on organizing your holiday shopping (again), there’s no reason to sweat it–sometimes the best last-minute gifts are so blindingly obvious that they’re overlooked. Gift cards can get the job done, but it’s nice to give a small present for someone to open and brighten her day.

Here are some ideas for budget-friendly gifts that you can grab in town. As you’re look at the items on this list, keep in mind that the key is going to be finding ones with pretty packaging or gift wrapping them nicely…

1. Local honey is available at most local supermarkets. The nice thing about choosing local honey is that it’s more personalized based on where you live and it supports your community. How sweet…


2. Tea is an affordable luxury—why not give such a classy gift without breaking the bank? If you’re not familiar to the world of tea, there are so many different flavors to choose from that you’re bound to find one to suit your friend or family member. Tea would also complement #1.

Available at The Spice & Tea Exchange

Available at The Spice & Tea Exchange

3. Gourmet chocolate is a prime example of where “pretty packaging” is important. Fair Trade or organic chocolate bars typically have visually appealing labels—all you need to do is add a ribbon and you’re done.


Available at Equal Exchange

4. Vintage jewelry ensures that the person you’re buying for will have a one-of-a-kind gift.


Available at Chateau & Bungalow

5. Limited edition books are great, because even if the person you bought it for doesn’t actually read it, at least it looks pretty on the coffee table or bookshelf around the house.


Available at Chateau & Bungalow

6. Bottle openers don’t have to be boring–there are really cool ones that can also be decorative. A lot of people buy bottles of wine for the holidays–you’re doing a service by getting the party started that much faster. Wine stoppers are also a lifesaver for holiday parties to make sure no one spills once the party gets going…


Available at Chateau & Bungalow

7. Stationery will come in handy after the holidays for thank-you notes. Your best bet is buying a notecard set of 12, wrap it with a ribbon, and stick a pen in the bow.


Available at Egg & Dart

8. Holiday cookies from the local bakery work well. Add a personal touch by calling ahead to see if you can customize your cookies with the names of the people you plan on giving them to.


9. A small plant adds interest to a desk space, whether it’s at a personal office or a cubicle at corporate. A cactus or a bamboo plant is particularly hardy—it might be helpful to include care and watering instructions, as well.


10. Lip balm is gender neutral–no one should have chapped lips underneath the mistletoe.


**This list was brainstormed at The Seamen’s Church Institute during the Cities by the Sea Holiday Shop & Stroll