· Holidays · Christmas · 20 Simple, Last-Minute Gift Ideas From Your Grocery Store!

20 Simple, Last-Minute Gift Ideas From Your Grocery Store!

If you’re anything like me, no matter how hard you try to be organized, there always seems to be a few people that you would like to show some appreciation for at Christmastime that you just didn’t remember….until now! Being that it’s Christmas Eve EVE, there aren’t a whole lot of options (unless of course you’re crazier than I am and want to brave the mall or some other store today!) But before you give up, you might want to consider the grocery store. It’s amazing the things you can find there when you think outside the grocery bag!

I decided to spend some time wandering the aisles of my local grocery store and came up with some fun ideas I can’t wait to share with you!

So let’s get started….

A Winter Bouquet

Who says Christmas flowers have to be red poinsettias? In the produce section of most grocery stores there is a nice selection of fresh-cut flowers. I selected two a bouquets…one made up of Christmas greenery and pinecones and a second bunch of white daisies and combined them to create a snowy floral arrangement. Flowers always brighten up a home no matter what the season!

The Gift of Hydration

Water bottles seem to be all the rage lately! I found several to choose from. Pair one with a couple bottles of MiO Liquid Water Enhancer and you have a very hip and healthy gift!

Strawberries and Chocolate

It’s hard to imagine anyone not appreciating this timeless and tasty treat! Grab a box of juicy, red strawberries and a tub of chocolate fruit dip and dress them up with a brown paper lunch bag and a bow and you’re set!

Spice Up The Holidays!

The thing about giving the gift of spices for Christmas is you can be fairly certain they will not go to waste! Everybody needs basic spices, and when they come in cute bottles…they are hard to resist!

Nuts For Pistachios!

Probably the simplest gift I picked out…but another “sure to please” gift idea. My husband loves pistachios and always considers them a treat at Christmastime!  At our holiday party last week, one of the “door prizes” was a BIG bag of pistachios and it was one of the first gifts to be selected. :-)

Hope Your Christmas “Izze” Merry!

I just love Izze Sparkling Juice! They are all natural with no refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup and each bottle actually provides two servings of fruit!  But what really puts them in the “gift-worthy” category is how beautifully designed and packaged they are. Add a ribbon and a few “fancy” plastic flutes and you have a fun, festive, and colorful gift!

Clementine Cuties

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a box of these little gems in our house. They are delicious, peel like a dream, and are a nice change of pace from all the candy, cakes and cookies that are making the rounds at this time of year. Tie up a box with a pretty ribbon and you’ve made a statement.

Design Your Own Customized Food Basket!

Those pre-made food gift baskets can get pretty pricey and usually contain something you’re not particularly crazy about anyway. So why not make up your own? Grab that Hickory Farms Summer Sausage and pair it with your favorite crackers and your favorite type of cheese. You could even grab a small bottle of dijon mustard (or whatever you like) and add that as well. The box and the kraft paper “grass” I used were both recycled from gift baskets I received earlier this year. No sense in throwing those things away. :-)

Caramel Apple Kit

Super simple, super sweet. Choose a bag of your favorite apples and pair them with some of those little individual servings of dipping caramel. You can even make the net bag that they come in part of the packaging. I just cut off the top and tied the caramel cups in a cellophane bag to it with a nice red ribbon.

Asian Munchies

Every time I wander down the asian food aisle at the grocery store I am always attracted to the cute and colorful snack items on display. Arranged in this cut-off red lunch sack with a simple bow attached, it makes an adorable gift that’s downright irresistible.

Italian Dinner In A Basket

Since I’m a big fan of Giada De Laurentis, I decided I needed to put together a pasta dinner basket for a gift idea. The packaging is so lovely it hardly needs any embellishment. I just added a couple of ribbons and placed it in a recycled gift basket box. An extremely economical and elegant gift!

Minty Cookies & Coffee

Since I am all about MINT…I couldn’t resist pairing up a couple of minty treats!  These mini Mint Milanos make the perfect companion to this Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks. I just repackaged the cookies in a cellophane bag and added matching twine to each item to dress them up a little and give them a little bit of a “homemade” gift feel.

Bagel Time!

Bagels and Cream Cheese. Pretty much a match made in heaven. Take the bagels out of their original packaging and put them in a cellophane bag with some cute ribbon or twine tied at the top. Now add your favorite flavored cream cheese (mine just happens to be Strawberry!) and you have a thoughtful gift…not to mention BREAKFAST!

A “Little” Christmas Cheer!

I just can’t resist these miniature cans of soda…especially when they are “dressed up” for Christmas with cute white polka dots on the can. The soda makers have practically done all the work for you! :-)  You just add a couple of those “fancy” plastic flutes with a ribbon and you’re done. Or you could add one of those tags that say “Hope your Christmas is Merry and “Sprite”!  Sure it’s cliche and been “done to death”….but who cares!? It’s Christmas…have fun!

A Cup of Cheer!

More gift-giving cheer!  I just love the packaging of this hot chocolate by Archer Farms. So classic. This can of hot cocoa is pretty enough on it’s own to give as a gift without anything else! But add a cellophane bag full of mini marshmallows and suddenly you have something really special…and yummy!

Cereal and Milk

When we were kids and our Mom would buy us those little individual serving size boxes of cereal we would think it was the coolest thing ever! That was the inspiration behind this idea. Just think how fun it would be to give these to little ones as a special Christmas breakfast treat. (I actually know of a few BIG ONES who would like this idea too!)

Gourmet Oatmeal With a Sweet Topping

Two of my very favorite breakfast foods are combined in this gift idea. John McCann Steel Cut Oats are SO good, and one of my favorite things to put on ANY kind of oatmeal is 100% Pure Maple Syrup. I just love the flavor combination. One of these cute little bottles of syrup tied onto the can with some ribbon is just the ticket to making this an attractive little gift.

Rootbeer Floats Kit

This one really needs no explanation. Bottles of rootbeer…a container of ice cream and you’ve got a delicious treat…good for any time of year! (Just make sure you don’t leave it under the tree!)  :-)

Yogurt & Granola

I must have skipped breakfast on the day I did my shopping…because there seems to be an excessive amount of breakfast items here. :-)  Oh well, who doesn’t love a tasty, nutritious and quick breakfast? I personally would love receiving something like this as a gift. It would most definitely not go to waste.

Christmas Cheers!

And finally….another presentation of the Christmas Cheer idea…but this time for a crowd. The green Sprite cans are just so festive looking, I couldn’t resist styling them into one more gift idea.

I hope you found something inspiring in these 20 simple last minute gift ideas that can be found in your grocery store! Now get to the store….you’re running out of time! :-)

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Bright Ideas

  • When I open my emails OGT is usually the first one I open. You always have something truly useful posted.
    I remember one Christmas, customers were bringing us lots of goodies, one saw what we had, and when she came back she brought us a fruit basket. It was a much-needed counter to all the cookies and candy. I have always appreciated the needed and handmade gifts more than something I won’t use.

  • Great ideas. I just tried an Izze aparkling drink today.We had our annual Christmas Eve ( okay pre Christmas Eve) lunch at our family’s favorite Chinese restaurant. We also do our bean auction and one of the girls wound up with the soda , but wasn’t crazy about it. She’s pre-teen age. Some of us adults tried it . I thought it was good.

  • I’m gonna TRY to remember these ideas all year long!! Great ideas for many occasions. I saw on the news how a family bought bottles of wine then covered the labels with their son’s picture and a caption saying “Relax, you deserve it”. Then they gave the wine to his teachers!! Hilarious!!

  • I’ve gone to World Market and purchased their old school glass bottled soda’s. I add a tag to the soda’s that state…”I’m soda delighted to [insert]”. Those I’ve given this to seem to really like it. It’s inexpensive and quick but its pretty cool.

  • Hiya! I simply want to give an enormous thumbs up for the great information you’ve here on this post.
    I will probably be coming again to your weblog for more soon.

  • I like to give a basket with soup, crackers, freeze pops, sprite, jello, cough drops, etc. when my friends are sick. . I wrap the basket with clear basket wrap and top with a bow and a get well card. It’s a great way to cheer up the sick.

    • The bottom of the fluted glasses can be removed. I think they remove all the bottoms except one. Stack the flutes without the bottoms into the flute with a bottom. And then all the flute bottoms can stack together too under the only flute with a bottom. Makes more sense when you can see it done!

  • A tiny bit misleading. 20 gift items from Target is a whole different story than 20 gift items from lets say Kroger or Albertsons.Even if you were mainly shopping in the grocery section…still a lot different than a grocery only grocery store. In my opinion. BUT, I just found this site today and I really love it…thanks!

  • I made some homemade potpourri. I sliced and dehydrated the oranges and lemons, added whole cloves, whole allspice, a couple of cinnamon sticks, a couple of bay leaves and a special blend of European teas. It smells wonderful simmering!

  • This year I made 3 different kinds of homemade hot chocolate, Hint of Mint, Cinnamon Sugar and Touch of Toffee as a last minute gift for my children’s principal.

  • We buy a big 5 gallon pail of honey every once in a while – we found a nice jar and filled it with honey and got a box of tea for a last minute gift! We could have added a couple mugs too, but this time we didn’t!

  • My son told me late one night, (not too terribly late, but late enough that I didn’t feel like getting out again) that he needed a present the next day for his teacher. I racked my brain trying to figure out what I could whip up for her in no time. I remembered that she loves M&Ms so I made a batch of my lovely sugar cookies and decorated a dozen of them to look like M&Ms, complete with the white Ms on them. The colors were perfectly matched and everything! She loved them. :)

  • My sister gave me a “spa card” deck one year, and since then, I’ve stocked up on essential oils, sugar, sea salt, etc. Short a gift for my mom this year, I bought a cute, cheap little jar and mixed up some graprefruit exfoliant scrub. The essential oils can cost a bit up front, but since you usually only use a few drops of each per recipe, they last a long time!

  • This year we made laundry soap and fabric softener to give as gifts! Also a fairly quick gift for kids is homemade playdough put into reusable food storage containers.

  • One year I had forgotten to make small gifts for my daughter’s class. An hour before their party, I was inspired to create a last minute something. Opening the cabinets I found a bag of mini marshmallows, and began bagging them into severals small bags. I created a label on the computer that read “Snowman poop” and stapled the labels to the top of the bags. The kids loved them and giggled as they ate them. Several years later, the kids still comment on the gift and giggle about “Snowman poop.”

  • I have always cooked for people and when I need a last-minute gift, I look to my “cooking” guide. I copy one of “my” recipes and gather the ingredients to make it and put it in a tin or box with a card that I’m sharing something I know they love…and one of my recipes. I get more comments and compliments on these type gifts than if I had gone out and picked out something specific for them! I find “deals” on unique or fun items during the year (measuring cups or measuring spoons or a cute kitchen gadget) and I usually toss one in the box also.

  • Each year I give a Finnish Coffee Bread (we call it the Christmas Bread). I used to make it from scratch but now I make it with Hot Roll Mix found at the Grocery Store. I also gave homemade granola this year…..all ingredients can be found at Target.

  • One year, I needed a last minute gift and put together a “chili-dinner-in-a-box.” I bought a couple of enameled bowls (usually found in the camping section), a package of chili spices, a can of beans, a can of tomatoes, a
    small box of cornbread mix…tied it up with some jute-done! It was very well received…

  • I received a package of pancake mix with assorted syrups in a cute bin. Great for Christmas morning or anyday :) V Marie (sorry, had typo in email address earlier)

  • Target has been my last minute gift savior for several years now. This year I purchased family movies for $5 and made movie baskets with packets of microwave popcorn, boxes of $1 candy, a six pack of soda and a blanket. My family members loved them!

  • I made granola with Craisins and pistachios to give it a Christmas look and put it in Mason jars for last-minute gifts. I love your Izze soda idea and will definitely use that one next year!

  • I picked up movie theater gift cards and attached them to boxes of candy (like they sell in the theater) for my son’s preschool teachers, after I missed the deadline for contributing to the gift organized by the room mom.

    Love the ideas here, I’ll have to pin this as a memory jogger. :)

  • My favorite creative gift this year was a cellophane bag full of assorted varieties of M&Ms from a good friend. It was so much fun for my family to discover flavors we never knew existed, such as cherry, mint and malted milk.

  • I registered for “The One Good Thing by Jillee Forum…….love Target since the closest one to my Vermont home is hours away….I love making a special trip….would sure love to share the $75 with a friend and go have some fun…..thanks for the opportunity….Happy New Year

  • One I gave this year was a book light. Perfect for the voracious reader, add a bookmark and you’re all set.

    Another idea that would be good (and possible from the grocery store these days), is a movie night. Grab a movie (especially a good holiday movie), add a bag of microwave popcorn & you’re set. Could also include some popcorn flavoring &/or some cans/bottles of soda or other drink.

  • I mke homemade soaps. I love taking a soap and then using the same essential oils to make a quick bath salts(epsom salts, scent, small cute jar usually reused, ribbon) and sugar scrub (white sugar,scent, coconut oil, small cute jar usually reused, ribbon) stack and wrap with brown paper and twine! Easy, fast, cute, will get used and made with stuff on hand.

  • This year I gave a bottle of spiced wine, and specialty K-cups. I have also given wedges of brie, to be served with homemade cranberry sauce and crackers, chocolate of various types, or the makings for rice crispy treats, or cereal treats in general, or a 6 pack of specialty beer. My grocery store has a remarkable supply of microbrew beers.

  • Last minute gifts I love are the practical ones. Mini hand lotion, chapstic or lip balm/gloss, gum or mints all wrapped in a celophane bag or small gift bag.

  • I was going to give my 18-year-old nephew some money for Christmas and I found a cute idea at a craft fair. It was a felt cut-out of long underwear with a cute poem about not finding a stocking so I had to use Santa’s underwear. In the back was the little long underwear “flap” where you could stick money or a gift card. Everyone thought it was the cutest thing!

  • I found plain clear glass shot glasses from the Target dollar bin for $1 each and mod podge’d the glass except for 2 inches from the top the poured fine glitter on the podge let dry then podge’d again to make sure the glitter stuck! I also glue a small blue ribbon around the top line of the glitter, my friends loved them and made great decorations also. It was cheap and did before bed. Could also skip the glitter and just glue ribbons in no time at all!

  • I Love the Grocery for holiday gifts last minute or not!. I have to admit sometimes they seem silly and small but they are my ABSOLUTE favorite type of gift to receive, never wasted and ALWAYS enjoyed.
    Last year I threw together a bread gift. The store had those mini ceramic bread pans with festive snowmen on them, I then grabbed some cute plastic bags for gifting cookies and filled them with my proportionally reduced favorite bread recipe, printed a tag threw on a festive ribbon and wrapped the bunch in a fun tea towel. Nothing beats the smell and taste of fresh baked bread :)

  • Some of my most appreciated gifts come from the grocery store! This year – I found coconut cream in the Imported section (saves having to store cans of coconut milk), and a great Thai recipe.

    Also – got some Garlic Flower preserves, wrapped them up nicely in Cello bags & pretty ribbons.

    Darcy from TheWildRoses.etsy.com

  • This year I needed a gift for my husband’s office party. I ran to a delicious bakery that was close to his work and purchased a loaf of bread and a gift card with enough money to buy lunch.

  • It’s not really “last minute” but I always have extra small gifts wrapped under the tree for those forgotten friends. Labeled with a post it note, cuz who can remember what’s in there.

  • A last-minute (and cheap) gift I actually gave to my hubby this Christmas was love coupons. Add things like “good for one household chore” or “one kiss” (or others). He says it was his absolute favorite gift, and I also got him the PS3 he’s been wanting for awhile. You can do the same idea for anyone and put in things you’ll do for them–shovel their sidewalk, babysit, cook a meal, etc. Type or write on pretty paper and give in a nice envelope.

  • I’ve given the extended family a nice picture of the kids. I’d have them done at the “other” store for about $10 and would get a package of about 30 pictures. The grandparents, aunts/uncles LOVED this. And guess what I got from my daughter this year – yep, professional pictures of the 20 month old grandson and the 6 week old granddaughter. And she did the dishes after our meal! That was REALLY appreciated. While my son fixed several things around the house that need attention. He and his wife are still unemployed. They were given some money and bought me a small box of Rochers. Oh, yah! They all got rice bag body and hand warmers. Last time they got those was when dd was about 12 and made some. So everyone (even the dil and sil) were thrilled with new ones. And I made some smaller ones. dsil was THRILL as he hunts and is an over-the-road hauler. His truck has a microwave in it and he rides his motorcycle to work. He’s already making plans how to use them. (I didn’t think they’d be quite the hit they were with everyone!)

  • My last min. go to gift is usually a coffee mug with tea assortment or with coco packets. or a basket with a tea towel and a couple coffee mugs with an assortment of teas/coco/coffee.

  • Senior Care or Shut In Gift:

    a roll or book of stamps
    a pack of thank you cards
    a gift card for the grocery store
    a coupon (from you) for a free trip to ………. (doctor, museum, church, friend’s house, etc)
    a coupon (from you) for an afternoon of help with …………. (closet cleaning, shopping, lawn care)
    coupons (from you) for one free item per month – batch of cookies, fresh baked bread, a meal, fresh flowers, house cleaning help, etc.

    for the elderly, gifts of time and transportation are often more valued than any item you could give.
    jd in st louis

  • Super Easy Coupon Basket:
    Buy a pretty set of blank (inside) greeting cards.
    Complete each one as a coupon (or as many as you want:
    Coupon Ideas (to be filled by YOU!):
    Free babysitting for an evening out
    free babysitting for mom’s afternoon out
    free carpool run
    free back rub
    free hour of housecleaning help
    free trip to ……….. (the mall, apple picking, sledding, museum)
    free leaf raking

    whatever you can provide that will be a treat for the recipient.

  • How about a winter cold basket – hot tea packets, hot apple cider packets, some tylenol, vitamin C caps or tabs, some very soft Puffs, throat lozenges, and some popsicles.

    jd in st louis

  • a movie night basket (or bag) is an easy one – some microwave popcorn, 2 candy bars, a couple sodas, and a gift card for a movie (or a movie if you can find one).

    jd in st louis

  • For a last minute gift this year, I went the very simple route with a gift card and dollar store card, combined with a bright nail polish (with a note saying it was “for your mistle-toes”). The best part was, I used my Speedway Rewards points to purchase the gift card, so I didn’t have to spend real money!!

  • I like to make up “snack bags” for college students–a bunch of snacks, popcorn, their favorite pop and some candy–put it in a pretty gift bag or basket and you are done!

  • Great ideas. A cake in a mug is another great idea. You can look up online how much cake mix you need for a mug cake, and they are super simple to throw together!

  • I just came from a party and I received a box of Keurig coffee. Was I pleased? Yes! and last year a pair of work gloves with some handcreme from Lowe’s called “Working Hands”. I think all your reader’s suggestions are just super.

  • Just made spiced tea mix, homemade chocolate syrup and brownie mix in a jar for my mom yesterday. Last year we wrapped up a bag of cheese puffs for our youngest and nacho chips for our oldest. Turned out to be their favorite presents of all!

  • I always enjoy giving homemade cookies or bread and last year i made gel air freshners with essential oils and knox gelatin. Merry Christmas from my family to yours! :)

  • I received some nail polish and a nail art kit! I love nail polish (maybe too much, I have a whole drawer of it) and you can find nail polish everywhere! It’s at Wal-mart, CVS, Walgreens, beauty supply stores, etc…

  • My husband makes the worlds best peanut brittle so that is what we give out. Every year I look for new and different containers that Target always has to put it in.

  • I love the organic/health food section of my local grocery store for last minute gifts (Fred Meyer). A bar of lemon or lavender soap, add a white washcloth and cute ribbon and you have a cute gift. Or bars of organic chocolate tied with a ribbon is nice too. Trader Joe’s is THE BEST for last minute gifts. Lots of yummy snacks, reasonably priced!

  • A last minute gift I’ve given was a oversize coffee/tea mug with an assortment of tea bags & honey sticks inside. I wrapped it all up in plastic wrap and tied it up with a pretty bow.

  • I decided to give scented candles from grocery stores along with a lighter. Two medium ones and a lighter .
    Another idea was candles and foot-soak and face mask(spa time).

  • For Sewers & Quilters – During the year, make quilt blocks from a pattern you want to try in a size appropriate for a potholder & in a fabric that matches someone’s kitchen or your own. It takes just a few minutes to make it into a potholder. From the scraps, make a block suitable for a 9 x 13 pan or any other pan. Sew 4 blocks (from different patterns is nice) into a table topper. Use insulated batting in that as well, so it can be used as a large hot pad.

    Make blocks out of Christmas fabric that was bought after Christmas. Since they won’t be used as often, you can serge the edges with decorative threads. They take minutes & are dirt cheap.

    These were my daughter’s favorite gift last night.

    Along the food line – King Arthur has a pancake mix recipe that is really healthy. I add 2 TBS of cinnamon to it. Put it in jars or Tupperware containers. I print a personalized Christmas card with the recipe printed inside & tied it with a ribbon on the container.

  • How’s this for last minute? 2 red glass-mosaic tealight holders, along with evergreen-scented green tealights, bought at Walgreens at 9:30pm on this Christmas Eve. I had no idea any store would still be open at that hour, but I was wrong!!

  • I love to collect patterned paper. These days they are embossed and glittered and collaged beautifully. So I take a few and create a number of easy fold over cards and a super simple box to hold them and a pretty pen. Tie it with fussy ribbon and you’re done!

  • My daughter’s mother-in-law made a huge batch of home made hand dipped pretzels and dried apricots and nuts (dipped in chocolate) that she has on hand every year for last minute gifts–it’s a great idea that I’ve adopted for myself. What doesn’t go out for last minute gifts goes to serve unexpected guests!

  • I made homemade bread and butter pickles for people this year. I added strips of red pepper so they looked Christmassy. They are fast and easy to make with regular cucumbers or long, English cucumbers from the store.

  • I did a “Memory Jar” for my sister. Write special moments you shared together on small strips of paper, fold and drop into a pretty clear lidded jar. Attach a small bag of candieslike Werthers caramel with a pretty ribbon. So when she wants a sweet treat she also can also enjoy a sweet memory.

  • I had fun putting together a basket of “My Favorite Things” like biscotti, flavored carmex, Riesen chocolates, a Christmas dish towel, etc. I tied them all up in a dollar store basket and cellophane bag, then wrote them all in a song to the tune These are a Few of My Favorite Things. They loved it!!

  • This year I received a frozen quiche. It has the meat, veggies, and cheese in a prepared pie crust. All I have to do is add the eggs and bake. Can’t wait to make for Christmas breakfast. Great idea!

  • Well, I’ve received lots of chocolates – which kind of comes across as last minute. And this year I really wanted to make hand-made gifts but the only thing I had time for was to make potpourri. And it was very last minute!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • If you’re lucky enough to find crystallized ginger at your grocery store, it makes a delicious and special gift that would be great paired with some mint tea and maybe even a little bottle of honey for sweetening the tea, Although, mint tea is good all by itself.

    As many of you probably already know, both ginger and mint are wonderful for soothing the stomach, so would be a great gift for someone who has gets heartburn. Also if this gift is for someone dear to you, you could go one step further and add some kind of flu medicine since all the extra shopping and gatherings during the holidays increase everyone’s exposure to unwanted illness. It might seem odd or silly at first, but could just turn out to be a lifesaver later on.

  • I collect decorative jars from garage sales/thrift shops all year. At Christmas I fill them full of homemade laundry detergent, liquid hand soap, m&m’s, spiced teas, nuts or make a candle from old left over scented candles.

  • a box of assorted ferrero rocher chocolates is always a good choice. the package is lovely and almost anyone will like one or more of the flavors! chocolate and hazelnut is one OT my favorite flavors so I like to share the love. mini pannetone cakes (2 for $3 at walgreens today) would also be good. single servings of Italian holiday tradition!!

  • A movie night at home bucket with microwave popcorn, candy bar, pop, and a gift card for a movie rental..have substituted water or other drinks for pop and movie size boxes of candy..make up according to each persons likes.

  • My favorite go 2’s for: my daughter is a gift card to Barnes and Noble, my son a gift card to Starbucks and finally my hubby (after 3 ideas went down the tube this year) a 1 hour message is awaiting him tomorrow morning!

  • My favorite last minute gift this year has been your mom’s english muffin bread that I keep extra of in the freezer and a small jar of cinnamon honey butter. Tied with matching ribbons, it is festive, inexpensive, and sure to please!

  • At the last minute (30 minutes before!) I decided to do a contest at the friends holiday dinner I was having. I picked up an iTunes gift card and put it in a small gift bag I had. Perfect because most people either buy music or apps depending on if they have an iPhone or not! It was a hit!

  • My fav last minute gift was making soup mixes in a jar, tied up with pretty ribbons in fancy jars I’d been collecting (for no specific reason!). I got letters for months, afterwards, telling me how the recipients enjoyed their soups!

    • D’Ann, that’s a wonderful idea! I think I’m gonna have to do that next year for my friends and family! I started making soups more frequently just this year and they’re ALWAYS delicious and appreciated. Not to mention healthier! It’s funny when they ask what we’re having for dinner and I tell them “soup” they sometimes frown a bit because it just doesn’t sound very exciting to them, but after they inhale the first bowl they always have to get a second bowl while telling me how “good” the soup is. It’s always amusing.

  • As a winter gift we like to give to our older friends a pail (metal or plastic, sometimes decorated with snow flakes or not) filled with ice melt a cute little scoop with a certificate for a free shoveling of their drive & walk. We feel the love. (=

  • I had bemoaned to a frien how messy my 10-month-old is when he eats. Today she gave me a “shirt bib”. she saw it at the store and immediately thought of our dilemma. I was happy to receive it!

  • I’ve made up a movie night package gift…microwave popcorn, 6 pack of soda, family-size bag of candy, and gift card to local movie rental. It makes a fun gift and night for the whole family.

  • I’ve given a large pretty bowl with bags of microwave popcorn before. Tonight though I made the popcorn recipe you posted recently and drizzled chocolate over it and put it in a bag.

  • My go-to last minute gift (especially for kids) is a $5-$10 movie theater gift card paired with either a box of popcorn or theater size candy from the dollar store!

  • I am a couponer so I have a stockpile of bath gels, nail polishes, and other pamper items. I also keep any cute gift bags/boxes/baskets so I can put something together real quick!

  • A last minute Christmas gift…What is better than crushing up a Candy Cane and mixing it into hot chocolate mix??? THen, you simply put it in a cone shaped baggie and tie directions on with a ribbon!! It’s easy, fun, and EVERYONE loves it! =)

  • Take a soup can, the kind with the pull-tab top, but open it with a smooth-edge can opener instead. Empty out the soup (or eat it for lunch), remove the label, wash out the soup can and top with hot soapy water, then dry it completely. While it finishes drying, gather up some candy to put inside.
    Chocolate kisses, miniature Reese’s PB cups, Rolos, etc. are always a hit. Run a couple strips of double-sided tape from top to bottom (rim to rim) onto the soup can. Cover with cute wrapping paper. Fill with candy. Glue the top on. Put a pretty stick-on bow on the top. You’re done! To open it, the recipient has to pull the pop top. They will wonder how in the world you got the candy in there! People love getting this cool gift.

  • I like to get either cans or the see-through plastic packages of Spanish peanuts or mixed nuts for a last minute gift. People seem to enjoy this gift and it is handy to have them in the pantry.

  • I put together a beer basket with all different types of beers and beer nuts, pretzels, etc. for my brother, a beer fanatic. Not too bad for a quick supermarket gift!

  • I got a big bag of Epson Salts, put a few drops of Lavendar oil, and put them in several old fashioned mason jars to give out as gifts. My husband make a bucket full of 24 old fashioned sodas and gave them as gifts for New Years to non drinkers. Delicious!!

  • I give your homemade Hershey’s syrup in mason jars (whatever size I happen to have in the cupboard) that are prettified. I include the recipe, because let’s face it, after having that stuff, you will NOT go back to the name brand stuff again:)

  • For that special friend, I like to give a bouquet of fresh flowers, stems cut down and in a recycled jar.
    Along with a box of flavored tea, a scented candle and a book to read.

    Also Fresh flowers, scented candle, bubble bath, flavored tea.

    Always fresh flowers, everyone loves getting flowers, even me


  • Peanut clusters!!! One bag chocolate chips, and one bag peanut butter chips melted, mix in as many peanuts as you see fit, cover them in the chocolate mixture, then drop by the spoonful onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet to cool in the fridge. YUM! I just made these this week, and start to finish, they only took about 15 minutes. Cleanup included:) They’re hard to give away though because they’re so delish!

  • I buy plastic popcorn holders at Target, add some microwave popcorn packets. 2 cans of soda and put it all in a basket! Perfect for movie loving friends…even can add a DVD movie!

  • I get matching containers at the dollar store and fill them with candy for people at work. And my “go to” last minute present is a gift certificate to Amazon, works great for out-of-towners!

  • I’ve given ” I O U ” cards to be used anytime for the next year like: free over night baby sitting; house cleaning; window cleaning; clothes washing; car washing; cooking a meal and taking it to the person; etc…. Everyone says they always love them the best. Gail

  • I have done many last minute trips to Starbucks – almost anything there is a sure bet for creative last minute giving. A travel mug and a gift card, perhaps.

    Also, a great grocery store last minute gift – a family movie night kit. Some popcorn, hot chocolate, candy, etc, and a movie!

  • I volunteer in the school library. The librarian brings in coffee so we can make it in the drip machine, so this year I got a nice bag of premium decaf coffee, and three mugs with the initials of the librarian, myself and the other volunteer! I love a gift I can enjoy too!! And since Target is coming to Canada, I can’t wait to shop there. Whoo!!

  • I just finished a last minute gift but it takes overnight to do it. I mix up a batch of my apple pie steel cut oatmeal in a slow cooker before I go to bed, 7 hours later it’s done. Put the delicious breakfast in individual Ball canning jars. Tie a cute ribbon on each jar and include a bottle of maple syrup. All bought at the grocery store.

  • Here in New Mexico, it’s chile all the time ;) I made a gift for a friend back east of an oversized bar of Lindt Dark Chocolate with Chile, a jar of Monroe’s Stewed Green Chile (a local restaurant brand sold in local grocery stores), and a small Ristra–(a cluster of dried red New Mexico chile, usually hung in the kitchen or outside the front door). Put it all in a rustic basket, and tied it up with a red bow!

  • My favorite last minute gift is a baking dish with all the ingredients to my favorite SUPER FAST dinner–Chili Cornbread Pie. All of the stuff (except the cheese) is non-perishable; and everyone could use a cute baking dish, right? All available at the grocery store!

  • Last minnute gift that I loved was an offfer to watch my kids (when they were little) for the day after Christmas sales. I took them up on the offere and had a great day. My kids had a blast that day too!

  • One of my favorite “homemade” baskets is to fill a big plastic bowl with microwave popcorn, small boxes of candy and a movie. Whenever I do this for a ‘Naughty or Nice Santa’ (or whatever you may call that fun swap game) party, this usually ends up being “stolen” the most.

  • A great last minute gift from the grocery store is a little bag, box, or basket with cheeses, crackers, spreads and some melba toasts. They’re lovely to look at and TASTY too!

  • Anything Starbucks! A gift card, a mug, reusable cold cup, a pound of ground coffee for use at home. It doesn’t matter to me. If it’s Starbucks, I love it!!!

  • Love the post– such great ideas.
    If I have kids to help with a gift– I buy Jiffy Pop and carefully remove the direction label (don’t puncture the foil) and have the kids draw a picture on the back and put the label back.
    I buy some pretty holiday paper plates & bowls and napkins in case I get an unexpected invitation somewhere. Even if non-disposables are being used, they can save them for a less formal gathering or for using up the leftovers the next day. And when I am a guest I always clean up some– pick up stray plates, wash a few empty dishes I find. DH keeps his eye on changing the garbage bag-he will even bring his own so he doesn’t have to ask for them. We try our best to do it on the sly.

  • I always take my neighbor a 4 quart gift wrapped box of my home canned tomato’s and she loves getting them. I have a wonderful neighbor and it’s so nice to see the big smile my tomato’s bring!
    Merry Christmas Jillee,
    Thanks for all of your wonderful posts.
    I look forward to them everyday in my inbox.

  • I gave a coffee mug with a hand-knitted cozy full of different flavored tea bags and one of my favorite little devotional books to inspire a friend to start her day with God’s focus!

  • I was making chocolate covered pretzel rods for family and didn’t get enough pretzels so I was in a pinch. I saw a blog post for some Christmas popcorn and made that. I just popped some popcorn in a brown paper bag, melted some white chocolate, drizzled it over the popcorn, and covered it in sprinkles. Makes a lot, looks cute, and it doesn’t take much time or money!

  • If your last minute gift is for an adult, lottery scratchers always go over well. It’s a fun gift that can potentially net a nice payout if they’re lucky. I’ve done an assortment of different value scratchers in the past for a White Elephant exchange, and they usually end up getting stolen around.

  • I like the coffee & cookies idea. This year I made gifts backs for my daughters first grade class. I made ornaments from clay we made from cornstarch and baking soda – painted them and I made bags with a package of hot chocolate then added snowman shaped marshmallows and a Candy cane with a note – hot chocolate to warm your soul. I would like to enter your target card contest. I love all the ideas you send every day! Merry Christmas!

  • I love those miniature soda cans, too. And it’s amazing what a little ribbon can do, like maybe around a ginormous container of cheeseballs. Merry Christmas!

  • A cute coffee cup with a package of hot chocolate and a tin of altoids or a mini bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream. Or for the tea lover a few bags of tea and cookies!

  • I have 4 loaves of English Muffin Bread in the oven and am making the Honey Butter Ambrosia next. I am so nervous but hopeful it will come out well. They are my last gifts : )

  • I tried to get a jump start on shopping eary in December and also know that time goes by so quickly. To keep up with the shopping, wrapping and baking I made the jars of dry ingredients for cookies. As I needed to bake cookies the “jars” were ready to add the wet ingredients. This saved me so much time! As I needed neighbor, mailman & friend gifts I could just grab a jar adding a decorative cover & bow and I was ready to go. It is now Christmas Eve and I have 3 jars left. I will be baking 1 more jar in a short while and still have 2 jars to give my 2 nieces as a little something when the leave later tonight!

  • One year I needed a gift for a dear friend, who loved the color orange. So, I got a pretty copper decorative tub (like a mini washtub) and a scrap of orange gingham, and filled it with orange! From my large collection of crayons, several shades tied together with ribbon, and several shades of markers and colored pencils. I even had an orange notepad on hand! I don’t remember what else went in… maybe orange slice candies? And other pretty orange things from around the house. Nothing worn or shabby, of course, only like-new things.

    Last year I made wool-felt slippers for everyone from a pattern in the Martha Stewart magazine. They went together so quickly from old sweaters!

  • Target always has a good selection of movies at a $4.99 or $7.99 price range. Grab a family flick or two, a box of microwave popcorn and a bag or two of candy and you have a great last minute family gift. Wrap in cellophane with a pretty bow and you’re done!

  • My grandmother’s Chex mix is not only my family tradition, it’s become my go-to gift! With half my friends and family strewn about the country, it’s a tasty, better over time, lightweight gift that is a hit every time. My husband nearly riots when we run out at the end of the holidays…

  • Last minute gift I love is a tube of pre-made cookie dough ready to slice and bake, add in some icing and sprinkles from the baking isle and you have some easy fast treats for the fat jolly man and everyone else as well.

  • I got stuck one year and pulled a gift together on the fly…I picked up a large red plastic mixing bowl, a mixing spoon and spatula, kitchen towel, pot holder, and a Cook’s Country Magazine. They have great recipes in the magazine, especially at holiday time. It was a hit for my friend that loves to bake!

  • I don’t know if it was last minute or not but I received a lovely goats milk soap wrapped in simple but pretty natural purple paper and a ribbon as a hostess gift. Certainly could have been last minute. My mom wasn’t one to take hostess gifts when we were invited somewhere but I was so impressed by the simple gesture that it started the tradition for me and now I ALWAYS do my very best to have a gift for my any hostess. Usually handmade like a box of cards, a box of treats, a wine tag with a nice dark chocolate bar inside or something else and I always send a handmade thank you note.

  • For quick last minute gifts, I mix 1/2 Epsom salts and 1/2 powdered milk with a few drops of lavender essential oil, then package them in Christmassy cellophane treat bags tied with a ribbon bow….voila! A wonderful skin-soothing, muscle taming and relaxing milk bath for your hard working hostess, teacher, friends etc. if you can only get to the grocery store, then you can substitute vanilla essence for the lavender oil…just as relaxing and smells beautiful!

  • I used your ideas for my last minute gifts. Not really last minute, though, I got laid off and needed a low cost gift idea. I made your honey butter ambrosia for everyone on my list. It turned out great. Thank you.

  • I have several ideas that I use a lot: One is to get a cute soap dispenser and a small hand sanitizer, place in a cello bag with cute ribbon tied with a candy cane!
    Another idea: Pasta sauce, noodles, wooden spoon all tied with a ribbon and placed in a small basket with bread sticks.
    A gift I received this year is a cute snowman potholder with kitchen goodies such as a kitchen spoons, apron, all tied with a cute ornament!
    My mom and I made some sugar scrubs for gifts yesterday that were so easy, placed in a cute jar with a bow – instant gift!!!
    Simple and cute ideas!

  • I sometimes throw together a beer bread gift basket, using a loaf pan for the basket. I fill it with a jar of homemade beer bread mix (very simple & only a few ingredient) with the recipe tied to the neck of the jar, a good bottle of beer, and a little jar of jam or honey. Wrap it all in cellophane & tie it with a pretty bow & it makes a nice gift. You can dress it up a little more by lining the pan with a pretty gift towel & including a wooden spoon to mix it with, or even add in a small bread board.

  • I’m done shopping, but now I feel I need to run to Target and get some pistachios for hubby. He would defiantly like them too! Great ideas, Jillee. Thanks for sharing your ideas every day!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

  • When my dad was working (he’s retired now) and he was sick, he would stay at home and watch movies. He would say that he needed to “catch up” on his movies. :) So for several years at Christmas, we bundled a big can of chicken noodle soup and a movie that he wanted as a gift for just those occasions.

  • Every year I make my ‘famous’ (& requested) Addictive Crunch (Chex, Crispix & pecans in a carmely glaze) to give to my friends at work, neighbors & friends. I always keep extra bags ready to give in case someone stops by or, heaven forbid, I forgot someone.