Great Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Kids and Adults

Last Minute Gifts

Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without the dreaded last-minute gift panic.

Sometimes it’s someone we just forgot to buy for. Sometimes it’s someone we weren’t planning to buy for. Sometimes it’s someone who asks “Are you home now? I want to drop off your gift.”


The secret to successful last-minute gift giving is to make sure it doesn’t look last minute, which means having lots of pretty gift bags and boxes, tissue paper, cards, and adornments on hand.

Whether you choose to pick up some “just in case” prezzies in advance, or you’re prepared to make a mad dash to the shops (because goodness knows we can’t count on the postal system for timely deliveries this year), here are a few suggestions that are easy to get and can cover your last-minute gift tracks, giving you one less thing to worry about this holiday season.

If you have the chance to shop local, here are the best spots for last-minute gift ideas in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and Vancouver.

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Kids

Slime Kits for Kids

They’re appropriate for almost any age of elementary school kid, slime is always one of the hottest toys of the season and comprehensive kits can be found for less than $25. Available anywhere toys are sold including Indigo, Walmart and Toys R Us.

Beanie Boos

You know that carousel of colourful little stuffies your kid is always dragging you towards? Beanie Boos are almost universally loved by kids and for less than $10 they’re a great last-minute option. Available at most drugstores as well as Mastermind and Toys R Us.


Indigo’s list of new and hot kids’ books, plus a flexible return policy, makes it easy to give the gift of reading.

Popular Toys

Toys will never go out of style, so it doesn’t hurt to have some hot items on the list. Things like Play-Doh are forever popular (we love the Play-Doh Shape & Learn), and you can’t go wrong with a classic Fisher Price toy. Our personal favourite is the Think & Learn Rocktopus. For the younger set, try something like Little People Big Helpers family (cute!!) or, for older kids, Beyblades are tons of fun.


Over the Christmas holidays kids are sure to get bored of their electronics (probably … maybe?) so give them something to do that doesn’t involve a charger and glazed eyes. Find great selections at Mastermind, Indigo and Walmart.

Board Games

Teach the youngsters how it was in the olden days before Fortnite, Minecraft, and Roblox with old-school family board games like Monopoly, Clue, or Snakes and Ladders. Find them at most toy stores or on Amazon.

Gift Cards

So many people are giving gift cards now and there are so many options that it no longer seems like a last-minute panic gift. Include a thoughtful card and cute packaging and you’re good to go.

Tickets to a Show

Whether it’s theatre or the cinema, you can order tickets online and print them off at home to stick in a card or gift bag, and voilà!

Experiential “IOUs”

Print off a picture of a sure-to-please experience like rock climbing, treetop trekking, or a zoo pass and tell the recipient it’s good for whenever she decides to go. Experiential gifts are way better than stuff, in our humble opinion.

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Adults

Starbucks Coffee

Who doesn’t want to have a nice pretty package filled with delicious coffee ready to go for Christmas morning? Pair it with a travel mug or box of cranberry white chocolate bars.

Wine or LCBO Gifts

Few of us mind having extra wine on hand so why not stock up on some special bottles and gift bags just in case? And they make great hostess gifts!

Monthly Subscriptions

Whether your giftee is into wine, coffee or binge-watching, one easy way to solve that last-minute gift problem is with a subscription gift shipped right to their inbox or front door.

Holiday Baking

Why not combine your last-minute gift needs with something practical that doesn’t clutter up the house, something that might actually come in handy during the holiday hosting season? Wrap up your own baking in a festive tin or hit your local grocery store or bakery for seasonal treats.

Festive Plants and Wreaths

Your local nursery or grocery store will be fully stocked with poinsettias, wreaths, and other greenery that make lovely gifts, especially for someone who might be too busy to shop for herself.

Christmas Tree Ornaments

Need something small but meaningful? Stock up on a few beautiful ornaments that can easily be wrapped or slipped into a gift bag. Your recipient will think of you every time she sees it. Find a great selection at Indigo and Loblaws.

Relaxation Pack

Chances are no matter who you’ve left off your list, that person could use some pampering. So next time you’re at the grocery or drug store pick up some extra Epsom salts, bubble bath, a sleep mask, or some essential oils and create a decadent little wellness gift basket. Check out the selections at Whole Foods for simple and luxe options. Then cross your fingers you can keep it!


Let’s face it, everyone’s house could probably use a little freshening up. Whether it’s fresh balsam, peppermint, or candy apple, the options are endless. Bath & Body Works has a great selection.


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