7 Perfect Last-Minute Gift Ideas

Nothing feels better than having a calendar full of upcoming parties to attend! But, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by events piling up all at once, it can be a challenge finding the perfect gift for your host on a short timeline. We recommend keeping an area of your closet well-stocked with gifts that are versatile and thoughtful so you can grab and go! This gift list is sure to impress even the hardest-to-please host.

Local Gift Cards

Nothing is easier and more versatile than keeping a stack of gift cards on hand. Add a bit of a personal touch to this one by making sure the gift cards have a local focus. Your host might enjoy taking in a show with their family at the local movie theater. Perhaps they would love to have a night out at the restaurant down the road, or maybe they would indulge in a coffee to go on the way to work. No matter what your host’s taste, gift cards are sure to please!

Lotion – With a Twist!


Everyone loves a bottle of relaxing lotion, but you want your gift to be a bit more special than the average lotion stocked on grocery store shelves. We love the element of surprise hidden in this one, which contains jewelry inside each bottle. The lotion is foamy and leaves your hands feeling soft and smooth. What better way to please your host than by encouraging a bit of self-care after the big event? Go the extra mile and pair your lotion with some other bath accessories and a candle to help your host relax and wind down.

Flowers and Cava

Flowers and wine are a traditional dinner gift, but try substituting cava (Spanish sparkling wine) for a bit of flair! If you want your host gift to stand out, just keep a few bottles of cava on hand and grab on the way out the door. Light and airy, cava is refreshing and pairs well with desserts and party snacks. For an extra touch, pair the bubbly with some savory baked goods or chocolates to create a match that will be unforgettable. Your host will admire your worldly knowledge.

Framed Photo

For the more sentimental party host, a framed photo offers a personal touch. With so many options for developing digital photos nowadays, you can have your framed photo created within 24 hours at your local shop. Simply order, click, and pick up on the way home from work or school pick-up. Your host is sure to find a special place on the wall for your gift.

Travel Mugs

Travel mugs seem like a simple enough gift to keep on hand, but opt for a classier style that will last. Many travel mugs on the market now use new insulation technology that can keep your coffee or tea hot for 24 hours or more. You can find a durable brand at your local outdoor or adventure gear shop. Your host will be impressed when they go to sip their beverage of choice near the end of the day and it tastes freshly-poured. This gift is perfect for the busy mom on your list!


There are so many variations on the traditional chocolate gift. Go for the classic box of chocolates, or if your host is a bit more adventurous, see if you can get your hands on some more unique flavors. Some more worldly flavors to look out for include chocolate with chili peppers, sea salt or coconut. If you are even more ambitious, see if you can get your hands on some real ‘drinking chocolate’ for your host. They will never look at powdered hot cocoa the same way again!

Handmade Gifts

Many shops offer classes teaching students how to make jewelry, paint, sew or create other handmade items. Classes like this are offered year-round, but particularly around the holiday season. Consider asking staff at your local craft store for information about the classes they offer so that you can learn to make some gifts in bulk yourself. Your host will be super impressed with your crafty skills!

Finding the perfect gift isn’t always easy. It requires careful thought but it doesn’t need to take too much time. If you stock up in advance, you will always have something on-hand for the next upcoming event. With that said, every gift should have your own unique touch. Keep a variety of cards handy so that you can add a personal message just for your host, and you will be sure to be invited back the next time!

Carolyn Clarke is a freelance writer from Omaha, Nebraska. She’s been published across many digital platforms for her expertise in party planning and DIY, as well as working with clients such as Jewelry Candles. When she isn’t working on DIY projects with her two daughters, she’s volunteering at her local pet shelter.