Hanukkah is in full swing, and we’re running out of shopping days ‘til Christmas, so what’s a busy bride to do? Head straight to Brides, natch! We’re here to help you slay the gift-giving game thanks to expert lifestyle blogger (and mom, wife, and actress) Eva Amurri Martino, of Happily Eva After, and these last-minute holiday and Christmas gift ideas.
Follow Eva's advice to avoid that oh-so-painfully obvious, sentiment-lacking last-minute trinket; and then scroll below to check out our gift suggestions for everyone still left on your list.
Even though time is running short, it’s still important to keep it as personal and thoughtful as possible. Last-minute gifts tend to be generic and impersonal, defeating the purpose of gift giving. Eva says, “I think the worst is [a gift] that’s random and has nothing to do with the person, something ultimately you’re not feeling great about when you gift it, and they’re probably not feeling great about it either.” Even when you’re facing the pressures of time, she explains that you shouldn’t rush gifting and, “get something for someone they are going to keep at the bottom of their closet.”
Nobody wants to be in the super-awkward situation of receiving an unexpected gift and not having something to give in return. Eva explains, “I think you always need to have something on hand. If you can’t do that, you can say you’re looking forward to surprising them with something, and just need to know when is a good date or week that they're free.” Then, gifting them tickets for an event on that specified date is a sure-fire win.
She adds, “if you’re that far behind that you have to lie on the fly, I wouldn’t say you have already done it. Just say the check is in the mail, basically.” Luckily, this hasn’t happened to Eva, as she describes herself as a “super type-A person, so I start thinking about Christmas gifts super early.” If only we could all be that prepared!
While nailing the gift game can be difficult—especially for those hard-to-shop-for people—gifting tickets to a game, concert, show, or other event can be as personal as it gets. Besides, memories are way better than physical gifts (most of the time, anyway!). Eva explains, “I have been passionate for years now about gifting experiences. I think it is fun as a gift giver because there is that creative, surprise, wow-factor that people aren’t expecting. And at the same time, they can create memories to last a lifetime.”
She adds that, especially under last-minute circumstances, “It’s so amazing to be able to have StubHub, where you can Stubhub.com/holiday search by your area to see what’s going on there, and it’s as simple as picking an event, buying your tickets, and printing them out.”
As for gifting tickets, we all know presentation is key. She suggests buying an ornament that’s hollow, in which to hide the tickets. And for the sports lover in your life, you can even buy gloves or a hat from their favorite team and stick the tickets inside for a fun surprise when they try them on!
See More: 24 Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Wife
If you’re really under the gun and need a sentimental gift fast, Eva also loves the idea of a handwritten note or card. She explains, “I think a really meaningful card always saves the day. I honestly always say to my husband, for gifts of any kind, I would rather get a really meaningful, heartfelt letter or card from him anytime.” She adds, “Even if all you do is write a letter about what that person means to you and how you want to carve out some time to spend with them, I think that’s worth it all.”
In addition to personal and experiential gifts, check out more of our favorite last–minute presents below that are sure to please everyone on your list.