Despite your best intentions and promises to yourself that this will be The Year You Shop Early — here you are, just 10 days away from Christmas and you’re down to the wire. You. Have. One. Weekend. Left. One weekend where every procrastinator on the planet will be scouring for last-minute gifts. You’ve seen them before — Desperate, they grab the overpriced items off the endcaps and pile them into their cart, feverishly crossing names off their list.
Maybe next year will be your year. For now, take heart in the fact that you’re not alone. 11.7% of Americans wait until the last minute. Luckily we’ve rounded up 12 easy-on-the-wallet gift ideas for last-minute shoppers that will still make you look like you shopped all year long. And you don’t even have to leave the house.
Note: For this guide we’ve included gifts ranging from $5-$50, however prices are always subject to change.
1. Mini-Bluetooth Grill Thermometer ($49.95, Sharper Image)
Bluetooth technology debuted just 15 years ago. I wonder if any of the attendees at COMDEX thought to themselves “One day, I can cook my steak with the help of a tiny glowing tool that changes colors when my meat is cooked to perfection.” Probably not. Thankfully Sharper Image did, so now you can cook your steak and monitor it from your smart phone.
2. Glowing Keychain Fob, ($5.99, Pegasus Lighting)
At less than $6, this keychain fob is an excellent budget gift or stocking stuffer. The coolest thing about it is that it always glows – bright enough that you can find it in a dark
bottomless pit purse but low enough that you can take it into a movie theater without looking like a walking flashlight. The button kicks the light up several notches for times when you need that extra illumination.
3. Google Chromecast ($35, Google)
About the size of a thumbdrive, the Google Chromecast hooks up to your computer or TV through a regular HDMI port and has lots of neat features. You can use your smart phone as a remote control, and “cast” your screen to the TV. Instead of everyone crowding around your small phone screen to look at pictures, send the images to the big screen TV for the entire room to view. Or just use it to watch some Netflix!
4. City Map Glasses ($12.50, Uncommon Goods)
Pay homage to someone’s hometown or favorite destination with these trendy bar glasses that have been etched with street names, popular sites and even map coordinates.
5. Battery-Operated Lantern with USB Charger ($29.99, Pegasus Lighting)
This lantern charger seems to find its way into several of our gift guides because it’s just so darn cool. It’s portable, weatherproof, battery-operated and has a built-in USB port to charge up your device. This would make a good gift for a camper, a child, a homeowner OR someone looking for an inexpensive, last-minute gift. See what I mean?
6. Rex Hercules Helicopter ($18.99, Overstock)
Big kids and little kids will be awe-inspired by this radio-controlled helicopter. What I’m most enamored with though, is that it can reportedly handle up to 200 pounds of force. That means it won’t shatter the first time someone (ahem) tries to fly it and steers it into a tree. I’m just sayin’.
7. Solar LED Hummingbird Plant Bracket ($19.90, Pegasus Lighting)
At under $20, this hummingbird bracket with a light-up red crackle globe is a seriously charming gift. It would look beautiful with a plant or even wind chimes. The solar-powered light means no batteries and no wires!
8. Leather Charm Bracelet ($14.99-$49.99, Thinkgeek)
For the coolest Mom on the block. This marvelous bracelet might get you off the hook for waiting until the last minute. Because she’ll probably find out. She’s Super Mom.
9. Clamp-On Battery Operated Grill Light ($45.90, Pegasus Lighting)
Some hardcore grillers may balk at the idea of a meat thermometer (see gift #1). These mighty men and women claim that they can tell you the exact internal temperature of a T-Bone just by looking at it. Give them their moment with a battery operated grill light that features an adjustable neck to focus the light at just the right angle.
10. Williams-Sonoma Hot Chocolate Peppermint Bark ($21.95, Williams-Sonoma)
The description on the Williams-Sonoma site reads more like a bottle of wine than hot cocoa, but it totally has me hooked.
“For the most velvety sip, we chose couverture chocolates from Guittard that melt quickly and consistently in hot milk. The result is a world-class beverage with a smooth, mellow body, exquisite aroma and a perfectly balanced chocolate flavor.” – Williams-Sonoma description of its Peppermint Bark Hot Cocoa
11. Silver Diamond Accent Earrings ($16.99, Overstock)
Pure sparkly joy. That’s what you’ll see from your loved one when she opens these sterling silver earrings with real diamonds.
12. Plank LED Desk Lamp ($49.50, Pegasus Lighting)
For a sophisticated and unique gift, consider the Plank LED Desk Lamp. A little bit modern, a little bit rustic, and a whole lotta impressive.