Special occasions and holidays tend to creep up on you. Before you know it, you are running from store to store to find the perfect gift before time runs out. Save yourself the stress and frustration by choosing one of the last minute gift ideas below. These ideas are always on store shelves, so you can give the perfect gift any time of year.

Edible Gifts

If you’re short on time, edible gifts are the perfect choice. Choose the recipient’s favorite snacks and create a basket of goodies. Bakeries will also have a wide selection of delicious cakes, pastries, cookies and other foods. Many will allow you to choose a mixture of items and box them up for you. This is a gift idea that certainly doesn’t look last minute and the recipient is sure to appreciate the gesture.

Bottle of Wine

Gifting the recipient a bottle of their favorite wine is a thoughtful gift choice. If your budget allows, you can choose to purchase more than one bottle. Many stores also carry wine sleeves or bags, which will help make the bottle look more like a gift and less like a last minute stop at the liquor store.

Throw Blanket

While it may seem like an odd gift, a throw blanket is practical and can be found on any store shelf. There is nothing cozier than curling up with a soft throw blanket, a hot cup of tea and a good book. Some blankets include fun or festive themes, but plain colors are also available.

Best-selling Book

A book may not be a gift that everyone will appreciate, but most people have at least one title that they are dying to read. Choosing a best-selling book is typically your best bet. Consider the recipient’s interests and the genre of the book. If a person is celebrating a new job, a book on achieving success is a thoughtful idea.

Gift Card

When all else fails, a gift card will do the trick. Many stores sell gift cards for specific establishments, but you can also purchase a generic card that is accepted anywhere, such as a Visa or Mastercard gift card. If you can, choose something that suits their tastes to make it a little more personal. For example, you can choose to give them a gift card to their favorite restaurant or store.

Perfume or Cologne

A bottle of perfume or cologne can be picked up last minute from any department store. In fact, some convenient stores sell fragrances as well. Gift sets are also available that include lotion and body wash. If you are unsure of what their favorite scent is, opt for something similar.

Beauty Essentials

For female recipients, beauty essentials are a last minute gift she will definitely appreciate. However, it may take a bit of extra work to make the gift presentable. First, start out by choosing a few items. Mascara, lip gloss, black eyeliner and moisturizer are safe bets. You may need to purchase a gift bag to place the items in. Many stores also carry makeup or beauty kits that include everything you need. If you really are at a loss, you can ask a sales associate for advice.

Emilie Sinclair

I'm a gift idea enthusiast who loves helping people find the right present for their loved ones.