Last-Minute Gifts for Everyone Left on Your List

Photo illustration of various last-minute suggestions surrounding an old clock.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by SasinParaksa/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

No matter how well you prepare for the holidays, there’s always some frantic last-minute shopping to do. With that in mind, we’ve combed our gift guides to compile a list that covers every type of friend and relative, from your sibling with a new baby to your vegan cousin. All of these items are available on Amazon with two-day shipping for Prime members—perfect for ensuring your gifting photo finish.

For the nephew you forgot existed

You don’t need to know a kid well to hit it out of the park with Magna-Tiles. Nicole Cliffe writes that this is a non-negotiable gift for toddlers: “You need to give them Magna-Tiles. I do not make the rules. ‘$50 for 32 magnet blocks?!’ you will say. Trust me that they will love them. They are also much less painful to step on than most alternative building sets.”

For your friend with the adorable labradoodle

In his gift guide for pets, Nick Greene recommends the Fluff & Tuff Beach Ball. He writes: “Dogs love plushy toys so much that it can be a problem. The softer and fluffier it is, the more likely your pooch will morph into Lennie from Of Mice and Men and go overboard. While all toys are advertised as durable, this one can tango with a large, overenthusiastic dog and come away unscathed.”

beach ball

For your phone-obsessed niece

A book light is a great gift for the generation that might not yet even realize that reading can be a sneaky late-night activity. Cliffe highlights that this clip-on book light “can be quickly turned off and hidden for when you were supposed to be asleep hours ago.”

book light

For your New Age–y cousin

Jamilah Lemieux recommends this essential oil diffuser that “also serves as a humidifier and an LED lamp that is equal parts calming and dazzling. You may already have a diffuser on deck, but does it light up in a variety of colors?”

Oil diffuser

For your sibling with the new baby

The holidays are a great time to bestow your loved ones with something a little lavish. Shannon Palus recommends the Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks in our luxury gift guide, writing: “These under-eye masks are refreshing and fancy in equal measure and are a great gift for the self-care enthusiast who has everything. Like so much of skin care, whether the serum does anything is sort of a mystery to me—but I don’t care because it feels soothing on my skin, especially after a day that involved crying and/or general stress.”

Eye masks

For your friend’s germaphobic partner

In our useful gift guide, Torie Bosch recommends the Clipa2 bag hanger: “I’m not precious about my purse (though I do prefer to think of it as a bag). Stains, tears, whatever—as long as it carries my belongings, I’m happy. But I do get grossed out by putting it on the floor at bars or restaurants. Enter the Clipa2 bag hanger: a handsome little ring that you can use to hang your bag from any surface. Clip away to keep your belongings close by without risk of biohazard.”

Bag hanger

For the second cousin who got sparkle slime on your leather jacket

Carrie Bauer recommends Theraputty as a more parent-friendly version of slime. She writes: “Technically it’s a physical therapy tool, meant for strengthening grip and dexterity—but it also makes a great fidget toy, and it’s not nearly as messy or prone to falling apart as the contact-lens-solution-and-glue concoction favored in YouTube tutorials. It comes color-coded by softness, and you can also pick sparkly, scented, and ‘puffy’ versions.”


For your outdoorsy sibling

Sometimes the best gift is also the most practical. As Christina Djossa writes in our useful gift guide, “Whether you’re camping, traveling, or living in a place where clean water is scarce, the LifeStraw bottle can easily filter water from lakes or streams and remove any bacteria or chemicals. I have a 22–fluid ounce LifeStraw Go, which is for daily use and has saved me from many waterborne illnesses while traveling.”

LifeStraw bottle

For your friend who’s fully embraced their inner cat person

The next level in cat ownership, after keeping them fed and watered, is keeping them entertained. Greene writes: “Food puzzles come highly recommended by feline behavioral experts, and they’re probably the simplest way to keep your cat entertained and stimulated during the day. This ceramic maze is easy for cats who are unfamiliar with puzzles.”

Slow feeder bowl

For the parent who could use a little “me” time

Lemieux writes that this shower-friendly speaker is a good gift for parents who have some trouble getting time to themselves: “This durable speaker will allow you to enhance the quality of your sacred solo time with some of your favorite tunes. It also has decent enough sound to use in the kitchen, or to bring with you when traveling.”

For your uncle with the bike that costs as much as your car

If pricey exercise gear falls outside your budget, you can always buy a mid-priced pair of commuter-friendly headphones for the athlete in your life. Megan Wiegand recommends the wireless headphones by AfterShokz: “I spend a good chunk of time either biking to work or running around my city, and these headphones allow me to listen to music or podcasts without blocking out my surroundings (especially while biking).”