6 Last Minute Gift Ideas (That Aren’t Gift Cards)

December 24, 2018

Written by Amy L. Lauricella, Content Writer

Last Minute Gifts

We’re now down to less than 24 hours until the biggest gift-giving extravaganza of the year—which means we’ve passed the point where even Amazon Prime can save us. But don’t despair, perpetual procrastinators, Member One is here to get us out of this pickle with picks for well-priced yet personal presents you can pull off at the very last minute. (And not a gift card in sight!) 


A useful gift that’s only a click away. Just print out the confirmation email and lay it in a little box, wrap it in a bow, and boom—you’ve just given someone on your list a gift that keeps on giving all year-round (or for six months, or three, or however generous you’re feeling). A subscription to Netflix or Hulu could potentially do your giftee’s bank account a big favor by helping them to cut the costly cable cord, while a meal-kit service subscription could help them learn to cook and finally kick that pricy dining out habit. Other popular options include streaming services such as Spotify or Audible, or budget-friendly luxury subscriptions like Birchbox or Dollar Shave Club.  


Many of your giftees might love learning something new, but for-fun classes are something adults tend to view as an indulgence and hesitate to buy themselves—which makes paying for classes an especially thoughtful gifting gesture. Consider art classes at the Taubman Museum, cooking classes at one of our area’s recreation centers, or a class pass to a local yoga studio or boutique fitness club. 


This is another one-click-and-done gift option that can provide long-term enjoyment. In our area of Virginia alone, the options are plentiful for a gifted membership that’s perfectly personalized. A family with curious young kids might love a yearly membership to the Science Museum of Western Virginia, while the more artistic in your circle might enjoy a membership with the Blacksburg Museum and Cultural Foundation. Not only will you be giving your friend or relative a gift they can experience on multiple occasions, you’ll also be giving back to valuable non-profit organizations in your community. Or, you could go the eminently practical route and give the gift of a AAA membership, which might very well come in handy if we get another snowy winter! 


If there’s a cause that’s near and dear to your loved one’s heart, consider making a donation to charity in their name. It’s a lovely gesture and a special gift in keeping with the spirit of the season. 


Tickets to a concert, event, or festival can be purchased instantaneously, yet they also provide an anticipation factor for your giftee —a hallmark of an exciting gift! Depending on your intended level of largesse for this particular recipient, you could give a pair of tickets, a tickets package, or go all-out for season tickets. The sports fan in your life would likely love tickets to The Rail Yard Dawgs hockey team, or to the Salem Red Sox or Lynchburg Hillcats baseball clubs. The theatre aficionado would surely appreciate seeing a show show at Mill Mountain Theatre or at the Lynchburg Academy of the Arts, while the dance lover should be delighted by tickets to the Charlottesville Ballet. 


If you know someone on your list has an e-reading device (or uses the Kindle app on their laptop or phone), Amazon makes it easy to go this last-minute gifting route with the handy “Give as a Gift” option at e-book checkout. Give someone the gift of knowledge this season. Might we suggest a topic such as financial literacy or money management (or would that be too predictable)? 

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