Last-Minute and Cheap Gift Ideas

So, you messed up.

You either waited too long to shop or order something online or spent all your holiday money already or that gift exchange you signed up for is literally tomorrow. The point is, you need to get something for someone. You need to get it fast and you need to get it cheap. Fortunately for you, help has arrived.

Handmade Mug

64e6eaf3_sharpie-mug-xxxlarge_2xPhoto credit: Popsugar

Channel your inner second-grader with some handmade drinkware. I actually did this earlier this month as part of a group activity. While I didn’t actually end up making one as a gift, a lot of my friends did. Basically, you get some of these oil-paint sharpie markers and a blank white mug (this one is $3 and available at Bakersfield WScreen Shot 2015-12-23 at 2.16.52 PMalmarts, but I’m sure the dollar store has them too). Then, you decorate it however you want to! Or, as many of my friends ended up doing— you can rip off get inspiration from other people’s ideas on Pinterest. Then, you let it dry overnight. Finally, you “bake” it in the oven at 350°F for 30 minutes….and there you have it! You have a cheap last-minute gift that seems so special and heartfelt that the other person won’t even think it was last-minute!


Scented Candles

CandlesAlright, listen up. It’s okay if you totally spaced on buying your mom/other-important-lady-in-your-life a christmas present. I’ll level you— It’s happened to me. No judgements. Sometimes you’re just busy. BUT, it is not okay if you don’t get her anything at all. Now, everyone is different of course. You can’t just generalize people based on their ages and genders. But in my personal experiences, moms/aunts/grandmas/other-special-gals LOVE candles. I mean, seriously— what’s not to love? If I cared more, I’d probably have candles around my place too. They smell great, they’re fun, they create some nice mood lighting. Seriously, candles are awesome. Lucky for you, they can be pretty inexpensive. Bath and Body Works has a sale on their really nice winter-themed candles right now for $12.50. You can probably find some that are even cheaper at HomeGoods or a store like Target or Walmart, too.

Christmas Tree Ornament

The classic cheap low-pressure “I thought of you” christmas gift. The great thing about this is that so many people are really into the whole christmas tree thing that this can be a pretty exciting gift. Also, it serves as a general gift to the whole household. Cha-ching. You have two options here— 1. Make your own DIY-style, or 2. Buy one.

I’m not a very “crafty” person myself, so I would peScreen Shot 2015-12-23 at 3.01.20 PMrsonally go with number two. Especially because they make so many cool pop-culture themed ornaments these days. Your giftee a star wars fan? Get her a Darth Vader or BB-8 one. They a Frozen freak? You got an Olaf ornament for ’em. They even have THE DINOSAUR FROM THE NEW JURASSIC PARK MOVIE. There are literally tons of super cool ornaments. I would not mind one bit receiving these as gifts.


Framed Photograph

Now, this is something a parent, significant other, or BFF can all enjoy. Nothing is a sweeter gift than a picture of the two of you together in a nice frame. Especially these days, with digital photography being how we take and share pictures the most, a printed photograph can really be7c5fc7f4117ea37966095c528a306d3b special. You can print the picture yourself with a decent printer and some photo paper— or, if you don’t have that option, you can find a photo kiosk in Rite Aid or visit FedEx Office to have one printed. Frames are relatively cheap, I’ve even seem some nice-looking ones at Dollar Tree. Maybe add some personal touches like decorations on the edges of the frame and VIOLA! A truly touching gift that the other person can treasure. Again, Pinterest appears to be a good source of inspiration for this sort of thing. Here’s a really cool one I found that uses smaller printed pictures as the frame decoration.


Winter Accessories

While Bakersfield winters aren’t too bad, things can still get pretty chilly. Now, this may be an unnecessary thing to bring up as I’m sure it’s probablyScreen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.56.09 PM a common-sense gift idea, but I thought I would anyway. I know a lot of people who don’t really like buying themselves things to be more comfortable, because they’d rather “deal with it” than spend the money. So, it introduces a great opportunity to give as a gift! Scarves, hats, and gloves are available at all price points and for all genders and tastes! Something that would be a very cool gift in this category is (you’ll never guess it)…SOCKS!

I know, I know. It’s the stereotypical joke about a “bad present” but hear me out— there are a LOT of cool socks out there. I personally bought these on the left here for myself. They have bells on them. They are seriously dope as heck.


Gift Cards

A selection of gift cards in a store in New York on Wednesday, November 2, 2011. (© Richard B. Levine)

So, this is the last one on the list for a reason. While gift cards are pretty easy, quick and cheap (usually the smallest amount seems to be about $15) they’re also pretty low-scoring in the “thoughtfulness” category. Gift cards are a good choice for someone you aren’t that close to, or someone who really doesn’t care (I know my brother would personally probably LOVE a gift card to Best Buy or Gamestop or something). You can spruce it up by buying some dollar wrapping paper and  wrapping it up— some places even give you boxes for the cards during the holidays!


Well, I hope this list was useful (or at least entertaining). I hope you all have a Happy Holiday and a relaxing Winter Break! Talk to you soon, Renegades!





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