Last Minute Holiday Tips: Gifts for surprise guests & the Only dessert recipe you’ll ever need

Last Minute Holiday Tips: Gifts for surprise guests & the Only dessert recipe you’ll ever need

Hi Fam!!! Merry Christmas Eve to you and yours. I hope you are ready for Christmas- but just in case you need a little extra help, this blog is for you.

I’m not sure if this has ever happened to you, but I know that on Christmas Eve’s Past I have both: 1) Realized I forgot to get someone a gift on Christmas Eve or 2) Had a last minute surprise guest that I needed to find the right something for. This is so tough!

Gifting is one of my love languages, and so even if it is last minute I think it is important to find a personal and thoughtful gift. For this reason I spent some time making this list of last minute great gifts that you should be able to buy, even on Christmas Eve. Read on for more, and for the only last-minute dessert recipe you will EVER need.

If there’s a coffee shop on the way:

Everyone loves a special treat! Whether its coffee, tea or something fancy.

Stop by a Starbucks or your local coffee shop to pick out a reusable cup/mug. Think about who you are shopping for.  Do they love hot or cold drinks? Grab the best cup or mug to fit their preferences, then sneak a gift card inside. Starbucks (and many other coffee shops) also have gift bags when you make a purchase.

If you only have The grocery store:

  • High Quality EVOO & Artisanal Vinegar 
    • Olive Oil brands I suggest:
      • Graza Sizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      • Cobram Estate California Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      • Bono Sicilian Extra Virgin Olive Oil Organic
    • Artisanal Vinegars:
      • Monari Federzoni’s Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
      • Retrovo Organic’s Raspberry Balsamic
      • Saratoga Olive Oil Company’s Black Cherry Balsamic
  • Cheeses & Preserves
    • For the cheese I suggest mixing:
      • A hard cheese like a parmesan or an aged gouda
      • A Firm cheese like cheddar or manchego, or
      • A soft cheese like a brie, or even a blue cheese
    • Great preserve options are:
      • Bon Maman Preserves
      • A Hot Pepper Jelly, or
      • Something savory like a tomato or onion jam
  • Nice Chocolates & Locally Roasted Coffee
    • Some of my favorite chocolates to gift include:
      • Theo Chocolate
      • Endangered Species Chocolate
    • And some of my favorite coffee brands are:
      • Boon Roona Coffee
      • Olympic Coffee Roasters
      • Blk & Bold Dark Roast
  • A nice bottle of wine- ask the store’s sommelier if you need some ideas.

These gifts are perfect for a cook, host, or a foodie! They also work great individually or you can pair them together to create a perfect homemade charcuterie board. If you pick high-quality ingredients and package them nicely, there will be no way to tell this was a last minute gift (as long as you remember to throw away the evidence of today’s receipt!!). Depending on your local store you might even find small holiday themed items, such as a tea towels, a festive tray or a cheese knife to include in your gift. The best thing about this type of gift if the recipient will continue to think of you each time they use the items.

If you have to swing by the drug store:

  • Board Games: I have always had good luck at stores like Walgreens. Find a board game that is fun for multiple ages. Some of my favorites are Taco Cat Goat Cheese Pizza, The Game of Life, and Exploding Kittens. If you want to spruce up your board game gift, add in some snacks and a cute card for a Game Night Theme. 
  • A Spa Basket: Drug stores have a great selection of items to add together for some self-care. Grab some Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt, a luxurious foaming bath, a fancy lotion, maybe a natural bath mitt, or even some hydrate & glow face masks. 
  • A Framed Photo of you and them: Take advantage of local print shops and give something truly unique, a framed photo of you and the recipient. Or maybe even of their beloved pet or child. Get those pics off of social and grab a frame on your way to the check stand. This is probably one you would have to know them well enough to feel comfortable gifting.

If the only place on the way is a hardware store:

  • Holiday Décor: Hardware stores can sometimes be your holy grail for gift giving. You never know what you can find especially around the holidays. For example they often have a great selection of Christmas décor. Sometimes they even have more unique pieces than large chains. Mosey through the décor section and find something that can be used for years to come.
  • Gift a plant: Plants have been shown to boost moods, increase creativity and reduce stress. Who wouldn’t want that?! Here are some great options:
    • Money Tree: Gift a money tree for a symbol of prosperity and good fortune.
    • Snake Plants: These symbolize cleanliness and tenacity, which makes it the perfect gift for someone who loves nature and it’s a plant that doesn’t require a lot of extra work.
    • Succulents: This hearty plant is a great way to show your unconditional love. Their symbolism is tenacity, strength and selflessness.

If all else fails: Gift Cards

A well thought out gift card is a fantastic gift- but for this option you should really take care to package it nicely. A great way to do this is in a heartfelt, handwritten card. You can even take your wrapping to a whole new level. 

Creative Wrapping Ideas: 

  • Place gift card in the middle of a glass jar and surround with holiday candy. 
  • If you are gifting more than one card, turn into a gift card wreath.
  • Utilize wrapping paper and create an origami envelope. 


Now as promised, the only last minute dessert recipe you will ever need! 

Atoya Holiday Recipe Card

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