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In the (Saint) Nick of Time

You checked the list twice but still need a last-minute gift! Here are some ideas.

Bottle of Wine. While a nice bottle of Chardonnay may scream, “I forgot to buy you something!” clever wrapping will signal that more thought was put into a frantic liquor-store run. We love this tutorial by Martha Stewart for a festive and extremely easy way to package your gift of wine with left over tissue paper. Roll the bottle in five sheets of tissue paper leaving a few extra inches at the neck. Tape the bottom and secure the top with a cord or ribbon. Cut the excess paper near the cork in vertical strips and let them burst open into an airy pom-pom.

Coffee Table Book. Swing by the bookstore and pick up a photo coffee table book of any subject that your family member or friend may be interested in. If you are not sure where to begin, here’s our list of favorite photo books. If you can truly not think of any particular interests of the recipient, a book of local landmarks is always a well-received option. The beauty of this gift idea (beyond the inspiring imagery) is that it is frequently something people want to use to decorate their homes but rarely want to spend the money on it. You come away looking like an interior designing genius.

Hot Cocoa Mix. A sweet DIY gift that your loved ones will actually use, a mason jar of homemade hot cocoa mix is simple to assemble. Follow this recipe and layer the ingredients in a jar. On the card, write in the instructions to prepare the hot cocoa and wrap the jar with a cheerful ribbon and bow. If you have a little extra time, bake some chocolate chip cookies to accompany your hot cocoa mix. As their home fills with the comforting aroma of chocolate, no one will ever guess that this was made with pantry reserves!

Subscription Boxes. A gift that keeps on giving, subscription boxes from Birchbox, The Fancy or Bespoke Post for Men are a fantastic option for the family member that you can never seem to please with your gift giving. Each month they’ll receive a new assortment of products to enjoy, delivered straight to their door and you’ll be credited for introducing them to some of their new favorite products.

Happy New Year’s Card. There are always distant family members who still send holiday cards from whom you frankly weren’t expecting to receive anything. For those ambushing card-senders, purchase a small package of Happy New Year’s cards or stationary and drop a card in the mail immediately after Christmas. The card will arrive before New Year’s Eve and offers the same warm wishes of any Christmas card without ever looking like an after-thought.