In a perfect world, a few days before Christmas you would have all your holiday shopping done. Everything would be gorgeously wrapped, all the ribbons curled perfectly, and the corners impeccably crisp, and placed under the tree, just waiting to be handed to the recipients, who, naturally, would love what they unwrapped. However, real life isn’t quite so picture perfect. Things get in the way, your schedule gets jam-packed, and you often find yourself realizing at the last minute that you missed someone on your list. What’s a girl (or guy) to do?
Well, while you might not be able to order that adorable thing from Etsy anymore, or be able to get something customized and monogrammed, don’t despair – it’s not too late to get a fabulous gift. While you obviously have to consider the recipient whenever shopping for a gift, there are a few ideas that are pretty universally beloved by women – so, while you might venture into extremely personal, specific realms when buying a gift for your significant other, some of the ideas on this list would be great for someone whose interests you aren’t 100% certain of.
Pull on your winter coat, head to a nearby store, and within about 20 minutes you can have your hands on one of the following gifts. The recipient will think you’re pretty much Santa Claus (in a more fabulous outfit).
There’s a small percentage of women who dislike candles, who find the scents irritating rather than heavenly. Note that we say small percentage – for the majority of women, there literally cannot be enough candles. If we had our way, every corner of our house would be filled with candles. I mean, what’s not to love? They add great soft lighting, they’re relaxing, and they fill your space with a wonderful scent. We’re all guilty of making our way through the displays, sniffing every scent as we try to pick out the perfect ones for any occasion. No space for a real Christmas tree? Buy an evergreen or pine-scented candle. Not much of a baker? There are endless candles designed to smell like delicious baked goods. You can pretty much never go wrong with a great, high-quality candle.
11 A Gift Certificate to a Local Boutique
We’re not really the biggest fans of gift certificates – after all, when there are countless stores hawking certificates right by the checkout of your nearest grocery store, they can seem just a bit too last minute. However, there are a few exceptions, and this is one of them. Don’t get your girlfriend a gift certificate to a mass retailer that she likely goes to all the time. Get her a gift certificate to a great local boutique that she loves, but might not splurge at that often. You’re supporting local, you’re helping her add a one of a kind piece to her wardrobe, and you’re basically giving her an excuse to go on a mini shopping spree. I mean, it’s a win-win-win.
10 A Gift Card to a Local Restaurant
Put away those chain restaurant gift cards – your present game is way stronger than that. Don’t waste your dollars getting someone a card to a restaurant that will provide an underwhelming meal at best. You know that great restaurant that everyone in town is buzzing about? The one that served that one dish which you can’t totally remember, but you know totally blew your taste buds away? That’s a great suggestion for a unique gift card that might help her try out a restaurant she’ll love. Or, alternatively, take some hints from conversations you may have had with the gift recipient – if there’s some place she’s mentioned that she’s been dying to try, a gift card would likely be much appreciated.
9 A Good Book
This gift idea is great because it fits so many personality types. If the recipient is someone who loves classic literature, buy one of the standards – sure, she may already have a copy, but if she’s a true literary nut, she won’t mind having several editions of a favorite text. For the fashionista in your friend group, pluck any of the gorgeous fashion books from that section of the bookstore. Your foodie friend? A fantastic cookbook. The one who always rushes to get the latest installment in the Shopaholic series the minute it comes out? Pick up the newest buzzworthy chick lit staple. There’s quite literally a book for every taste in any bookstore.
8 A Magazine Subscription
Is there anything better than curling up in a steaming bubble bath with a glass of wine and a stack of glossy magazines? We didn’t think so. Magazines are a great way to unwind, but let’s face it – at 5, 6, or 7 dollars a pop, getting an indulgent stack of several magazines for a girly night in definitely adds up. If you know what magazines your girlfriend enjoys (let’s face it, you’ve probably seen several of them tossed around her place), a year’s subscription is often not that expensive, and is a great monthly treat.
7 A Bottle of Wine
There’s a reason that a bottle of wine is pretty much one of the most universal hostess gifts – it’s always appreciated, and it can easily be stored until whenever the recipient feels like drinking it. Now, there is one caveat to this gift – obviously, if you know that the recipient doesn’t really drink alcohol, perhaps leave this gift idea for someone else. However, for most individuals, a nice bottle of wine (like, nicer than you’d probably buy for yourself for Netflix night) can be a fantastic indulgence. Ask someone at the store for a few recommendations and help your friend discover a new favorite rosé.
6 A Subscription box
A subscription box is kind of like the gift that keeps on giving, and in this day and age, there are subscription boxes for absolutely everything. For your foodie friend, get a box that delivers a selection of snacks every month. For your beauty-obsessed friend, obviously Birchbox. For a friend who is a total coffee snob, there are subscription boxes that will deliver high quality beans straight to your doorstop. Whatever your friend’s taste, there’s a subscription box that caters to it, so sign her up and become the best friend in the world as she receives box after box of fantastic surprises.
5 Something to up her bar Cart Game
We’re going to blame Mad Men for this one, but let’s face it – bar carts are totally a thing now. Every chic décor spread features a perfectly styled bar cart, and we can attest to the fact that bar cart envy is a real and dangerous thing. So, if your friend has a beginner’s bar cart all set up in her place, help her pimp it out – from a gorgeous set of glasses that you’d never buy for yourself (they’re asking how much?), to a rose gold cocktail shaker, to a glam bottle opener, there are endless options that your friend would absolutely adore but might not think to splurge on for herself.
4 A High-end Beauty Splurge
If your friend has VIP status at Sephora, and has a make-up bag worth its weight in gold, this probably isn’t the most innovative option, as she’ll probably have whatever item you might contemplate getting. However, for the average woman, let’s be serious – high-end make-up is expensive, and we’re often searching the drugstore for dupes to avoid shelling out $40+ for every item. So, it can be a total indulgence and luxury to get a high-end product or two from a friend. Treat her to a bottle of Chanel polish, or a great tube of Dior lip gloss. It’ll bring a little bit of extra glam to her life whenever she uses it, and who couldn’t use a bit of that?
3 Cashmere Anything
Let’s be real for a moment – cashmere is luxurious, cashmere is incredibly soft, cashmere is gorgeous on the skin, and cashmere is expensive. There’s no material that’s better to cuddle up in, but it can be difficult to justify the price tag for yourself. So, treat your girlfriend by picking up a gorgeous cashmere scarf, or a set of gloves, or even a snuggly sweater to wear around the house. Perfect for the girl with champagne taste on a beer can budget who desperately needs an upgrade from her standard cotton.
2 Luxe Bath Products
If a girl won’t splurge on all high-end makeup, you better believe she won’t be throwing her hard earned dollars down the drain purchasing designer bubble bath or artisanal soap – but sometimes, you need a little bit of luxury in your life. Help a girl out by getting a gorgeously scented bottle of bubble bath (we’re looking at you, Jo Malone), skin-softening soap, basically anything that will up her bath game. I mean, there’s no better way to relax, so why not do it in style?
1 Something Related to her Drink of Choice
Pretty much every girl has some sort of beverage indulgence, whether it’s a flawless cappuccino, a perfectly steeped cup of tea, or a mug of hot chocolate made with artisanal chocolate and pillowy house made marshmallows. So, feed that indulgence! The options are endless – a pack of loose leaf tea in varying flavors, a fantastic mug, great quality espresso beans, a stove-top espresso machine for the perfect at home latte… there are a lot of ways you can treat her to something that will likely be incorporated in her life daily.