Last-Minute Holiday Gifts: A Guide
Options for all ages
Still haven’t finished your holiday shopping? Don’t worry, you’re not alone — and we're here to help. These gift ideas are categorized to cover everyone on your list, so keep this issue handy when you’re shopping. Most of these items are available via Amazon, so if you’re an Amazon Prime member, the gifts can be delivered to you — or your recipient — for free just a couple of days after you place the order. Happy shopping!
Holiday gifts image by Mallmo/Shutterstock.com. Product images courtesy of the respective companies unless otherwise noted.
Babies and Toddlers
Push-button technology on each page of these beautifully illustrated board books makes it possible for little hands to trigger musical accompaniment as they read. “The Nutcracker” introduces Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballet in a way that kids will understand and love. Cali’s Books Publishing House, ages 0-4, $14.99.
People Blocks Working Cars
This 18-piece magnetic mix-and-match car set encourages children to use their imagination as they recreate favorite cars and invent new ones. People Toy Company, 18 months and older, $34.99.
Precidio Design Drink in the Box
These innovative and reusable on-the-go drink boxes are perfect for the moms and toddlers on your list because they are useful, fun and good for the environment. They are also bisphenol A- and phthalate-free, won’t squirt or leak, and allow parents to choose exactly what baby (and mommy) are sipping on. Available in 8- and 12-ounce sizes. Precidio Design, all ages, $11.99-$14.99.
GeoSafari Jr. Talking Microscope
This updated version of the best-selling Talking Microscope features the voice of Bindi Irwin, star of Animal Planet’s “Crikey! It’s the Irwins,” and daughter of the late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin. Kids will fall in love with science as they explore 60 photo-quality images and hear more than 100 facts. Educational Insights, ages 4-7, $49.99.
The Barbie Fashionistas line consists of diverse dolls with a wide variety of skin tones, eye colors, hair colors, hair textures, body types and fashions. Mattel introduced two new additions to the family this year. One doll has a prosthetic leg and others come with wheelchairs. To make these stars as authentic as possible, Mattel worked with medical professionals and kids who have lost limbs. Mattel, barbie.mattel.com/shop/en-us/ba/barbie-fashionistas, ages 3 and older, $19.99.
Buzz Lightyear Star Command
To paraphrase Woody, “This is a cool toy!” It includes a spaceship, space-exploring rover and glow-in-the-dark Buzz Lightyear. With the recent release of Disney+ streaming service and the global success of “Toy Story 4” last summer, this toy is sure to be a hit. Mattel, shop.mattel.com, ages 3 and older, $79.99.
New this year from Ravensburger, Escape Jigsaw Puzzles bring the fun of escape rooms into your living room. These 759-piece puzzles are games, riddles and adventures in one box. A unique cutting process allows the pieces throughout the puzzle to fit together in multiple places. Similar to an actual escape room, players must work together to solve problems and escape the puzzle. Each box includes a story booklet and sealed envelope with the solution.
Ravensburger, amazon.com, ages 12 and older, $19.99.
myCharge Portable Phone Charger
A great gift for any teen, this portable charger is easy to keep in a backpack, sports bag or car for a quick charge anytime, anywhere. It features an integrated Apple Lightning cable and micro-USB cable, as well as a built-in USB port.
myCharge, mycharge.com, ages 12 and older, $99.
These socks are fun and insanely comfortable. Not only do they cradle feet with warm and fuzzy cotton, they also give hearts the warm fuzzies. For every pair purchased, Bombas donates a pair to the homeless community. (A special Sesame Street 50th anniversary sock line is also available for younger children on your list). Bombas, bombas.com, all ages, $107 for a seven-pack gift box.
Gas Gift Card
Is it terribly exciting? Nope. But what is even less exciting? When teens have to spend their own money on gas. Buy this on the way to a holiday event and brighten the day of any teen driver on your list.
Honey & Sage Co. Mala Bracelet
Malas are traditional Buddhist prayer beads used to count how many times a mantra is recited. This practice, like yoga, has spread beyond the Buddhist religion because of the benefits that mantras, meditation and mindfulness can have. Each bracelet is made with stones and aromatherapy designed to help the person who is wearing it focus on a specific aspect of well-being. Honey & Sage Co., $24.
“It’s Blunderful” Board Game
“It’s Blunderful” requires players to read out awkward situations from game cards and then make bets on how the other players will handle those scenarios. Be careful — players may get to know each other too well! Amazon.com, $24.99.
Spongellé Beach Grass Pedi-Buffer
Want to add a spring to someone’s step this winter? This uniquely textured sponge is just the gift to do it. It whisks away dry skin while cleansing feet with extracts of peppermint and sea kelp. Spongellé, $16.
On your way to visit the in-laws and just found out that your spouse dropped the ball and forgot to buy a gift? Fear not. StoryWorth is a service that prompts recipients with emailed questions throughout the year and then compiles a beautiful book filled with a “story of their life.” This thoughtful gift doesn’t require much thought. In fact, you can purchase it on your way to the celebration. StoryWorth, $99.
Products reflect prices at press time.
Mandy Howard is a Parenting Media Assocation award-winning writer and mother of three in Raleigh.