Last-minute Christmas gifts? I'm a shopping editor and this is everything you need to know

Left it a bit late? Shop these last-minute Christmas gifts and thank us later.

A collage of images of items featured in our guide to the best last minute Christmas gifts for 2023
(Image credit: Future)

If you're a last-minute Larry (or Lucy) then Christmas has probably snuck up on you. But there's no need to panic-buy any old thing because we've found these last-minute Christmas gifts that your nearest and dearest will actually like.

We get it. There's been a lot going on to make Christmas shopping take a back seat this year. Factor in the cost of living crisis, to name just one cheery issue, and many of us are thinking twice before we tackle Christmas shopping.

If that's left you cutting it a bit fine, don't worry. We've put together this list of last-minute gifts that will still get there in time but won't cost a fortune. They don't scream 'bought this at the Spar on my way' or even 'didn't think about your pressie properly' - they're classy, tasteful, and thoughtful gifts that will bring a smile to the recipient's face. They'll never know that you didn't even think about getting them a gift until the last minute. 

Here's our pick of the best last-minute Christmas gifts for 2023.

Last-minute Christmas gifts: where to shop

Best last-minute Christmas gifts to buy in 2023


Holiday in the City Mug, £14 | Anthropologie

Tell me you wouldn't be delighted if the postie delivered this divine little wintry mug to your door just in time for your Christmas morning coffee - you can't! I love Rome but I wouldn't mind if Santa wanted to gift me New York, London, Chicago and Paris too! 


Love from Santa Dairy Milk, £12 | Cadbury Direct

What do you buy at the last minute for the person who has everything? A giant bar of Dairy Milk, of course! The 'Merry Christmas' message on the packaging makes this a perfect 11th-hour treat for someone special who loves a square or three of Dairy Milk. Cadbury's kindly sent me one of these last year and my nine-year-old still talks about it a whole year later - it's that impressive!


The LOOKFANTASTIC Christmas Present 2023, £50 | Look Fantastic

Worth more than £150, this limited edition gift set contains a curation of seven popular beauty products including a full-size bottle of the bestselling EVE LOM Foaming Cream Cleanser and cult favourite Maximist Volumizing Phyto-Fiber Mascara from bareMinerals which is worth £23 alone - all for just £50.


No7 The Ultimate Skincare Collection Gift Set was £85, now £42 | Boots

I treat my mum to the Boots Ultimate Skincare Collection gift set every year and this year it's packed with some of the brand's best-loved products including the No7 Protect and Perfect day cream for instant radiance. You also get the Night Cream, Eye Cream, and Lip Care from the same range among other items so it's brilliant value for money for a gift with a little bit of wow factor.


Perfect Night's Sleep Candle, £18 | John Lewis

A fancy candle is always a dreamy gift and this one from Neom is one of the loveliest gifts I've ever received - the perfect treat for a tired new mum. It's a relaxing blend of 100% natural fragrances with 19 pure essential oils including English lavender, precious jasmine, and sweet basil to help you relax before bed. I also love the Neom Organics London Wellbeing Pod Mini Diffuser (£55) for scenting little spaces longer than a candle can - I cherish mine.


Personalised Necklace, £99 | Merci Maman

My all-time favourite necklace was a press gift from Merci Maman - and The Duchess of Cambridge wears one too - so the personalised jewellery brand is my go-to for meaningful gifts for other mums. This one features two intertwined circles to symbolise an ever-lasting bond, and it can be hand-engraved for the ultimate personalised gift. It comes packaged in an elegant gift box so that's the wrapping taken care of too.


Personalised Handwoven Blanket, £38.90 | Not On The High Street

This cosy 100% natural cotton throw blanket is available in seven stylish colours and would make a lovely last-minute gift for anyone who loves snuggling on the sofa - and who doesn't? A cosy keepsake gift that's also highly practical, the herringbone pattern will complement all types of decor and it's a great size (220X100cm / 87x39 inches) for keeping warm on a wintry night.


2024 Daily Planner, £46 | Hello Day

A planner is the ultimate last-minute Christmas gift for the person in your life who's always juggling diary commitments and writing lists - bring them the gift of calm and classy organisation with this beautiful planner. Hello Day planners are my faves - I love the attention to detail including gold monthly tabs, hot pink inside covers, and the fact that it comes in a stunning keepsake box that turns it into a statement gift. Order up until 1 pm on 20th December for delivery in time for Christmas.


Tony's Christmas Tasting Pack, £12 | Moonpig

Secret Santa, anyone? The chocoholic in your life will love this little gift featuring six bars of delicious chocolate from Tony's Chocolonely - my personal fave is the Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt. Hopefully, they'll share this with you but if not at least you're helping Tony's mission of 100% slave-free chocolate.


Cartwright & Butler Mistletoe & Wine Christmas Hamper, £85 | Moonpig

A hamper is the perfect last-minute Christmas gift for loved ones that you won't see in person on Christmas Day - I plan on sending one to my in-laws and I'm hoping there'll be some treats left to sample when I get there for NYE! Cartwright & Butler is my no.1 choice for hampers and this one is bound to impress - trust me when I say that those Cheese & Chilli Shortbreads are to die for.


Sustainable Electric Toothbrush was £95 now £80.75 | Amazon 

I know what you're thinking: really, a toothbrush for Christmas? But this is not any old electric toothbrush - it's a sustainable electric toothbrush that comes with a slimline charger and self-cleaning UV travel case. It uses recyclable plant-based heads and, unlike other electric toothbrushes, you can repair the battery and motor if required. And THAT means no more toothbrushes going to landfill, EVER. It gives an impressive fresh-from-the-dentist mouth feel plus I barely ever seem to need to charge it.


Mim Felt Slippers, £75 | VivoBarefoot

Felt slippers are a game-changer when it comes to keeping your feet cosy during the festive season. These don't just look chic - they're a blend of ancient tradition and contemporary design and are made in partnership with Mongolian craftswomen using 100% wool felt. Plus there's no insole so you'll get an authentic barefoot experience - without getting cold feet.


Lyre's Pink London Non-Alcoholic Spirit, £24| Amazon

These days we all know folks who don't do booze but the alcohol-free options are so good that choosing what to buy them can be a minefield. I like a tipple but I also love a sober season and for those moments, there is no better brand than Lyre's for delicious no-alcohol or low-alcohol options. 


Kidi Super Star DJ, was £59.99 now £57.79 | Vtech 

What to buy the kid who has everything? This DJ toy which includes a microphone, adjustable stand, and jack audio cable, so you can connect your own music player! It's also surprisingly versatile - you can remove or reduce the vocals of songs, play games, and add more than 30 sound effects to your performances as well as record your sound effects and tracks. (6+)


Segway Thrill for Two, was £59 now £39 | Menkind

If you need a last-minute gift but don't want to waste cash on an item that the recipient might not need or use, go for a gift experience instead. This instructor-led Segway experience for two is better than half price and you can order up to 22nd December for Christmas delivery.


SONY Wireless Bluetooth Noise-Cancelling Headphones, was £249 now £199 | Currys

The family gadget lover is always hard to buy for but they'll thank you for these wireless, noise-cancelling headphones . Hands down, these are the best headphones I've ever owned and I'd think about running into a burning building to rescue them. Available in black, blue, or silver grey, they take just ten minutes to charge for up to five hours of playtime. Clever controls on the earcup mean you can control your music, take a call, or summon your smart assistant with the flick of a finger.


The Classic Christmas Sleekster, £25.95 | Hotel Chocolat

Is it even Christmas if you don't crack open a box of treats from Hotel Chocolat? Treat someone special to this generous selection of delicious traditional chocs including the cacao-rich Brownie, nutty Pecan Praline, and even a Milk Solid Reindeer, to name just a few of the goodies you get in this collection. Yes please, we'll take it all. 


Festive Spice bouquet, £39.99 | Serenata

The perfect pick-me-up for someone who's had a difficult year, this bouquet is sure to brighten up their day. I was treated to a delivery myself and have to say that Serenata is my first stop whenever I'm sending flowers - their blooms are always exquisite!


Studio Creator Photo Creator Instant Camera, £69.99 | Very

Kids can create, print and personalise their own photo and video content with this pocket-sized instant camera. It's packed with fun features including 20+ photo filters and effects, a shutter timer, video recording mode and a special lens for selfies! It comes with a micro-SD card, and a USB charger cable for downloading photos/videos, as well as paper rolls, marker pens, and stickers


Philips PerfectDraft, was £275 now £189 | Perfect Draft

Easily one of the best gifts I've ever given. Treat him to pub-quality draught beers at home with his very own beer tap! This is an expensive bit of kit but if the family is clubbing together to treat a beer-loving family member, this is one of the best last-minute Christmas gifts money can buy. It works out significantly cheaper than nipping to your local for a pint plus you can earn a fiver every time you return an empty keg using the free recycling scheme. A PerfectDraft machine keeps your beer chilled to the perfect temperature and the keg will stay carbonated and fresh for up to 30 days. (If it lasts that long…) 


Cricut Joy Cutting Machine: was £229.99 now £170.38 | Amazon

Serious crafters and wannabe Cricuteers will be delighted to find this under the tree - we've had hours of fun with ours and even made all our Christmas cards! Along with the Cricut Joy cutting machine, this bundle includes everything you need to start your Cricut adventures, including three Fine Point Pens (Black, Brown, Grey), a Card Mat, 12 Cards with envelopes, five Smart Vinyl sheets and a roll of Transfer Tape. 


Pickerings Festively Flavoured Gin Baubles  £25 Laithwaites

Did I pick this little set of gin-filled festive Christmas tree baubles because I wish someone would send them to me? Well, maybe. But surely that's the definition of a perfect gift - something the recipient would love but would be unlikely to buy themselves!

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Heidi Scrimgeour
Deputy Editor

As a parenting specialist for more than 15 years, Heidi has written for most national newspapers and for a wide range of consumer magazines, including Mother & Baby where she was the Shopping Editor for six years, looking after regular consumer features including buying guides and gift roundups.