A set of presents under a warmly lit christmas tree

5 Last-minute gift ideas

We both know you’re here because you have no time. Nothing to be ashamed of! Whether you…

  • are notoriously bad at thinking up gifts
  • have been too busy to get anything sorted
  • were suddenly faced with an “oh you’re gonna love what I got you” and promptly think “oh no. Were we buying each other gifts?”

or any other reason, there is still a little bit of time! ‘Tis the season to be jolly. Let’s get into this.

1. A book

Never goes wrong. Unless this person doesn’t like reading, but why would you associate with such people anyway. I’m just kidding. Here are a few recommendations!

  • A book in a language they’re learning
  • A classic (The Time Machine, Pride and Prejudice, etc.)
  • The book behind a movie they enjoyed (Howl’s Moving Castle is based on a book by Diana Wynne Jones)
  • Poetry book if they like that sort of thing (Ogden Nash, Rupi Kaur, etc.)
  • Popular science (Look up Siddhartha Mukherjee or Mary Roach)
  • Historical Fiction (maybe from someplace they visited—By the Tungabhadra)
  • An audiobook subscription
  • Etc.
A large bookshelf
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2. Décor

A shelf with plants
Plants <3 Image by Inika Prasad

Plants, art, funky clocks, seasonally appropriate baubles and tinsel, etc. all fall under this category. Make sure you either know their taste or buy something you can be relatively certain they’d like.

With plants, you’re essentially gifting a responsibility so you’ll probably want to buy them a succulent or cactus unless they’re a Certified Plant Parent.

3. Food

The top of a jar with shards of chocolate inside
My recent attempt at personalizing chocolate. I think it turned out good! Image credits: Inika Prasad

Fancy chocolate? Great. Homemade chocolate? Also great. A friend of mine cooked her partner a 4-course fancy meal, which is, you know, great if you have the skill.

For real, make them a personalized snack. They’ll love it. Make sure to add a nice note so it feels extra special.

Homemade” chocolate: you can literally melt down regular chocolate and then pour it on a baking sheet and throw on some nice toppings (nuts, dried fruits, nougat, gingerbread crumbs, liquorice, etc.) and put it in the freezer to set.

4. Make something

If you enjoy art, DIY stuff, or cooking then bam: you have yourself a gift possibility. The nice thing about this gift is that it’s probably a cheap option (a lot of us are broke and that’s cool).

A friend of mine makes gorgeous paintings so she just… did a portrait of me? I was blown away. Needless to say, stuff like that tends to go down well.

5. A combo gift

This is my go-to strategy. It involves finding a big box or bag or basket and stuffing it with lots of small things. Here are some things you can add in:

  • jewellery or accessories
  • snacks they like
  • practical stuff for their profession or studies
  • something relaxing: candles, perfume, bath bombs, etc.
  • a card
  • pictures that are near and dear to your heart
  • lots of confetti for the vibe
A row of spice bottles.
Gifts are like spices: fewer if you have a good idea, more if you don’t. You’re statistically more likely to come up with something they like by gifting more things. Image by monicore from Pixabay

If you’re still stumped….

Gift cards are a good option. Ask a mutual friend. Look at their liked posts. Gift them a membership to something they like. Sports gear. Stuffed toys. Practical things. Tickets to something fun (restrictions allowing).

It all depends on the person! These are suggestions based on my personal experience, so do keep that in mind ☀


Whilst gift-giving is an important tradition in Sweden this time of the year, do remember that it’s totally okay to let people who are dear to you know if you aren’t up for gifting. Exchanging gifts is fun, but don’t lose sleep over it, okay?

No matter what you’re celebrating, I hope this helps! Happy holidays 🙂

<3 Inika

Inika Prasad — Biomedicine BSc

Inika Prasad — Biomedicine BSc

Hello, Inika here. I’m a third-year Biomedicine bachelor’s student at KI. I'm from India and a little bit from Sweden. As a Digital Ambassador Blogger, I'll be writing about my programme, things happening in and around KI, and giving insights into university life.


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