Alternative Gifts for Those Last-Minute Occasions

3 Mins read

Gift giving is wonderful, it releases a burst of happy chemicals in the brain when we give a gift to someone we care about and it’s always a nice feeling to receive a gift too. However, sometimes events can creep up on you and you might be caught empty-handed and embarrassed. Rather than rely on the time-old emergency gift of cash or gift cards, here are some gifts you can give or arrange, even if you’ve only got an hour before you need to show up!

A Donation in Their Name

As previously mentioned, giving brings about plenty of positive feelings in the brain and giving on someone’s behalf is an excellent way to brighten their day and make them feel they are doing good in the world. Find a cause that they are passionately in support of and make a donation in their name to a charity, whether it’s adopting an endangered animal or sponsoring an orphan in need. Together we can make the world a better place one selfless contribution at a time. 

Subscription Box

Subscription boxes have been growing in popularity over the years and are available in a variety of options with choices including coffee tasters, classic books and crafts sent monthly to bigger quarterly puzzle boxes and gourmet meat boxes. Gift something personalized to children like a Disney Subscription Box that comes with a bunch of official Disney items delivered to your door every month. Not only a fantastic last-minute gift but it’s the gift that keeps on giving! (for a set amount of time) Sign them up to 3, 6 months or a years’ worth of boxes and set them up with something to look forward to every month. Sign yourself up at the same time and have an excellent excuse to get together regularly and investigate the contents of your exciting subscription box

An Experience Day

Know someone that loves to get out and try something new? Experience days are a fantastic gift and there are plenty of options from thrilling sky diving opportunities to make your own jewellery from scratch daily. With the variation in experiences available, you don’t need to worry about finding the perfect activity but can choose a variety box that allows the gift receiver to choose their own experience to enjoy alone or with a loved one or friend. 

Streaming Subscription

Gone are the days we could only watch our favourite shows or movies when they are available on the TV or by buying the DVD, now we can get almost everything we want on-demand from a multitude of different streaming platforms. Whether they prefer Netflix, Disney or Amazon Video, paying for a long-term subscription ensures that is one less bill they need to worry about while ensuring they still get access to all their favourite entertainment. 

TV and movies aren’t the only streaming/subscription service either, but there are plenty of options for gamers, whatever they are playing on. Xbox Game Pass provides access to an ever-growing library of games including indie and AAA titles and is available for both console and PC players. Humble Bundle provides a choice of ten games each month with the proceeds supporting different charities and Google has recently released their own solution to streaming games called Stadia. 

Music to Their Ears


Are they someone who always has a headphone hanging out of one ear or is always tapping their feet to a beat no one else can hear? Satisfy their need for a constant soundtrack by paying for a year’s subscription to their favourite music streaming service, whether it’s Spotify, Apple Music or Pandora. It’s a practical gift that brings joy to their every day and gives them a small amount of financial freedom for a set time, allowing them to put more savings aside or manage their income better. 

The Gift of Time

More and more people are complaining about the lack of time they get in their lives due to working longer hours, handling a household and potentially raising a young family. Provide a loved one with the gift of time by offering to take care of laundry, coming around to vacuum a few times a week or taking care of their food shopping. Time is a priceless commodity that everyone wishes they had more of, even if it’s just to sit on the sofa with your feet up and enjoy your favourite glass of wine. Get crafty with your gift and print out a nice ‘Time Certificate’ or voucher book of chores or favours you can offer someone so they can enjoy some more precious time to themselves. 

Gift-giving shouldn’t be stressful but a fun experience that you can enjoy hunting down that perfect present for the special person in your life. Even if you’ve gone for a simple gift, spend some time wrapping it nicely or creatively! Wrap their gift in plastic wrap (watertight!) and freeze it in ice or go full Jim from The Office and set it in jelly. Alternatively, hide their gift and send them on a scavenger hunt to track it down! Whatever the occasion, make sure you put a smile on their face.