Last-minute Christmas gifts

Prices may be up this year, but some things never change — like running around every year, trying to nail down items on Christmas gift lists before Dec. 25 hits. With inflation up year over year, you may be looking for gifts that aren’t on the pricey side.

However, before you use this list to select presents for everyone on your list, you’ll want to do some quick research. For instance, make sure to factor in shipping costs and how long it will take for your orders to be delivered.

In any case, if you’re still shopping, consider these thoughtful, creative and practical last-minute gift ideas under $50 before time runs out.

[Read: Holiday Shipping Deadlines to Know to Ensure Your Gifts Arrive On Time.]


Price: $29.99 on Amazon.

This award-winning game can be a great gift for families. Telestrations, made by the company USAopoly, is a party game that has been described as the visual version of the classic telephone game but with pictures.

Cameo From a Celebrity

Price: Plenty of options for under $50 on Cameo (and plenty for over).

Through the website Cameo, you can gift a customized, celebrity-recorded message, and nobody will accuse you of giving them a boring present. Featured in the list of best virtual and digital gifts, cameos can be pricey, but there are many for under $50. For instance, Fred Stoller, an actor and comedian who appeared on “Everybody Loves Raymond,” will do one as cheaply as $35. In fact, you can find a lot of Cameos for $50 and under, though again, paying for a message from the biggest names will cost you. And no shipping is necessary for this gift; everything is sent over email or text to be downloaded.

Frisco Dog & Cat Cable Knitted Sweater

Price: $17.98 on

This cable knitted sweater is a great and affordable gift for pet parents.

Cheesecake With Chocolate Dipped Fruit Box

Price: $44.99 on

Give the gift of food to your epicurean family member or friend. These are tiny pieces of cheesecake with a graham cracker bottom and topped with chocolate-dipped fruit. Not exactly health food, but a perfectly nice gift for the holidays. You’ll want to order it shortly before giving the gift, since it is fruit. It isn’t something to wrap and stick in a closet for a few weeks.

Jumanji Board Game

Price: $14.99 on Target.

While the lions, rhinos and crocodiles won’t come to life, kids should get a kick out of this game based on the classic movie. And the price is right — as Drew Carey might say. A year ago, this was selling at Target for $19.99.

Magnasonic Projection Alarm Clock With AM/FM Radio

Price: $29.99 on Amazon.

For the recipient who likes to be in the know, this alarm clock radio offers features like an indoor temperature and automatic time adjustment, and will even project the time and temperature onto the walls or ceiling.

Pennington Wild Bird Cake

Price: $7.52 from Walmart.

If you have somebody in your life who loves birds and feeds them often, this 2-pound gourmet wild bird cake will be a useful and appreciated gift.

Play-Doh Modeling Compound 24-Pack Case

Price: $20.99 from Amazon.

Any creative little kid will likely love this rainbow assortment of Play-Doh, which comes in 3-ounce cans.

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Bath Bombs For Kids

Price: $29.97 on Amazon.

These bath bombs, each filled with a surprise animal toy, are fun stocking stuffers for youngsters. They come in a 12-pack.

Nerf Dog Tennis Ball Blaster Dog Toy

Price: $26.99 from PetSmart.

Another great gift for a pet parent, this blaster will take fetch to a whole new level by sending tennis balls 50 feet in the air. Last year, this sold for about $21 at PetSmart, so inflation seems to have affected dog toys.

Silpat Perfect Cookie Baking Mat

Price: $26.97 on Amazon.

This is a fun and practical present for the baker in your life. It’s a cookie sheet made of fiberglass mesh with circles on it, and you place the cookie dough balls in the circle, resulting in perfect and consistent cookies.

Wahl All-Body Powerful Therapeutic Massager

Price: $21.79 from Amazon.

This two-speed massager features four attachments, offering gentle and deep massages to relieve tension. If you have any friends or family members with aches and pains, this could be a welcome gift.


Price: $25 increments on Amazon.

Know anyone new to streaming? These gift cards, available in $25, $50 and higher increments, are valid toward Netflix and can be credited toward the recipient’s account if they already use the service.

Walgreens Canvas Print

Price: $39.99 at Walgreens.

Do you have a photo that you think a family member or friend would like? You could upload it onto Walgreens’ website and turn it into a canvas print. Walgreens offers 8-by-10-inch canvas prints, unframed, for $39.99, and an 11-by-14-inch or 12-by-12-inch canvas print is $49.99. The canvas comes with the hardware, so your recipient can hang it on the wall.

Five Below Oreo Cookie Dunk Mug Set

Price: $5 on Five Below.

Your giftee will receive what’s called a “cookie cage,” a little holder for Oreos, along with some tongs, so they can dunk the cookies into a mug. Only two Oreos are included, so you might want to throw in a package of cookies to go with this present.

Hammer & Axe Back Scratcher Rake

Price: $10 at Kohl’s.

If you’re itching to find a creative gift, this is a back scratcher shaped as a rake. Enough said.

Sharper Image Sleep Therapy Sound Soother

Price: $9.99 at JCPenney.

Know somebody who struggles with insomnia? This device comes preprogrammed with nature sounds and white noise to block out distractions.

Light-Up Terrarium Kit for Kids

Price: $24.99 on Amazon.

If you have kids on your list, this could be a whimsical gift. In the daytime, they can look at the little plants growing inside the terrarium, and at night, it glows thanks to an LED light.

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Lady House Handheld USB Digital Microscope With Metal Stand

Price: $35.99 on Amazon.

Searching for the right gift for that young budding scientist of yours or a science-minded nephew or niece? You may want to eye this microscope.

Glowing Red Basketball

Price: $49.99 on Amazon.

It looks awesome in the dark and encourages you — or any one of your favorite athletes — to exercise. That should be a win-win, even if your kid isn’t very good at basketball.

HotHands Hand Warmers

Price: $25.20 on Amazon.

Not every gift is going to be clever. You may just want to go with practical, especially if you have somebody in your life who spends a lot of time outside in the winter. These HotHand hand warmers provide up to 10 hours of heat, and this is a pack of 40 of them.

Proscan Elite 10.1″ Tablet/Portable DVD Combo With Bluetooth Headphone

Price: $49.00 on

A tablet for just under $50. If you know somebody who needs a tablet, and you don’t want to invest much in one, this may be the gift you’re looking for.

Grand Trunk Double Hammock with Straps

Price: $49.99 at Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Exhausted from all this holiday shopping? You could get this hammock for yourself.

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Last-Minute Christmas Gifts originally appeared on

Update 12/12/22: This story was published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.

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