15 Last-Minute Gifts You Can Buy on Amazon

iStock.com/Julie Clopper
iStock.com/Julie Clopper

As we near the end of the gift-giving season (and Christmas shipping deadlines), you may be starting to panic about a certain someone on your list. Perhaps you forgot that one cousin was coming for Christmas dinner, or you’ve been so busy at work that you haven’t even had time to make a list, much less go shopping. Luckily, there’s Prime shipping. Shipping is already free this holiday season, whether you’re a Prime member or not, but Amazon is also offering free same-day shipping on millions of items for members. There’s no excuse for late presents now.

Here are 15 last-minute gifts you can buy on Amazon, from bargain to luxury.

1. Codenames

Codenames cards laid out on a table
Czech Games, Amazon

Not quite sure what kind of gift that last person on your list might like? Get them a game. It’s cheap, social, and if you’re really insistent, maybe they’ll even invite you over to play. We recommend the spycraft-themed Codenames. It involves just enough strategy to keep things interesting, but isn’t so intricate that no one wants to take the time to learn the rules. It works with both big and small groups of people, making it perfect entertainment for holiday festivities.

Find It at Amazon for $15 and at these other retailers:

2. The Unemployed Philosophers Guild Little Thinker Doll

A Vincent Van Gogh doll sitting on a couch
Unemployed Philosophers Guild, Amazon

If someone on your gift loves art, science, or history, the Unemployed Philosophers Guild’s Little Thinker dolls are a whimsical way to celebrate their passion. With a wide array of famous figures including Albert Einstein, Frida Kahlo, Ada Lovelace, and Alexander Hamilton, there’s something for everyone to appreciate. We have soft spot for Vincent Van Gogh, but really, it’s hard to go wrong with any of these little guys.

Find It at Amazon for $19 and at these other retailers:

3. Utopia Bedding Reversible Blanket

A gray blanket draped over an armchair
Utopia Bedding, Amazon

When in doubt, go cozy. Everyone could use another very, very soft blanket, especially as the weather gets colder. This reversible blanket features microfiber on one side and faux-sheepskin on the other. It comes in twin, queen, king, and throw sizes, with navy and gray options. The throw version is a good all-purpose size for cozying up on the couch, but if you want to really splurge (affordably) on someone, the king size is only $33.

Find It at Amazon for $20.

4. DOSS SoundBox Touch Bluetooth Speaker

A DOSS speaker on a table during a party
DOSS, Amazon

This sleek portable speaker pumps out far better sound than its price point would suggest. With 360-degree sound, a 12-hour battery life, and a Bluetooth connectivity range up to 33 feet, it’s designed to keep the party going long into the night. It also doubles as a speakerphone, should your favorite home DJ also need to occasionally make phone calls across the kitchen or sit in on a conference call while working from home.

Find It at Amazon for $30.

5. Joy Mangano My Little Steamer Deluxe

A black handheld steamer
Joy Mangano, Amazon

Whether you’re shopping for a family member or a white elephant gift, give someone the gift of wrinkle-free clothes this year. This is one of the best handheld steamers out there, and it’s super affordable, as appliances go. It heats up quickly, puts out a sizable cloud of steam, and has a retractable cord for easy storage. For a cheaper option, the travel-sized version also comes highly reviewed.

Find It at Amazon for $30 and at these other retailers:

6. Homesick Scented Candle

One of Homesick's Washington candles next to family photos
Homesick Candles, Amazon

Candles are a great all-purpose gift for a host, a distant relative, a coworker, or anyone whose taste in gifts you just can’t pin down. Homesick’s candles add a touch of personalization: They’re designed to smell like particular locations. You can buy someone a candle designed to smell like their home city, state, or country. Give them a whiff of Florida with scents of citrus and Spanish moss, a reminder of Washington, D.C. with scents of cherry blossoms and leather-bound books, or memories of Australia with scents of eucalyptus and salt water.

Find It at Amazon for $30 and at these other retailers:

7. Cuirg Instant Pot Accessory Set

An egg-bite mold, steamer basket, egg rack, cooking mitts, and dish clip for the Instant Pot
Cuirg, Amazon

The Instant Pot is one of the hottest kitchen gadgets around right now, but to truly make the most of the pressure cooker, your favorite home cook will need more than just the appliance itself. This accessory set comes with a steamer basket, a rack for hard-boiled eggs, an egg-bites mold (which can also be used for mini-muffins and other treats), a springform pan for cakes and cheesecakes, a dish clip to help lift out food, and silicon mini-mitts that make it far easier for the Instant Pot cook to remove their full pot of hot food without singeing their fingers. The accessories fit in the 5-quart, 6-quart (the most popular model), and 8-quart Instant Pots. (Note that the image looks like it only has six accessories, but is listed as a seven-piece set—the sides and the bottom of the springform pan come apart, so they're counted as two pieces.)

If you're shopping on a budget, though, you don’t need to buy a full set of accessories. The $12 Instant Pot starter set comes with a heat-resistant pad, a silicon suction lid for storing leftovers, and silicone mini-mitts. (The latter are also available on their own for $10.

Find It at Amazon for $37.

8. Sustainable Village Mister

Two vintage-looking plant misters in copper
Sustainable Village, Amazon

House-plant parents will appreciate these charming misting cans, which will please both picky ferns and picky decorators. Misting increases humidity for houseplants with a more tropical bent, but it can also provide desert plants like succulents with the limited moisture they need. These classy cans come in copper, brass, or silver, and are only available in a two-pack, so feel free to hand them out to multiple people on your list.

Find It at Amazon for $45.

9. Spigo Intelligent Indoor Led Light Garden

A self-watering planter with an LED light
Spigo, Amazon

For someone with a green thumb but no garden, an LED-powered indoor gardening system is a great gift that will allow them to grow their own herbs, succulents, and other small plants even if their home doesn’t provide a lot of direct sunlight. The timer-based light and unique water reservoir make this the “set it and forget it” of indoor gardening tools—it provides up to 30 days worth of water and 16 hours of automatic light a day, making it a breeze to use. The sleek device, which comes in black or white, can be a stylish addition to any kitchen, living room, or bedroom. (If you’re on a budget, Mindful Design provides a serviceable alternative at a lower price point, minus the automatic watering system.)

Find It at Amazon for $65.

10. The Wine Savant World Decanter

A glass decanter shaped like a globe on a stand with two glasses of whiskey
The Wine Savant, Amazon

For your fanciest whiskey-loving friends and family, this globe-shaped decanter is a great reason to say, “Excuse me, I’m going to retire to my study.” The hand-blown glass decanter contains a delicate glass ship inside that appears as the user pours the whiskey into the two matching globe glasses. While it’s advertised as a whiskey accessory, it works for wine, too.

Find It at Amazon for $58 and at these other retailers:

11. Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Guide

A pop-up book unfolded to reveal a model of Hogwarts
Insight Editions, Amazon

There are a lot of potential gifts out there for Harry Potter fans, but Matthew Reinhart’s Hogwarts pop-up book is truly magical. The intricately engineered work of paper art folds out into re-creations of key parts of Hogwarts Castle and its grounds, with plenty of insight into the movies at each turn.

Find It at Amazon for $68 and at these other retailers:

12. Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System Coffee Maker

The Ninja Hot & Cold Brewed System on a countertop
Amazon

While coffee aficionados are known to be picky about their brewing methods, you can’t go wrong getting them the Ninja Hot and Cold Brewed System, which is made to do it all, from tea to drip coffee to specialty drinks with foamed milk to cold brew. (Mental Floss’s Erin McCarthy calls the latter function “a gamer changer.”) And the best part? No filters or pods needed, so it's perfect for your more eco-conscious friends. If you really want to treat someone, we recommend upgrading to the slightly pricier ($200) version with a thermal carafe, which will keep your favorite coffee lover’s brew at just the right temperature for hours.

Find It at Amazon for $180 and at these other retailers:

13. Amazon Echo Plus

If you know someone who hasn’t already gotten on the smart-home train—or only has a smaller Dot—the premium Echo model makes a great gift that they might not otherwise splurge on themselves. It’s got better speakers than the other Alexa devices and a built-in smart hub, so they can pump up their Spotify playlist, then ask Alexa to turn their smart lights to their favorite party-ambiance setting. If they’re a master chef or baker, they can use it to set hands-free timers in the kitchen and ask Alexa to convert measurements and do recipe math. The Echo can also be used to deliver news and weather updates, listen to the radio, and play trivia games, meaning it provides a little something for everyone.

Find It at Amazon for $150.

14. KitchenAid Classic 4.5-Quart Plus Tilt-Head Stand Mixer

A white KitchenAid stand mixer on a kitchen island next to a plate of whoopie pies
Kitchen Aid, Amazon

If someone in your life has recently gotten into sourdough bread or The Great British Bake-Off, there's a high chance they’ve been lusting after this wildly popular KitchenAid stand mixer. There are a lot of different KitchenAid mixers (here’s a nifty guide to choosing one), but this tilt-head model, which offers easy access to the bowl, is the classic option. If you’re willing to shell out a bit more, KitchenAid makes similar models in a bunch of fun colors, most of them at a slightly higher price point—this cute 5-quart azure number with a glass bowl is available for $280.

Find It at Amazon for $189 and at these other retailers:

15. Neato Robotics Botvac D4 Connected Robot Vacuum

A Neato robotic vacuum and a smartphone open to the Neato home-mapping app
Neato Robotics Amazon

OK, so you may have waited until the last minute to get someone a gift. But you know how you can show them you truly care? Take some domestic labor off their plate. Whether your loved one is a neat freak or a slob, a robot vacuum can change their life, either by taking over the cleaning they do all the time or by taking on the cleaning they’d never do otherwise. Neato’s robot vacuum scans and maps its way around the house with lasers and can be set up to avoid potential messes like bowls of pet food or a pile of cords. It even works with Alexa.

Find It at Amazon for $399 and at these other retailers:

7 Ways to Take Advantage of the Bullet Journal Method

iStock.com/Neustockimages
iStock.com/Neustockimages

If you haven't heard of the bullet journal, it's the productivity method du jour—one that combines the features of a planner, calendar, to-do list, diary, and more. It's not a specific product (although the founder of the method, Ryder Carroll, has created a special notebook for it) as much as a way of creating a journaling system that works for you.

Proponents say the method helps you focus your time and your goals, in part through periodic "migration" sessions that force you to review how you've been spending your days. And yes, it's popular on Instagram—because many bullet journalers have filled their notebooks with colorful flair. (But that part is entirely optional.)

While core components of the bullet journal system like monthly spreads and daily logs are great, many bullet journalers like to add other features that fit their own life. After all, the beauty of the method is the customization and flexibility. We've rounded up a few ideas for new and not-so-new bullet journalers alike to try.

1. Track—and fuel—your creative projects.

Let's say that, like most people, you have a day job. But at night, you're writing the next Great American Novel—or at least some short stories. You might get an idea related to one of those projects on your morning commute or while taking a walk in the park at lunch. There's no time to pull out the manuscript, and if you email yourself the idea it might get lost in a jumble of newsletters and other alerts.

Instead, just start a new page for the project in your journal, note it in your index, and scribble away. You can come back to it later, and fill in other, non-sequential pages in the journal as the mood strikes. Your journal probably isn't the best place to write whole stories, but it's perfect if you just had a mini-breakthrough you want to take down, or even as a way to keep track of potential prompts and inspiration.

2. Improve your habits.

Habit trackers are some of the most popular add-ons to the regular bullet journal time-oriented spreads. You can make yours cute—tracking the number of glasses of water you drink a day by coloring in a big glass, say—or more minimalist, perhaps by listing the habits you want to build (yoga, waking up early) on the left next to a chart of days and coloring in the days you manage to do the habit. You can also create a page just to log you often you do one particular thing—drinking alcohol, for example. Some people even use their bullet journals to track food and digestive symptoms, either by creating a section for a food journal or just noting in their daily log when they eat a certain food and how it makes them feel.

3. Save money.

You can create a custom spread for your monthly budget, track all your expenses, or just track your purchases in a particular category (say, eating out) if there's a particular type of spending you're trying to curb. The design can be as crafty as you like—whether you're coloring in bricks that represent each $50 saved toward a house or just filling in columns noting every time you make a purchase. The key is that, as with health habits, writing something down can serve as a powerful motivator and/or deterrent, since you know you'll have to come face-to-face with yourself at the end of the month.

4. Plan your meals.

Nothing combines health and finance goals quite like planning your meals. You can make your meal plan a section of your weekly spread: Carroll, the bullet journal's creator, likes to set up a list of meals on the left page of his notebook and a shopping list of ingredients on the right. Dividing the items by categories (like meat, produce, and pantry staples) can speed things up at the store, too. It's great to do this at home so you can check the fridge and see what you're missing. Then, when you're done shopping, note how much you spent at the bottom of the list. You can track that to develop insights about your grocery budget.

Over time, you can also create lists to help you with meal planning, perhaps "Favorite Weeknight Dinners," "Easy Work Lunches," etc. Some people also like to create a master grocery list of frequently bought items they can consult whenever they're at the store, just in case they forget to write staples down on their weekly shopping list.

5. Remember the good things.

In our flurry of to-do lists, project deadlines, and meal plans, it can be easy to forget about the things that brighten our days, whether it's an especially funny joke from a colleague or a milestone in a child's development. Create a "memories" page (don't forget to log it in your index!) where you record the great stuff that happens, and pull it out to reflect whenever you're having a gray day. Some bullet journalers like to put pages like this toward the back of their journals to separate them out from the time-oriented spreads. A memories page is also a great opportunity to bust out some thematic artwork.

6. Track your reading lists.

Another great way to encourage better habits is through a reading log. Like a memory log, many people like to put this toward the back of their journal, although ultimately the placement is totally up to you. You can keep track of all the books you read this year, perhaps with notes on what you thought of them—a definite resource when you're drawing up those year-end best-of lists to share with other reading pals!

7. Pair it with an app.

While the bullet journal is touted as "the analog method for the digital age," most of us don't want to go full-on analog. There's now an official companion app that will help you organize and search your old bullet journals, help you learn the method, offer prompts, and serve as a log for when you're away from your journal. It's designed as an addition to the journal, not a replacement, so you still need to put in that time with pen (or pencil, or watercolor brush) and paper.

Bullet journals also pair well with apps like Evernote—for example, you can use Evernote on your smartphone to snap photos of text you scrawl down to save digitally for later use. (Maybe those on-the-fly notes on your novel go into an Evernote notebook that you consult when you have a bit more time, for example.) That's a good option for longer-term projects that might span a couple notebooks.

Many people also use both bullet journals and an online calendar, using the latter for fixed events like birthdays and doctors appointments and the former as more of a way to time-block the day and focus on goals. After all, the beauty of the bullet journal is that unlike digital space, the paper in your notebook is finite—which helps you realize that so is your time and energy. That makes it easier to plan accordingly.

This Ingenious Hanger Makes Hanging Pants a Breeze, No Clips or Folds Required

Hurdle Hanger
Hurdle Hanger

Get ready to clean out your closet. No, we don’t mean going all Marie Kondo on your clothes. There’s a new type of clothes hanger that promises to change the way you store your clothes, taking the headache out of hanging up your pants.

The Hurdle Hanger, which has currently raised more than $33,000 on Kickstarter, calls itself the “one-second pants hanger.” Rather than relying on cumbersome clips or requiring bulky folding techniques, the hanger design employs one very simple change: It hooks into the belt loops of your pants.

The angular hanger is open on one side so that you can slide the bar through the belt loops of your pants, letting you secure your pants in one smooth motion rather than struggling with the pant clips that will just wrinkle your waistband anyway.

A person slides the Hurdle Hanger through the belt loops of a pants to hang them.
Hurdle Hanger

Just slide the hanger bar through the belt loop (or loops) farthest from you, then hang the belt loop closest to you from the hook. There is another hook midway across the bar that secures the middle belt loop, keeping your pants from drooping while they hang. In another subtle touch, you can use the same hook to hang smaller items, like belts or hats, off the side.

The Hurdle Hanger is an example of smart design at its finest—the kind of idea that, when you see it in action, makes you think, “Wait, how did no one think of this before?” It takes a once-cumbersome task and makes it seamless, eliminating at least some of the burden that may be keeping you from accomplishing the chore of hanging up your clothes. No more messing with clips or trying to shove pants through the cramped hole in the hanger to fold them over.

There are already open-end pants hangers that make it easier to slide a folded pair of slacks into your closet, but the belt loop hooks take the Hurdle Hanger to another level. You might even get inspired enough to start hanging your jeans.

A 10-pack of hangers is $20 on Kickstarter—though anything that makes you actively excited to organize your closet is priceless.

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