Over 50 Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for When Going to the Shops Isn’t an Option

Over 50 Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for When Going to the Shops Isn’t an Option
Contributor: Lifehacker Australia
At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Shopping for last-minute Christmas gifts is a pain. The cut-off dates for parcel delivery this Christmas are December 14 for deliveries to the Northern Territory, December 15 for Western Australia, and December 18 for other states and territories. Which means you have very little time to order something online and have it sent to your recipient. The other option you have is braving the shops during the Christmas rush, but let’s be honest, nobody has the patience to go and deal with other stressed shoppers.

So if you’ve missed the delivery cut-off dates or just don’t want to go to the shops, we’ve got a list of last-minute gift ideas that you can buy that will not only arrive on time, but you can buy them without needing to leave the house.

Gift vouchers for toys and games

Image: Lego

If your gift recipient is a big gamer or a kid at heart, a gift voucher for their favourite toy or game store is a great way to give the gift of play this Christmas.


  • Casey’s Toys — Toys, puzzles, hobbies, craft and more.
  • Lego — Bricks, sets, merchandise and home decor.
  • Toymate — Outdoor toys, puzzles, hobbies, electronics and more.


  • EB Games — Video games, consoles, gaming accessories and more.
  • Humble Bundle — Video games, books, PC software.
  • Steam — Video game marketplace.

Gift an experience this Christmas

Image: iStock

If you’re too late to grab a physical gift, an experience voucher is an incredibly thoughtful idea. From helicopter rides and swimming with sharks to a gourmet cooking lesson, there’s no shortage of companies offering the best in the experience game.

RedBalloon has pulled out all the stops this Christmas, while Adrenaline has a range of gift voucher options broken down by price.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge also has the option to gift a Burrawa Climb experience this year, which allows you to scale to the summit of the Harbour Bridge with an Indigenous Storyteller as your guide for $364 (adult price).

Or, for animal lovers, maybe consider a visit to Sydney Zoo, Australia Zoo, Perth Zoo, or Melbourne Zoo with a gift card.

Give a learning experience

Last minute Christmas gift, gift vouchers
Image: iStock

For the curious types in your life, Ancestry offers Family History subscriptions which allow family members to travel back through historical records (there are 30 billion available dating back to the 13th century) to build a family tree and learn stories about family members across the years.

Want a discount? Check out our Ancestry coupon codes page here to save on these well-known DNA tests and trace your family history.

I can tell you from personal experience showing your family records of your grandparents’ arrival in Australia, as an example, always gets an emotional response. These subscriptions go for $99.99 for six months.

And for those who love to learn, MasterClass is kind of the perfect last-minute gift idea. It offers courses in everything from gardening to screenwriting with over 100 instructors. And over the holidays, they’re offering a two-for-one deal so you can give a subscription (prices start at $15 per month) as a gift while pocketing one for yourself, too.

Got yourself an artsy pal? Why not give them a gift voucher with ClassBento so they can try a new craft or hobby activity?

Treat them to a spa gift voucher

Image: iStock

It’s been an incredibly long, tiresome year (slash a couple of years), so a spa voucher would be well-received by just about anyone. Endota is Australia’s largest spa, with 100 locations across the country.

You can choose a specific treatment (if you know they love a facial) or opt for a Freedom Gift Voucher between $25-$2,000 for the recipient to choose a package themselves.

Also, in the beauty realm, you can gift a voucher for brands like The Beauty Chef (skincare and gut health products) or cult favourite lip balm Lano Lips.

Streaming services never disappoint as a last-minute Christmas gift

Last minute Christmas gift, gift vouchers
Image: iStock

Know someone who loves a good TV binge and is always looking for the next best thing to watch? A streaming subscription is the perfect last-minute gift idea.

Treat HBO obsessives to a Binge subscription. Know someone who will be itching to get into the third season of Bridgerton in 2024? Treat them to a Netflix gift card. For those who prefer more wholesome viewing, a Disney+ subscription is the way to go.

Got a friend who is still listening to ads on Spotify? Do them and yourself a favour by gifting them a voucher for Spotify premium.

Give something charitable

Image: iStock

If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that there are loads of people doing it incredibly tough right now. So why not a gift in the form of a donation this year? UNICEF offers a range of options here, from vaccine pack donations ($85) to paying to install a water pump for a community in need ($492).

CAREgifts offers a similar thing, where you can support women affected by poverty by donating 50 bars of soap for a community ($26) or sending a girl to school ($79) on behalf of a loved one.

Support refugees with a last-minute gift idea that donates to UNHCR, or maybe make a donation to The Healing Foundation, which is a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation that offers support to First Nations communities.

WWF also offers symbolic animal adoptions or gift cards that bring funding to the protection of animals and their habitats.

Give a shopping gift voucher

Last minute Christmas gift, gift vouchers
Image: iStock

Yes, this last-minute gift idea can seem low effort. But if you know someone who is in need of some retail therapy, why not allow them to shop what they actually like rather than guessing?


  • The Iconic — Men’s and women’s fashion, beauty and wellness.
  • P.E Nation — Perfect for your fitness-loving friends.
  • Mejuri — A jewellery lover’s dream.
  • Boody — Eco-friendly, breathable bamboo basics.


  • Adore Beauty —  Skincare, haircare, makeup and more.
  • Sephora — Give the gift of big-name beauty brands.
  • A-beauty — Cult-favourite beauty and wellness brands.
  • Tribe Skincare — Skincare is formulated by a beauty therapist for people with sensitive skin.


Book gift certificates will go down a treat

Image: iStock

Books are an extremely popular gifting choice, but what happens if you’re not sure which genre to gift? Or the person you’re shopping for is more of a kindle fan?

Booktopia is home to thousands of enticing genres, so it’s not hard to see why Australians love buying their books from here. Gift vouchers start from $20 and go all the way to $300 if you’re feeling extra generous.

Kindle is also hugely popular with book lovers these days, so you can treat your loved ones to an Amazon voucher to help them fill their digital library. The same goes for Apple Books.

How about a subscription to a service they enjoy?

Last minute Christmas gift, gift vouchers
Image: iStock

Gifting a subscription is a great way to ensure your gift keeps on giving long after the Christmas period. If you know your recipient’s general areas of interest, you can bet there’s a subscription package out there that’s perfect for them.

Audible subscriptions start at $16.45 a month and are a great option for people who love to read but can never find the time. If your recipient loves beauty and wellness, a Bellabox subscription is guaranteed to be a winner.

If a glass of wine at the end of the week is more their style, look no further than a Vinomofo — you’ll earn their adoration for that one. Alternatively, if they’re more of a coffee drinker, Pablo & Rusty’s has you sorted on that one.

If you’re really unsure of what they might like, Cratejoy has thousands of subscription boxes available that cover all areas of interest. Or maybe try a Good & Fugly voucher which allows folks to sign up for funky-looking (but great-tasting) food deliveries that reduce food waste.

Travel gifts are always a winner

Image: iStock

This is a particularly good last-minute gift idea for friends and family you won’t see at Christmas: a ticket to catch up at some point in the future (perhaps your birthday, perhaps a significant anniversary). Qantas and Flight Centre both offer gift vouchers.

Airbnb now has a gift voucher option so you can help give someone a stellar stay at an incredible destination, or a fun travel experience, too.

Here’s a guide from Tourism Australia offering a whole lot of other travel-focused gifts.

Generic gift cards aren’t so bad

Last minute Christmas gift, gift vouchers
Image: iStock

Think gift cards are impersonal? Think again. Plenty of people like them. For maximum flexibility, pick a gift card that’s usable with an online store or for digital media; that way, your recipient can enjoy some leisurely online shopping come Christmas afternoon.

If you really have no clue where to start, big online shopping retailers like Amazon is a failsafe bet. A gift card from Catch is another great last-minute Christmas gift idea, given the sheer volume of products that are available through it.

Our last, but certainly not least impressive gift card suggestion here is for Bunnings. People froth over that store, so give them a chance to go crazy and buy all the plants and BBQ equipment they like.

Food, wine or chocolates

Food gifts can 100% be made personal — all at the last minute. For example, why not make them a batch of their favourite cookies and use an embosser set to personalise it? It’ll take you a quick trip to the shops and an hour to make and bake tops. Alternatively their favourite bottle of wine can never go astray, especially if you pick one of the more fancier varieties, or perhaps one from their year of birth to give it that added layer of sentimentality.

I love also making up hampers for my gift recipients full of their favourite goodies which is so easy and looks like you put a whole lot of effort in. These can include their favourite gourmet jams, a nice homemade chilli oil, and some artisan bread. You can even add some nice chocolates in for your sweet tooth friends — my favourite is this bougie-looking Ferrero Rocher cone that you can gift as is, or broken up between a bunch of different hampers, depending how many you’re making.

Looking for more gift guides?

Lead image credit: iStock/FreshSplash

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


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