Shit. You were just on your way to grab drinks with your buddies or packing for the Christmas weekend with your significant other and you realize that you completely forgot to get someone a present. Whether it’s that guy who’s not really your friend but is always there or your partner’s cousin’s on-again-off-again boyfriend, one thing’s for sure: You feel like a jerk. But don’t beat yourself up too much over this slip-up, everyone has been in this uncomfortable predicament before, which is why investing in a few last-minute presents will save you awkward encounters a plenty. Here, we break down ten gifts that are stylish, easy, and don’t scream “I forgot you” quite like a box of pharmacy-bought chocolates. And if you find yourself not giving these away this year, gift them to yourself because they’re pretty amazing.
1. Make some sweet music
Regardless of personality, background, and sense of humor, we all have one thing in common: We all listen (and like) music. Therefore, every forgotten giftee will love getting their hands on the Speaqua speaker. Not only is this palm-sized pick water-proof, it also comes with a suction cup bottom. Translation? This gift’s recipient will be having a mini-Adele concert of their own in the shower. But if you do happen to give this to the Scrooge who doesn’t have a particular penchant for music, let them know that pairing this with your smartphone’s Bluetooth makes this the perfect gadget for a conference call.
2. Light up your recipient’s life
Are candles a typical last-minute present? In most circumstances, yes. But this Diptyque one begs to differ. As any scent snob knows, the French brand is famous for its rich — and expensive — candles and fragrances. Part of Diptyque’s “Forêts Imaginaires,” the Liquidambar candle’s festive notes will smell just like the holidays: Nutmeg, cinnamon, amber, and muscovado sugar. Maybe your recipient will get the feeling that you totally forgot about them, but they’ll love this candle so much that they’ll be glad you did.
3. TSA-friendly treasures
Whether your present’s beneficiary is subbing it over to grandma’s house or jetting off to a pricey beach getaway, ’tis the season for some much-needed traveling. So why not gift the forgotten a travel set full of swoon-worthy cosmetics? They’re bound to use this immediately, plus you may expose them to some new brands and products. This set from Jack Black has the essentials for every guy’s face and hair regime: A shampoo plus conditioner bottle, hair gel, face cleanser, and moisturizer. For your feminine counterparts, who prioritize primping, this moisturizing set from Clinique is the perfect way to combat winter’s drying effects.
4. A tasty treat
Move over Russell Stover, there’s a new covetable candy in town. Unless your recipient has a tricky allergy or dietary restriction, these apples from Mrs. Prindable’s are a bonafide crowd-pleaser. The set consists of two popular sweet-tooth iterations: One coated in caramel and drizzled with white, milk, and dark chocolates while the other boasts a blend of milk chocolate and walnuts. Yum. They’re kind of like those caramel apples you would get at your town’s fair, only better.
5. Snail mail for the stylish
No matter how much your recipient texts and emails, a smart batch of cards always make for an appreciated present. Whether they use them to write a note to their great-uncle or leave these on their desk as decoration, a card set is more versatile than that expensive notebook. These cutesy note cards from Kate Spade are suitable all year round and simple enough to satisfy any giftee, not to mention the punny take on “snail mail” is clever and endearing.
6. Give your giftee clearer skin
The best way to hide the fact that you completely forgot about someone? Buy them a fancy gizmo, of course. Everyone has their preference of smartphones, tablets, and laptops; however, Clairsonic is the skincare industry’s favorite buzzing brush. While Clarisonic sets are available at a slew of department stores, making it easier for you to pick up at a moment’s notice, we love this set from Bloomingdale’s because it includes an extra bush as well as a bottle of cleanser and polish. Not only will they not realize you didn’t think about their gift until the eleventh, but they’ll be thanking you for their smoother, clearer skin.
7. An elevated essential
Sometimes, the best type of present is the one that your recipients didn’t even realize they needed. And since almost everyone with a set of keys spends at least five minute each day searching for them, a stylish (yet tactile) trinket to add to their set of brass is a no brainer. Key fobs are available at a range of prices; however, there’s something particular chic about this simple one from Dunhill. The streamlined silhouette will appease any male or female recipient left off your list, but the zesty green hue will make this stand out against the darkness of a purse or pocket.
8. Trendy tomes
Usually, stocking up on clothes and accessories for those last-minute presents is a big no. But consider Mr Porter’s tome trilogy the perfect alternative. These three paperback books are filled with advice, style tips, photography, and interviews with fashion’s finest — an obvious must-have for any guy with a penchant for style. And even if your benefactor doesn’t give a hoot about fashion, these will make for a cool addition to his bookshelf.
9. Fireplace-ready with cozy kicks
When you’re pressed for time to scheme up a cool last-minute present, think about yourself. What would you want someone who almost forgot about you to buy? All gift fantasies asides — Ferrari, mansion, yacht, etc. — a realistic option is a pair of masculine slippers. Not only would they be great to lap your apartment in, but your feet get cold and socks sometimes don’t make the cut. With a shearling interior and a traditional leather surface, these slippers from Ugg Australia are perfect for when you almost forget to find your sister’s annoying boyfriend a suitable present. While finding your recipient’s foot size is ideal, these slip-ons are a little more forgiving than a backed pair; however, we encourage you to buy a larger size when in doubt. As for the ladies? We like Ugg’s suede version equally.
10. Forget the silver spoon…
Sometimes, the easiest last-minute presents are the ones that are simple in use but extravagant in packaging, like this pick from S’well. At the heart of this gift, it’s just a water bottle: Something you can easily recycle or buy at your corner savings store. But with a sleek silhouette and a slab of glossy gold paint, this gift is now a chic option for a bevy of people — the trendsetter, environment guru, and gym rat, to name a few. We could go on about the bottle’s aesthetics, but it’d be amiss to not also highlight some of this pick’s features. This double-walled container is nontoxic and free of BPAs, not to mention it will keep any beverage warm or cold for up to 12 hours. Now that, dear reader, is a gifting win.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs