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:

Celebrate the Holidays With a Harry Potter Sock Advent Calendar From Target

Target
Target

Harry Potter Advent calendars are becoming a new Christmas tradition among wizards and witches at heart. For the 2019 holiday season, LEGO is launching an Advent calendar set of Harry Potter minifigures, and Funko is releasing its own calendar themed around the Yule Ball. Now, Bustle reports that Target is getting in on the action with four new Advent calendars packed with Harry Potter-themed socks.

No matter what type of Harry Potter fan you are, there's a batch of socks for you in Target's line-up. If you're someone who gets assigned a different house every time you take a sorting hat quiz, go with the first Advent calendar. It includes socks in men sizes 6 through 12 emblazoned with the crests and colors of all four Hogwarts houses.

The other three packs feature women's socks with a somewhat random assortment of designs. You'll find footwear branded with iconic Harry Potter imagery, like Hedwig the owl, the golden Snitch, and the Hogwarts Express. Other socks bear quotes from the books and films, like "Mischief Managed" from the Marauder's Map and Hagrid's famous one-liner, "You're a wizard, Harry."

Every Harry Potter Advent calendar from Target comes with 15 pairs of socks, working out to just $1 a pair. If you'd like to start planning the holiday season early this year, you can order them today from Target.com. And to make the holidays even more magical, don't miss out on this Hogwarts castle tree topper that plays "Hedwig's Theme."

Harry Potter socks from Target.
Target

Harry Potter sock advent calendar.
Target

Harry Potter socks from Target.
Target

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

8 Fun Bookmarks to Keep Your Place

iStock
iStock

Why settle for a torn piece of paper or receipt when you can have something way more exciting? These bookmarks are for readers who want to add some extra whimsy to their reading routine.

1. Sprouts; $12.50

These ingenious silicone markers don’t work like normal bookmarks. Shaped like adorable sprouts, they fit inside your book and mark the exact line you’re at on the page. Because they’re made with a flexible material, you can close the book easily with the sprout inside and it will spring back to shape when you open the book again. The sprouts come in sets of six. For a little luck, check out the four-leaf clover iteration.

Find it: Amazon

2. Butterflies; $10


If you've ever wanted to have a real Disney princess moment, consider buying these bookmarks, which will make it look like butterflies have perched on your books. The set comes with 10 pieces in a variety of designs.

Find it: Amazon

3. Crocodile; $13

These clever placeholders create the illusion that a crocodile is lurking on top of your book. When you lift up this intimidating bookmark, it shows the reptile’s sharp teeth, warning others not to dare lose your place. (If mammals are more your style, there is also a hippo option.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Lamp; $13

Let this lamp-shaped bookmark illuminate where you left off. The lamp shape sits on top of the book while the yellow light-beam fits snuggly between the pages. It comes in three colors: white, red, and gray.

Find it: Amazon

5. Literary Feet; $24

Remember that scene in The Wizard of Oz when the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East and only her feet stuck out? You can recreate that iconic movie scene with a bookmark. Even better, the design isn’t restricted to just the witch: You can get all kinds of famous book character feet to stick out of your book. Just some of the literary legs available include Alice from Alice in Wonderland, a direwolf from A Song of Ice and Fire, and a magician from Harry Potter. There are also some non-book selections, like animals, ballerinas, and Yoda.

Find it: Amazon

6. Food; $30

Let some of your favorite food keep your place. The plush bookmarks feature a slice of pizza, ice cream, coffee, and an ice cream sandwich.

Find it: Amazon

7. Magnetic pals; $5

You’ll be even more motivated to read if you have a small buddy smiling at you from the side of your book. You can attach them to any place on the side of the page, so you know exactly where you are in the story.

Find it: Amazon

8. Pointers; $7

These bookmarks also mark the exact place in the book, but without the help of magnets. Instead, they come with stretchy loops that wrap around the entire book. A hand pointing can pinpoint the exact word, in case you’re the type that stops reading mid-sentence. They come in packs of three.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

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