I've kept this secret for YEARS! As it turns out, I'm not the most thoughtful person alive, I'm just really good at planning! Here is my secret to last-minute gifts.
My Secret for Last-Minute Gifts
Everyone has those household secrets that no one else knows about. Like maybe you've never cleaned under your fridge and the food trap in your dishwasher scares you (okay, that's me too).
But my BIGGEST secret is one that I've kept for years.
I have a horde of gifts that I keep on hand in case of "emergency":
OH SH*T...I forgot it was Michelle's birthday...and she's on her way.
Happy Anniversary, Mom & Dad...(SH*T I forgot to get a gift)!
For me? How thoughtful! I have something for you too...(oops)
Has this ever happened to you? If so, we can help!
8 Tips to Create Your Emergency Gift Horde
So, as it turns out, I'm not the most thoughtful person alive, I'm just really good at planning! Here are my top tips to make sure no gift gets left behind.
1. Save gift bags and tissue paper
Not only is this an eco and money-saving tip, but saving all of the gift bags and tissue paper that you get gifted comes in handy in a pinch.
I also stock a few generic colours from Dollarama. You can't go wrong with stocking white tissue paper and plain, gender-neutral gift bags!
2. Stock blank cards
Keep some generic cards in stock. General greeting cards like Happy Birthday, Thank You, holiday and blank note cards are really useful if you don't have time to slip out to the store, or you know, if you find yourself in a pandemic.
I usually get the multi-packs from Walmart and store them with my gift bags.
3. Gift Cards
Gift cards are an amazing last minute gift! Keep a few on hand in a couple different price ranges. Some ideas are:
- Tim Hortons - for the daily coffee drinker
- Starbucks - for the PSL lover
- Farm Boy - for the foodie
- Skip the Dishes - dinner delivered
4. Lucky Money
My Chinese grandparents always gifted us lucky money for Christmas and birthdays. I saved all of the envelopes and reused them over the years, but you can get your own here or at your local Chinese grocer!
You can always write a cheque or add some cash to the envelope for a very lucky gift! Let's be real, cash is always a welcome gift.
Gifts: The 3 Bs: Booze, Bath & Books
I always get a couple of extra bottles when I go to the LCBO - just in case.
My Favourite Bottles to ADD to a Gift
Villa Sandi Prosecco - for Regular Birthdays & Anniversaries
This is the perfect bottle to add to a gift bag for any small celebration, but isn't necessarily the most special bottle for a milestone event like a 30th birthday or a 10 year anniversary. Scroll down for some suggestions for those!
Sandbanks Baco Noir VQA - A Local Red
A great bottle from local Ontario winery, Sandbanks, this medium-bodied bottle is a perfect add-on to a gift for the red wine lover.
Sandbanks Dunes White VQA - A Local White
A great bottle from local Ontario winery, Sandbanks, this citrus-y bottle is a perfect add-on to a gift for the white wine lover.
My Favourite Bottles That ARE the Gift
Pol Roger Brut Champagne - for Fans of the Royals
This bottle contains real champagne, which means it's made in the Champagne region of France.
Fun fact: this bottle has been the bubbly of choice at the last 3 Royal weddings: Princess Eugenie & Mr Jack Brooksbank; Prince William & Kate Middleton; and Harry & Meghan.
Malfy Gin Con Arancia - for the Gin Lover
This blood orange gin not only comes in a beautiful bottle, but it's so unique! For G&T lovers, this is a perfect way to switch it up.
Wayne Gretzky Maple Cask Finish Canadian Whisky - for Hockey Lovers
Does it get more Canadian than hockey and maple syrup? This bottle of Wayne Gretzky Maple Cask Finish is a conversation piece that will be enjoyed for more than just the hockey nostalgia - it's a great bottle too!
Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne - for Milestones
Veuve is one of those classic, high-end champagnes that screams "take a selfie with me!" I'd suggest this gift for special occasions like a 10 year anniversary or a 30th birthday.
Sequoia Mini Soap Gift Set - Support Indigenous
This Quebec-based brand is proudly indigenous and female-owned! I love all of the earthy scents of their mini-soaps and they're the perfect add-on for a gift bag! Break them up, or add the whole set to your gift. Add this to your emergency hoard for $16!
Little Sweet Peach Donut Bath Bombs - Support Local Ottawa
This local, Ottawa business creates bath bombs that looks like food! Check out their donut bath bombs - they look great in a gift bag and are only $8!
Shy Wolf Candles $27 - Support Local and Sustainable
This small-batch soy candle business is both local and sustainable. In their words, their collections are inspired by tarot, stardust and rock n' roll. You can get yours for $27!
You can gift anything in your collection or pick up a couple of books specifically for your emergency gift hoard. Adding an inscription inside of a book will make this an extra special gift, even if it did start off on your shelf! Here are a couple of my favourites:
Chanel: Collections and Creations by Daniele Bott - Fashion Lover
This beautiful coffee table book is the perfect gift for the fashion lover, and it doubles as a photography prop in the meantime! Although you may like it so much you'll want to keep it for yourself.
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg - The Graduate
This book is amazing for a graduate, or any woman in your life. I'd definitely recommend it!
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris - The Entrepreneur
This is a great book for anyone you know with an interest in business!
Happy emergency gifting!