Sometimes things get down to the wire and you just need a last minute gift idea. Christmas is only a week away and if you're like many others, you still have some work to do! These tips may provide some inspiration for Christmas, but will also help any time of the year. When it comes to gift-giving, consider these ideas that support local and small, elevate people, focus on experiences, give a second-chance to things discarded and connect to organizations doing good.

Five ideas for last-minute gifts

Support Local & Small


Visit your local farmer's market this weekend and purchase things like homemade jams, local honey, fresh fruits and vegetables and baked goods. Make a gift basket out of them that will be enjoyed by all! Or find a local vendor that makes handmade items. Small businesses in your community can be found by word of mouth, church directories, and local street fairs. Do you have a favorite restaurant or coffee shop that is a small business and locally owned, why not pick up a gift certificate to share with that person on your list?

Elevate People


At Travel on Purpose, we love fair-trade! We have previously shared some of our favorite socially-conscious companies here and here. It might be a little too late to get a handmade item from across the globe or even across the country, but most of the fair-trade organizations we advocate for have a gift card option. This way the recipient of your gift gets to select their favorite item and can place their order in the new year. Purchasing things such as leather goods, textiles, jewelry and ceramics provide dignified jobs for people in need.

Focus on Experiences


Have you heard the phrase, "collect memories, not things" before? Most of us don’t need another thing and that also includes the people on our gift list. So why not gift an experience instead! Make your own gift certificate for a day out with a loved one. Pack a picnic or go on a hike. How about theater tickets or zoo passes? Or what about a Travel on Purpose group tour?  Experiences and the memories surrounding them will always outlast an item in a box.

Second-Chance Wares


Avoiding anything that is likely to end up in a landfill a few months from now is a good practice for so many reasons. Fast fashion and junk from Wal-Mart are some of the worst culprits. Many boutiques are now revitalizing second-hand items and upcycling clothing and house décor. Consider a visit to your local secondhand store. Put together a basket of mismatched tea-cups for your mom, a retro outfit for the teen in your life, or a book bag with some classics for the reader on your list.



Connect to an Organization Doing Good


Perhaps that person on your shopping list doesn't need another "thing" but has a heart for caring for the needs of others. Consider making a gift to a non-profit on their behalf. Visit our ministry partner page to see what organizations we are working with around the world who are doing great work. We partner with organizations that are working in areas of education, equipping families to stay together, evangelism and discipleship, microfinance, community development, special needs, trauma care and fighting against slavery and trafficking.


You might consider:

  • Sponsoring a child at Kibaale in Uganda (a K-12 school providing quality Christian education)
  • Making a one-time gift to Boy with a Ball in Costa Rica (serving at-risk youth)
  • Making a one-time gift to Esperanza in the Dominican Republic (providing business loans to women)

This type of gift has a far-reaching impact and continues to give beyond the date it's received.


Whatever kind of gifts you decide to give this year, may your Christmas be filled with the joy of the season, celebrating the birth of our Lord.