Did you leave your holiday buying up to the last minute? No worries, because we have some ideas that could help you in a pinch.
With only a couple of days left until the big day, last minute shopping is in full effect.
If you’ve waited until the very end because life just got in the way, or you weren’t sure what to buy and haven’t checked our over 10,000 words written for the 2023 Holiday Gift Guides, no worries. We’ve been working on something a little extra that’s still useful, especially if you’re in need of a last minute purchase.
While shops are probably running gifts down to a minimum and lines will be frustratingly long, and Amazon’s Prime delivery probably won’t be as reliably snappy as it normally is, we have some last minute gadget ideas that could help make the holiday season a treat all the same.
In this final holiday gift guide for the 2023 shopping season, we’re focusing on ideas that seem more planned than just “a gadget”, and can help you seem like the hero you were meant to be. Take a look.
Amazon Echo Dot with Clock and Spotify gift card
Price: $69 for the Echo Dot + $36 for a Spotify card (3 months)
Giving the gift of music is always welcome, and while Spotify can do that by itself, having a speaker that can help change how you connect with the music can mean something different.
To start this guide off, we’re recommending a $69 Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker with the clock built in because of what it brings: a compact capable smart speaker that can show the time and weather using its neato LED system, and which you can program routines for.
Grab a Spotify gift card and bring music to the party, turning it into a modern alarm clock of sorts, or even start working those vocal muscles and telling Alexa exactly what you want.
Xbox Wireless Controller and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate gift card
Price: $89 for the controller + $57 for a Game Pass Ultimate gift card (3 months)
Gaming is a lot of fun and a great way to spend any holiday period, but one of the problems with buying a console is cost, while buying a game can be awkward. You don’t want to inadvertently buy a putting game someone doesn’t really want for Xmas, and probably want to land a title and gaming experience they can really sink their teeth into.
Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming can very much kill two birds with the one stone, keeping gaming somewhat affordable while also offering a buffet of titles, so you won’t end up with giving just one game that mightn’t be liked.
Xbox Cloud Gaming also comes with the added bonus of working with nearly everything. Available via the web, it provides access to an Xbox in the cloud and works on phone, tablet, and even directly on some TVs, and only needs an Xbox controller and access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, making this one an easy way to win the holidays.
Fujifilm Instax Mini and a night out
Price: $110 for the camera + $100 for a prepaid Visa/Mastercard card
We all have a camera in our phones, but that camera isn’t always… fun. Social photography can change that, and makes for an interesting gift that isn’t your usual fare.
Fujifilm’s Instax Mini is a good attempt at reviving that fun feeling of taking photos together, providing the instant picture effect Polaroids offer with a fun, bubbly selfie-capable camera.
Pair it with a fun night and it can make for a great time. Consider going out with your friends, and if you can’t, bundle the camera with a prepaid card so they can spend time out and about doing whatever they like. Tell them to take pictures, because that’s entirely the point.
Apple TV 4K with Apple gift card
Price: $219 for the Apple TV + $25 for an Apple Gift Card (enough for 3 rentals)
The gift of a movie or two is a great thing, and it’s a pretty solid way to ensure someone has fun over the holidays, but while there’s always a gift card to the movies, there’s also a gift for the movies at home.
Apple TV offers a pretty solid movie experience in general, not only providing access to every service, but having one of the most complete movie libraries for rent and purchase, playing and streaming those titles in 4K with Dolby Atmos, if your TV and sound system supports both.
Most people have a TV, but they mightn’t have a great smart TV experience they dig, so grabbing this and an Apple gift card can mean movies at home are the experience on offer from this gift.
Xgimi Halo+ with a couple of folding camp chairs
Price: $1099 + $12-20 for two folding camp chairs
The gift of a movie is great at home, but if you’re buying for someone who likes to spend their holidays in the great outdoors, the big movie experience isn’t something they probably take with them at night.
And yet they can. Portable projectors are actually a thing that exist, allowing you to easily project a movie onto the side of a wall, campervan, or even just a sheet you might have brought with, all from either a battery or a plug connection.
They’re getting better, and Xgimi’s Halo+ is a surprisingly compelling option, which will pair nicely with two folding chairs for someone planning on going camping who still wants to watch something at night.
Samsung 75 inch Q70C QLED TV and a box of popcorn
Price: $1799 for the Q70C around now + $6 for several packs of microwaveable popcorn in a box
Upgrading the TV at home is an expensive holiday gift, for sure, but it’s also reliable: nothing quite says “this is a big present” quite like a TV, and when that TV is oversized, bright, and made with modern technology, it screams it.
With CES 2024 around the corner, we know that TVs are about to be upgraded, and you do, too. That means companies like Samsung will start to drop prices on their screens, and may already have. Since writing all these gift guides, we’ve seen the price of Samsung’s 2023 QLED range see drops, and that includes a massive 75 inch QLED variety, which has dropped a good $1000, making for a stellar deal.
One of the more expensive presents in our entire holiday gift guide list, bundle it with a cheap box of microwaveable popcorn from the shops, and send the message that this is the best present ever for entertainment.
Don’t even bother wrapping it: just stick a simple bow on the top and leave it next to the tree. Whoever gets it will know what to do with the rest.
IOU and a really good promise
Price: initially free, but you’ll spend money later + $25 gift card card
Alternatively, consider telling that person you’re buying for that you’re going to give them something from the sales, which is when the prices really fall.
Boxing Day sales are literally the day after Christmas, and they continue through to the end to the year, plus often a little bit over. That’s a good week to work out what to get for them, and to hopefully make some savings throughout.
Buy a $25 gift card for something they might like or even just a prepaid Visa, and write a really great note telling someone you’re going to get them something even better when the sales hit.