Do you feel like Christmas has snuck up a bit on you this year? Does it feel like five minutes ago it was the beginning of November, and now we’re only days from the big day? If you’re not organised this year, you’re not alone – between 10 and 20 per cent of shoppers admit leaving their gift buying until Christmas Eve! Gulp! Well, at least you’ll get a good aerobic workout while you’re battling round the shops.
If you’d rather shop from the comfort of your own home than brave the crowds and the weather, there’s still time. We’ve tracked down ten gift ideas that can be dispatched at the last minute, although there may be additional delivery charges for an express service.
1. Lisa Angel – last order date 23 December
Gift and homewares retailer Lisa Angel has a range of jewellery, cushions, candles and other gifts, and will dispatch pretty much up to the last minute. This rose gold dipped cone candle, £7, comes packaged in cellophane with a jute string ribbon tie, so you could even have it delivered straight to your recipient.
2. John Lewis – last order date 21 or 22 December
One of the UK’s favourite stores, John Lewis is taking online orders until Thursday 21 December for Christmas delivery. For click and collect (where you buy the item online but then collect it from the store in person), you can order up to 22 December. They have a vast range of homeware and giftware, including this Roberts Revival DAB/DAB+/FM digital radio with alarm, £159.95.
3. Marks and Spencer – last order date 22 December
Ah, what would a British Christmas be without Marks and Spencer? From Christmas pudding to cranberry sauce, the chances are that most of us will be seeing that M&S branding at some point in our homes! Last date for online order is 22 December, and this classic Christmas gift box, £30, would be an ideal present for pretty much anyone!
4. Amazon – last order date 23 or 24 December
If you’re a real last-minute minnie, then Amazon is your friend! If you live in London or five other cities, you can order right up to Christmas Eve. Otherwise, you can order up to 23 December. As well as books and DVDs, Amazon also sell a vast range of homewares, electronic goods, sporting equipment and much more.
5. E-vouchers – 25 December
If you’ve missed someone off your Christmas list, or someone unexpected gives you a present, don’t panic! Lots of retailers now offer e-vouchers, which can be emailed instantly to your recipient.
6. Charity donation gifts – 25 December
You could also buy a charity gift in your recipient’s name, and they will receive an email to inform them. How about this ‘Water Warrior’ gift, £10, from Oxfam, aimed at giving families facing a disaster or communities without a nearby supply access to safe, clean water?
7. Selfridges – last order dates 22 or 23 December
The home of posh foodie treats, you can order online from Selfridges up until 22 December for delivery before Christmas. Click and collect options are available until 23 December.
8. House of Fraser – last order dates 22 or 23 December
Department store House of Fraser are also offering a last order date of 22 December, and a click and collect option of 23 December.
9. At Home in the Country – last order date 21 December
For quirky homewares, try At Home in the Country, a family business based in Yorkshire. They’ll deliver next day by courier for orders placed by 21 December.
10. If all else fails…
If you’ve really left it until the last minute, your internet’s down or your credit card’s maxed out, then it’s time to go old school!
Make some homemade shortbread by creaming together 125g of butter (it must be butter, not margarine) and 55g of caster sugar. Mix in 180g of plain flour to make a smooth paste. Roll golf-ball-sized balls, and flatten them onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Bake at 190 degrees Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a very pale golden brown. Leave to cool, then pack into a pretty box or tin.