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Three Meaningful Last-Minute Gift Ideas

With Christmas only a week away, it’s time to start scrambling to pull together last-minute gifts for friends and family. You want your present to be meaningful and personal . . . but you only have a week to prepare. Don’t worry – we’ve all been there! Here are three meaningful last-minute gift ideas that will make everyone say, “Wow, wish I had thought of that!”

Experience Gifts

Experience gifts, such as a trip or activity, are creative and exciting. The receiver has something to look forward to, and most experiences are partner or group activities, so you can reap the benefits as well! An experience gift can be simple – yet thoughtful. A day-pass at a spa, cooking classes, musicals, escape rooms, the possibilities are endless! Groupon is a great resource to check out; it always has a large selection of affordable options. Experiences are perfect for last-minute gifts because you can often purchase them online and simply print out the voucher. Stick the voucher in a Christmas card, and you’re good to go! Or you could also always take them out to brunch. Nothing says “I care about you” like waffles! Remember – your experience gift does not have to be expensive. You could even offer to bring your friend/family member to feed ducks pieces of bread at a park, explore colorful murals in your city, etc. The point of an experience gift is for the two of you to spend quality time together doing something enjoyable.

Homemade Gifts

Make your friends and loved-ones gifts! Homemade gifts are cost-effective, easy, and meaningful. You could purchase a picture frame and add a photo of you together, bake them brownies, paint them a picture – there are so many options! I love receiving homemade sugar scrubs – they’re the perfect addition to my “me-time nights” – and Pinterest has a ton of easy recipes. The good thing about homemade gifts is that they can be simple. The real gift is the time you spent on it and the personal touches you add.

Gift a Donation in Someone’s Honor

The last gift idea – and our personal favorite – is to donate in your gift receiver’s name! Christmas is about sharing and giving back. Donating is as simple as clicking a button, and it is so unique and impactful. Who wouldn’t love such a meaningful gift? Educate. Radiate. Elevate. is a non-for-profit that provides tutoring for low-income students of color in grades K through 12. We believe in improving students’ education by approaching them with empathy, educational equity, and cultural responsiveness. We also partner with the students’ families, schools, and communities to help provide a holistic and personalized education. To make donating an individual experience, E.R.E. allows donors to choose what their money is used for, and they have the option to donate in someone’s honor. So, not only can you gift a donation, but you can also tell your loved one how their gift will be used to make a real difference! For instance, you can donate wifi for our students in honor of your tech-savvy friend or 1-on-1 tutoring in honor of your relative that teaches. Imagine how exciting it would be to know that your gift is improving a student’s life! Whether you choose an experience, a homemade gift, or a donation, we at E.R.E. are so excited to celebrate these holidays of gratitude and giving with you and all of our staff, volunteers, students, and generous donors!

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"Hi, I'm Lindsey.
Every other month, I share short emails full of hopeful stories, updates on your impact, and relevant news. Thousands of people enjoy them."
Lindsey Wander
Founder and President