Let clever, ultra-easy, affordable, super-useful, last-minute gift ideas surprise and delight

It’s less than 72 hours from the Big Unwrapping, and you suddenly think of a neighbor, teacher, friends or helpful parent who needs a gift. Or maybe the under-the-tree landscape is calling for a “something else.” The malls are packed, your creativity well has run dry, and your bank card is overheated. Cool options are still within reach.

Check out the Canadian blog The DIY Mommy for some adorable ideas. Describing herself as “mom of 3 girls, designer, crafter & country dweller,” who blogs from “our DIY house on the prairies,” a few years back she first posted Gifts in a Tin week. Among them? The idea of a Snow Day Survival Kit definitely makes a great carryover into the new year—and peak snow season for much of the U.S. and Canada. This blogger describes snow day survival kits as “unique, handmade Christmas gifts for teachers, neighbors and friends.” In “a pretty little tin,” she puts “things that a family could use on a day stuck at home” such as “some sugar cookies in a jar, a cookie cutter, hot chocolate mix in a jar, and some chocolate spoons to mix the hot chocolate with.”

From that same batch of ideas also came Movie Night in a Tin, which includes homemade caramel corn, treats packed in those mini replicas of theater popcorn boxes, and a Google Play gift card.

She also offered up “How to Make an Arm Knit Blanket in Less Than an Hour”, based on a video tutorial she used and reposted by Simply Maggie. As shown in pics on The DIY Mommy, kids can definitely lend a hand (or two) with this snuggly and practical project. Whip up a warm lap blanket for Grandma or a bigger one for an older sib away at school.

Recently, Sally Kaplan and Melanie Yates published, “It’s Not Too Late: 27 Last-Minute Gifts That Actually Look Thoughtful.” Their charming ideas include gifting an Amazon Prime subscription ($33/3 months, $99/year) and a Love with Food subscription box starting at $8-10/month. Love with Food promotes that you can “Snack Smart. Do Good. Their “about” page says, “Receive a box of mystery better-for-you snacks and go on a fun foodie adventure with us every month.” They add, “We donate a portion of the proceeds to help fight childhood hunger in the US and around the world. We donate to organizations like Feeding America and The Global Food Banking Network.”

Another wonderful option for gifting that beautifully captures the spirit of the season is the organization Compassion International. They offer a catalog of possibilities in areas such as education, water and energy, and income generation. Gifts for citizens in need in other countries include Bibles, bicycles, chickens, goats, a baby’s medical care, and much more. It’s possible, for example, to give families and children the gift—in your own name or someone else’s—of safe drinking water; just $52 helps provide a well for one family.

Closer to home, a last-minute gift that will deliver hours and hours of fun and learning throughout the new year is Anywhere Teacher, an online learning destination with more than 1,000 activities! From Leaf Leaper to Deli Delivery, there are games for the whole family to enjoy, plus books, songs, games, printables, writables, and more for kids 3 to 8. It’s excellent content for playfully keeping skills sharp over the holiday break.

Anywhere Teacher is available on any type of handheld device or computer with an internet connection. Access 21 educational activities as a free trial, or subscribe starting at just $6.99 per month to access all the content and customize each child’s experience. Save 15% each month by getting a 6-month subscription for $34.99, or save 25% per month with an annual subscription for $59.99. Siblings—or even a whole class—can share a subscription and be online at the same time, on different devices, doing different activities. New content is added weekly, and content is rotated monthly. Subscribers get additional membership rewards, too. All for between $1.25 to $2 each week—literally pennies per day!