Top 10 Thoughtful Last-Minute Birthday Gifts

May 16, 2023
jason wolfe
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Looking for a last-minute birthday gift for someone can be a daunting task. You want to make sure that it's thoughtful and meaningful, but time is running out. Don't worry, we understand the struggle and have come to your rescue!

Our latest guide offers a curated list of the top 10 last-minute gifts that will surely surprise your loved one. From personalized gifts to experiential ones, we have something for everyone. These gift ideas are not only thoughtful but also perfect for those who are on a tight deadline.

So, whether they’re a foodie, a tech enthusiast, or an adrenaline junkie, our guide has got you covered. Check out the full list now!

GiftYa offers a wide selection of virtual gift cards, which make great last-minute gifts. Within seconds, you can send your loved one a GiftYa card to some of the country's top restaurants, bars, spas, and shops. You can even add a custom message to give your gift a personal touch. 

1. Text a Digital GiftYa Card

Digital gift cards can be sent in an instant

A digital GiftYa card is the perfect option for the recipient who knows exactly what they want!

Digital GiftYa cards are not only enjoyable and versatile gifts but they also provide recipients with the freedom to choose exactly what they desire. 

Sending these cards has become easier than ever before. Just visit the GiftYa website, where you'll discover a vast selection of cards for thousands of merchants across the country. Some of the notable brands available on GiftYa's site include Amazon, OfficeMax, GameStop, Panera, Ulta, Sheetz, Lowe's, Dunkin' Donuts, and Target. If you want to support local businesses, simply enter your city or zip code into the website's search bar to explore nearby retailers that accept GiftYa digital gift cards.

What sets GiftYa cards apart is the ease with which you can personalize them. You have the flexibility to add any amount ranging from $5 to $100 to the card. Gone are the days when gift cards were considered impersonal. With GiftYa, you can go the extra mile to demonstrate that you've put genuine thought into the gift. Customize the card with a personalized wrapper, a cherished photo, or even a heartfelt video message that will play when the recipient opens the card. And, of course, don't forget to include a meaningful note to accompany the gift!

2. Throw a Surprise Birthday Dinner

Celebrate your friend with their favorite meal!

family enjoying a dinner
A delicious meal and time with loved ones is a birthday well spent!

Throwing a surprise dinner is a great way to ensure your loved one’s birthday is exciting and memorable. 

Planning the event involves careful coordination and secrecy, making it all the more thrilling. From selecting the perfect venue to decorating their home to organizing a delectable menu and inviting their closest friends and family, every detail contributes to the element of surprise and delight. As the surprise unfolds, the look of astonishment and happiness on the birthday person's face will be truly priceless. 

A surprise birthday dinner is also a great way to reunite old friends and family members. The gathering allows everyone to come together to honor and celebrate the person who means so much to them. Whether it's an intimate dinner or a grand affair, a surprise birthday dinner creates beautiful memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. 

When selecting the perfect flowers for birthday, consider the recipient's preferences, the event's theme, and the venue. If the event has a specific theme, select flowers that harmonize with it. For instance, choose colorful wildflowers for a garden-themed party or elegant options like orchids or calla lilies for a more formal affair.  

To enhance the visual appeal of the dinner, use fresh flowers as table centerpieces, aligning their colors with the party's palette. Depending on your table size, you can choose a single striking arrangement or several smaller ones. Surprise the birthday honoree by presenting them with a beautiful birthday bouquet as they arrive or consider having it delivered to their home earlier in the day as a tantalizing preview.  

To infuse the entire space with an inviting ambiance, consider using flowers for decorative purposes, such as hanging garlands or creating a captivating floral backdrop for photographs. Customize the flower arrangements by incorporating the recipient's favorite colors or including their initials or age in the display for an added personal touch.  

Lastly, consider adding a whimsical and unique touch to the celebration by using edible flowers, like pansies, violets, or nasturtiums, to garnish salads, desserts, or cocktails served during the dinner. These thoughtful touches will make the surprise birthday dinner memorable and visually delightful.

3. Send Them a Gift Basket

Give them a little bit of everything with a custom gift basket

gift basket
Give them a little bit of everything with a custom gift basket.

Sending a gift basket for a birthday is a great way to surprise and pamper someone on their special day. A thoughtfully curated gift basket is like a treasure trove of treats and surprises, carefully chosen to bring joy and happiness to the recipient. 

From gourmet chocolates and savory snacks to luxurious bath and body products, there’s an endless assortment of gifts you can add to a basket. Need some help putting a basket together? Many online retailers and local shops offer pre-designed gift basket options or customizable selections to choose from. 

Gift baskets can include:

In short, sending a thoughtfully curated gift basket is a gesture that goes beyond a traditional gift. It shows your attention to detail, care, and effort in selecting items that resonate with the recipient.

4. Sign Them Up for a Wine Subscription

A monthly wine subscription is the perfect gift for the vino in your life

person holding a glass of wine
If your friend is a big wine fan, they’ll love receiving a wine subscription.

Sending a wine subscription for a birthday is a sophisticated and memorable gift choice that indulges the senses and creates a year-long celebration for the recipient. With a wine subscription, the recipient receives a carefully curated selection of wines delivered right to their doorstep on a regular basis. Each shipment offers the opportunity to explore and savor a variety of exquisite wines from different regions and vineyards. It's like embarking on a personal wine-tasting journey — discovering new flavors and expanding their knowledge and appreciation of the world of wine. 

Whether the recipient is a connoisseur or simply enjoys a good glass of wine, a subscription allows them to discover hidden gems and experience the artistry of winemaking. It's a gift that keeps on giving.

Some popular wine subscriptions you can sign them up for include:

  1. Take Them Bowling

Organize a group bowling outing for your loved one’s birthday!

Take them out to a night of bowling and good food!

Organizing a bowling party for a birthday is a fantastic way to add some friendly competition to a birthday celebration. Bowling alleys provide the perfect setting for a lively gathering with friends and family.

It's a fantastic opportunity for everyone, regardless of their skill level, to participate and have a great time together. The bowling alley can also offer various amenities such as arcade games, delicious food, and refreshing drinks, adding to the overall enjoyment of the party. 

So if your friend loves some friendly competition, get ready to organize the bowling birthday party of a lifetime!

6. Send Them a ‘Cameo’ From Their Favorite Celebrity

What better way to start off your friend’s birthday than with a message from their favorite celebrity?

bowling alley
Thousands of celebrities are on Cameo. Image courtesy of Cameo.

Sending a Cameo as a birthday gift is an incredibly unique and personalized way to make someone's special day even more memorable. With Cameo, you have the opportunity to surprise the recipient with a personalized video message from their favorite celebrity, athlete, musician, or influencer. It's like bringing a piece of their idol directly to them.

Some celebrities that you can find on Cameo include:

The heartfelt and customized message delivered by their beloved personality can bring sheer joy and excitement to the recipient's day. Whether it's a word of encouragement, a birthday song, or a heartfelt shout-out, the Cameo experience is truly one-of-a-kind.

7. Give Them a New Pair of AirPods

New AirPods are great for the podcast enthusiast or workout junkie in your life

man wearing an airpod
AirPods are great for the avid podcast listener or workout junkie. Image courtesy of Vox.

Buying AirPods for someone's birthday is an exceptional gift choice that combines both practicality and luxury. AirPods provide the recipient with a seamless and wireless audio experience, allowing them to enjoy their favorite music, podcasts, or calls with unparalleled convenience. 

The sleek design and advanced technology of AirPods makes them a coveted accessory for any tech-savvy individual. Whether the recipient is a music enthusiast, a busy professional, or a fitness enthusiast, AirPods offer a versatile solution to enhance their daily activities. With features like effortless pairing, superior sound quality, and convenient touch controls, AirPods elevate the audio experience to new heights. You can also choose from a number of different AirPod models, making it easy to find a pair that’s suitable for your budget and the recipient’s preferences. 

8. Bake Some Delicious Treats

Baked treats are the perfect gift for a friend with a sweet tooth

tray of cookies and scones
There’s no better day to enjoy some fresh baked goods than your birthday!

Do you love baking? Consider whipping up some fresh-baked cookies and pastries for your friend’s birthday! Baking cookies and pastries as a birthday gift is a heartfelt gesture that combines the joy of homemade treats with the warmth of a personal touch. 

You can send them alone or add them to a custom gift basket. No matter how you send them, your friend is sure to appreciate the time and effort you put into such a delicious birthday gift. 

9. Help Them Learn New Skills with a MasterClass Subscription

Your friend can learn everything from cooking to making a film with a MasterClass subscription

Sending a MasterClass subscription as a gift is a remarkable way to inspire and delight someone with a passion for learning. With a MasterClass subscription, the recipient gains access to an extensive library of online courses taught by world-renowned experts in various fields, including writing, cooking, music, sports, and more. 

Whether they aspire to enhance their skills, explore new interests, or simply indulge their curiosity, a MasterClass subscription opens the doors to a world of exceptional learning experiences. 

Some of the current courses you can find on MastClass include:

The gift of MasterClass not only provides valuable knowledge but also empowers the recipient to embark on a transformative educational journey from the comfort of their own home.

10. Build a Custom Visa Gift Card with GCG

With a custom gift card, your friend can shop til they drop at their favorite stores

photo of woman holding child on Visa gift card
You can make your GCG more personal with a photo or custom image! Image courtesy of GCG

Gift Card Granny’s Build-a-Card is an ideal present for people with specific shopping preferences. Not only does it provide the convenience of a gift card for a wide range of retailers, but it offers a personal touch with its custom design options.

Sending a GCG card is a breeze. Select the desired amount, choose a photo or custom design, and enter the recipient's address for seamless delivery. Plus, if you place your order before 4pm ET, you can take advantage of same-day shipping.

When it comes to finding the perfect gift for your loved one, Gift Card Granny’s Build a Card makes it effortless to express your love in a meaningful way.

You have a variety of options when it comes to selecting the best gift for your loved one. Even if you’re on a time crunch. What gifts on the list caught your eye? Let us know!


Written by

Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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