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  • DEC 19, 2019
  • WRITTEN BY: Alex Mullen

Don’t worry, we know the feeling… Christmas is just around the corner, and you’ve been so busy with work, chores and trying to continue having friends other than the guy who makes your sandwich at lunchtime, Christmas shopping may just have slipped your mind (and maybe your wallet wasn’t so keen on the idea either.)

When you have a lot of people to buy for (friends, colleagues, and the sandwich guy) it can feel overwhelming when you’re down to the wire and don’t have anything under the tree. That’s why we’re here to "wrap up" (sorry) our favourite last-minute gift ideas that still make an impression. Don’t worry, they’re not those kind of last minute gift ideas – you know, cheap shower gel or discounted boxes of chocolates purchased from the supermarket – these, although they can be acquired in a short amount of time, will still make the recipients smile on Christmas Day. Read on to find out our favourite Last Minute Christmas Gifts for 2019. 


Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Homemade

When in doubt, make! If you’re not naturally artistic, you might feel like this one doesn’t apply to you – so if you’ve never so much as looked at a paintbrush, use the other creative skills at your disposal to make a heartfelt gift for your loved ones. 

Baked goods

Brownies or cookies are a quick and easy present for those giftees who have a sweet tooth.

Christmas, after all, is the time of the year when you can eat as much sugar as you like without feeling bad about it, so whip up a batch of cookies or brownies, get out your nicest Tupperware and decorate with a bow! Voilà, you have a sweet and homemade Christmas gift. 

For delicious bakes in a hurry, we like the following recipes:

Easiest Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe from I Heart Eating

Cocoa Brownie Recipe from Inspired Taste 

Homemade Room Spray

If you’re short on cash and time, a homemade room spray is a great last-minute gift idea, using just an empty spray bottle and fresh flowers or essential oils with water. We like these Christmas themed room sprays from Tidbits.


No, we’re not talking about the dried-pasta-and-glitter concoctions of your youth. (Well, there can be some glitter involved…) Collages are a really creative and imaginative way to express your creativity, without needing to draw anything by hand. Interesting materials are your friend, from fun cardboard in different colours and textures, to ribbons, to eye-catching magazine clippings. You can spend hours (although as the title of this post suggests, we don’t have hours, so quick-smart, get sticking) combining different patterns, shapes and pictures to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind works of art. They can be serious or silly, elaborate or simple. The direction you take is completely up to you – and the most attractive part of this gift (apart from the glitter of course) is the small outlay. You’re only paying for the materials, so your purse strings will thank you. 

Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Affordable but Mighty

“Okay, real talk, I don’t have time to cut out cute pictures from magazines, bake anything, or create a special room spray.”

We hear you. Time is often the most precious commodity of all, and if you’re lacking in that department (as a lot of us will be in this run-up to Christmas) sometimes the answer is cold, hard cash. 

“Wait – I have hardly any of that, either.”

Not a problem! Affordable shop-bought Christmas gifts with sentimental value don’t have to break the bank. Check out some of our favourite affordable but mighty last-minute Christmas gift ideas below:


“FLOWERS??” We hear you cry. “How cliché!”

Well, first of all, stop with the sass, thank you. Secondly, flowers don’t have to be cliché. If your Christmas giftee is not one for a giant bouquet, treat them to a more understated succulent or houseplant to brighten up their home with some greenery. These plants help make a space look lively, and can be a great budget option. 

Pyjamas / Loungewear

No matter how hard we try to convince ourselves that we are a civilised society, in reality all anybody wants to be doing is wearing their pyjamas. We have no research to back this fact up, but we strongly believe this to be true. That’s why you can never go wrong with a great pair of pyjamas, slippers or a dressing gown to make your giftee feel truly cosy. Try this floral pyjama set for an adorable Christmas gift. 

Coffee Beans

There’s nothing better than a proper cup of coffee, and if your giftee can’t go without their morning fix, treat them to a nice bag of freshly roasted coffee beans. Most coffee shops will sell their own brand either pre-ground or as whole beans, so however your giftee enjoys their morning cup, there’ll be something for them. This Christmas gift shows you care, without breaking the bank.

Last Minute Christmas Gifts: Vouchers

Okay – maybe we’re biased, but we happen to think vouchers make excellent Christmas gifts. Particularly experience vouchers, as this gives your recipient the opportunity to make memories in 2020 and beyond, instead of just acquiring more material goods to get thrown away or donated. Our experience gift vouchers are delivered instantly via email, so there’s no need to worry about it getting to you in time for the big unwrap! We’ve rounded up some of our top picks for Christmas 2019 below:

Whalberg's Eagle Encounter in Stellenbosch, Cape Town - R 110

Instant Christmas Gift for Animal Lovers

This fascinating eagle encounter in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, is the ultimate gift for lovers of wildlife and the great outdoors. If you’re in need of an instant gift for the bird-loving human in your life, this full day experience is sure to impress. During their experience, your lucky giftee will have full access to a leading eco-tourism centre, where they’ll meet falcons, hawks, owls and reptiles. They can enjoy live raptor displays, and the opportunity to interact one-on-one with the resident Wahlberg’s eagle, Wally. A quick Christmas gift that will stay with them for years to come!

Sundays River 2.5 Hour Boat Cruise - R 450

Instant Christmas Gift for Your Best Friend

Treat your best pal or the intrepid explorer in your life to this fantastic Sundays River 2.5 Hour Boat Cruise, the perfect last-minute Christmas gift for water babies. They’ll meet their guide, before venturing out on their vessel into the Sundays River. The river was originally named Nukakamma (‘Grassy Water’) by the Khoisan people for its luscious evergreen riverbanks, which we think will make a beautiful view for your giftee. They’ll enjoy a serene two hours exploring the Sundays River by boat, with their knowledgeable guide on-hand to answer any questions they might have. 

Express On The Go Spa Day in Rosebank - R 780

Last Minutes Christmas Gift for Your Mum

… or anyone in need of a quick pick-me-up!

This revitalising on-the-go spa day in Rosebank entitles one lucky giftee to their choice of 2 spa treatments, a mani-pedi and use of the spa facilities. Whether your mum has been working too hard, or you have a friend in desperate need of some pampering, there are few better ways to spend a few hours. The facilities at The Rosebank spa include a calming floatation pool, heated indoor pool, steam room and sauna. The perfect Christmas gift to make your giftee feel renewed and recharged for the new year!

Cape Town's Food Tour Thursdays - R 1100

Instant Christmas Gift for Foodies

Make sure the foodie in your life knows to arrive with an empty stomach for this Christmas gift! Cape Town Thursday’s Food Tour takes guests on a full culinary journey, including incredible producers of cheese, chocolates, meats, craft beers, delectable wines and traditional snacks. 

Your giftee will begin their tour at one of Cape Town’s many great artisan coffee roasters, where they’ll learn all about how it’s produced, plus different brewing methods – and of course, tastings. Next, they’ll stop at the Company’s Gardens for samples of delicious snacks. Heading to Woodstock, the group gets to taste some exceptional craft beer and food, not forgetting the chocolate tastings! The tour continues on foot, giving everyone the opportunity to work up an appetite again. Once they’ve completed the final stop at Bree Street for its delicious cheese and wine, your food-loving giftee will head to an evening market, either First Thursdays or Hope Street Night Market, depending on the time of the month.

Tandem Hang Gliding Flight in Brits - R 1600

Last Minute Christmas Gift for Adrenaline Junkies 

… Well, better them than you, right?!

If you’re buying for someone who holds adventure close to their heart and is always chasing the next adrenaline rush, this tandem hang gliding flight in Brits makes the perfect last-minute gift. During this breath-taking tandem hang gliding experience over the Magaliesburg Mountains, your adventurous giftee will be in the hands of expert instructors who have safety at the forefront of their minds – along with fun, of course! Once they’ve been talked through the safety aspects of the flight, they’ll get strapped into their harness. The hang glider is towed out of the runway by a microlight, then once airborne it'll be released and they’ll start to soar! A truly unforgettable Christmas gift.

Thank you for reading!

… And that concludes our favourite Instant Christmas Gifts. From homemade offerings to thoughtfully chosen experiences (wink wink), we hope our little gift guide has helped you to find something special for those who are left on your list. Experience vouchers make great last minute Christmas presents to receive instantly via email, and are valid for 3 years from the date of purchase, giving your giftee plenty of time to enjoy! If you’re not sure which experience to go for, you can always opt for an open voucher and allow your giftee to (literally) choose their own adventure. As always, the Experience Days elves are on hand to help with any festive quandary, or answer questions about our experiences. Just contact us today, or leave a comment under this article; we’d love to hear from you. 

From all of us here at Experience Days, merry Christmas and a happy new year!


Instant Gift Certificates Available


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