Top 10 Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas

Tis the season…to google “best holiday gifts for someone who has everything.”

It’s only a few days before Christmas, but I bet a bunch of you are still stuck trying to find the perfect present for the last couple of names on your Christmas list. Well if you’re scrambling for last-minute gift ideas, we’re here to help you out!  Here are 10 Asian goodies for all the people on your list.




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1. Hot sauce to-go
For the coworker who keeps a messy car but an organized food life.
Sriracha2go is an idea that’s probably on the list of top ten greatest inventions this decade. One bottle is $7, three bottles is $15, and a whopping ten bottles is $35. It’s a solid price point to buy in bulk as a stocking stuffer or as a smaller gift for an acquaintance. After all, who doesn’t like Sriracha? This handy stocking stuffer is both a novelty item and useful. Done, done, and done.




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2. Perfume
For the mother/grandmother who likes all things pretty.
Hanae Mori Parfums ($72) is a brand named after Japan’s most successful female fashion designer (and also the first Japanese woman to dominate fashion runways all over the world), Madame Hanae Mori. The Butterfly fragrance is the brand’s most popular line and known for its blend of strawberries and jasmine, with a lingering impression of vanilla. If she’s interested in exploring a step outside of her usual perfume comfort zone, this could be the one.




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3. Framed photos
For the adventurous friend you went hot air-ballooning with.
Fact: when looking for home-related things for gifts, you can’t go wrong with the refreshingly simple Muji ($5.75 for the frame, $0.25 to print a photo). Print one or two of your favorite photos, print it out and voilà — you’re giving the gift of priceless memories to display on a bookshelf.



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4. Fun socks
For the teen in your life who likes to Instagram cheeky things.
Again with the food…but who could say these Shin Ramyun Ramen Instant Noodle socks ($4) wouldn’t make you smile every time you looked down at your feet? If you had a pair, you would walk around all day in sneakers with a huge smile on your face and your own little secret.



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5. High-quality green tea
For the dad/grandpa who has hectic mornings and a worn-out coffeemaker.
Yes, Tazo to-go might cut it sometimes, but spoil someone this holiday with China’s best this season: West Lake Dragon Tea ($10.95) from the Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. Critics rave about its saturated green color and strong fragrance set against a mellow, calming taste. Want to personalize the gift? Make a cup for them, bake some mild-flavored cookies and present a bag with an offer for an afternoon date.

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6. A gorgeous Japanese art poster
For the teacher/mentor who watches history documentaries and has a comprehensive “Dream Home” Pinterest board.
Stray from the famous wave poster of cultural art history appreciation and opt for a piece just as gorgeous ($24) (or its shirt adaptation!). Poppies represents a gorgeous pocket of time in Japan’s extensive art history, and choosing home decorations as gifts can feel even more personal when it’s not a poster the recipient has already seen many times before.

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7. A plush pillow
For your favorite niece or nephew (or one you don’t know so well because let’s be honest– who wouldn’t want a plush pillow?)
Okay, are you freaking out yet? You should be. These bear plush pillows ($14.16) have the best instant reaction impact. And truthfully, this is a universal gift and should not be limited to children. These plush pillows are the kind you see and instantly know who you want to gift it to (yourself included). If you’re looking for a higher price point, plush pillows know no financial boundaries. Especially with adorable egg sushi pillows. TV nights just got ten times better.

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8. A good read
For the guy in your life who likes Yo-Yo Ma, Jeremy Lin and Ken Watanabe, but can’t really pinpoint what the common thread is.
Yes, they’re all Asian, but it’s more than that. Instead of getting him a tie this year, you can get him some good literature, such as Alex Tizon’s popular Big Little Man – a work that bends taboos and is so fiercely relevant. Giving a nonfiction book might seem boring at first, but really it’s an opportunity. Asian men aren’t always represented, so this delivered with a homemade bowl of ramen can make for a good afternoon.

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9. Luxe bangles
For the lady in your life who has five favorite fashion bloggers.
Sometimes there’s something you would love to have but would never really buy for yourself. That might include $75 bangles. She can decide to wear one or two some days, and the whole shebang the next. The designer draws upon the Mughal dynasty of India and mixes it with contemporary touches.




10. Sushi class gift certificates
For someone you’d like to catch up with over some yellowtail craft-making deliciousness.
What do you get someone who has everything already? Get them an experience! In this case, nothing says “a good time” like a few hours making something that’s both art and delicious. Sushi class gift certificates start at $80 (and there are sake classes as well.)



Have you ever given or received a gift that you’ll never forget? Who knows, it could inspire someone else to gift it.


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