1. Kenneth Jay Lane earrings
For the capital’s deadline surfers with deep pockets, Net-a-Porter is a godsend. Its London Premier service costs extra (check your postcode online) but you can order up to 10am on Christmas Eve for items to be delivered later in the day – elsewhere in the UK, Sunday morning is your cut-off. If Alexander McQueen frocks are out of your price range, these sparkly studs look luxurious but even with delivery, won’t break the £50 barrier.
2. Aldi Champagne
Unless you’re buying for children or teetotallers, a bottle of fizz seldom goes amiss at Christmas. And when it’s a taste-award-winning champagne that costs a tenner, it really is a no-brainer. Head to an Aldi near you (there are now 500 in the UK) by 6pm on 24 December and get a lot of bottles. And if other last-minute shoppers have got to the sparkling stuff first, don’t fear – there are plenty of other highly rated wines (and spirits) to choose from.
3. Not Another Bill subscription
Left it until the absolute last minute to buy a gift for someone but still want to pretend you’re a generous and thoughtful person? You can still come out of it smelling of roses. Notanotherbill.com is a subscription service with a difference. Sign your loved-one up to it and they’ll receive a surprise gift in the post once a month, based on the kinds of things they love. They’ll receive an –card on Christmas morning and three months of treats after that.
£60 (for three months), notanotherbill.com
4. Soap & Glory Righteous Butter Deluxe Body Shimmer Cream
Boots is your best friend if the clock’s ticking on Christmas Eve. Even the dinky stores can yield gifts for the man, woman or teenager in your life. I’m besotted with the Soap & Glory range of bath and beauty products (pictured) but toys, toiletries, make-up and more mean it’s the one-stop-shop for the truly disorganised. Plus if you have a Boots card, you’ll reap the rewards of a festive binge with all the points you’ll collect.
Not only is the final day for ordering Monday, Asos’s sale has also started. From backpacks and beanies to sneakers and stilettoes, T-shirts and shades to jumpers and jeans, there’s plenty to choose from, and don’t be put off by the more outré items if you’re buying for someone who has a more low-key look – some of the ties, belts and bags would suit even the most unshowy of dads.
6. Christmas Cracker hand-tied bouquet
Say it with flowers – as long as “it” isn’t “oh no! I forgot to get Aunty Brenda a present” – by getting an Interflora order in by 11am on Christmas Eve. With lilies, holly, carnations and spruce, these festive flowers last a surprisingly long time and will look lovely on the dinner table come the big day.
7. Stripe Terry Tiger Soft Toy
This stripy wee chap is a great unisex buy for children (or indeed grown-up fans of toy tigers). Reduced from £12, it’s super-soft and suitable from birth. If little big cats are an endangered species in your local M&S, you should find plenty of alternative gifts (sweets! Luxury biscuits! Jumpers!) to suit most tastes.
8. Skullcandy headphones
If you want to avoid flicking through the catalogue on Christmas Eve, get your Argos order in now. However, if you can only concentrate in the final hours, head to your local store and brandish that mini biro. My advice is to pick up a pair of headphones – whether the person you’re buying for loves their tunes or wants to block out those that do, they’re a pretty safe bet. You can go for next-day delivery until 22 December, same-day delivery on 23 December and you can reserve and collect in store on the 24 December.
From £19.99, argos.co.uk