Procrastinators' guide to last-minute online shopping

Faith Merino · December 20, 2012 · Short URL:

A list of resources and gift ideas you can get online for kids and family

I became acutely aware of how unprepared I am for Christmas when I looked around my house this morning and saw zero presents, a poor attempt at holiday thumbprint cookies, and an open bottle of rum on the counter.  Jesus, how did this happen??  Christmas is on Tuesday and I have no presents for anyone.  A friend of mine has Christmas stockings already made up for her dogs.  I feel like I’ve been asleep all month.  I don’t have time to go shopping at the mall like a common schmuck.

And then Amazon talked me down—again—with a reassuring email.  “Don’t worry, Faith.  You still have one more day for free two-day shipping.”  (Not Amazon’s exact words.)

Not everyone is still taking Christmas orders.  Yesterday was the last day you could order from and get your item before Christmas.  But let’s be honest—who’s going to be the angriest and the most vocal about their disappointment if you don’t show up at the family gathering with a gift?  That damn snotty seven-year-old niece, that’s who.  What she really needs is a pop in the mouth, but you can't do that because it's frowned upon. Either way, you still need to give her a present.

So, for all the other busy parents out there (or just busy people in general) who can’t (or won’t) get out to the mall this weekend for their Christmas shopping, I’ve compiled a few resources for your last minute online shopping needs.


This one is obvious.  With free two-day shipping, it’s my natural first stop.  The only problem I run into with Amazon is the fact that it doesn’t offer much in the way of discovery—you’ll have to go in with an item in mind, but that’s what this article is for.  Here are a few options by age:

For the two and under crowd: Babylegs.  They’re like, a thing right now.

Also, I’m sure I’m not the only parent who’s terrified of BPAs, paint, and China, so anything wooden is a good bet.  Plan Toys has some awesome wooden toys made from recycled rubber trees (in Thailand) and made with non-toxic dye rather than paint.

For girls eight and under: Lalaloopsy doll.  They’re so cute!

For older girls: Anything to do with jewelry, friendship bracelets, or Justin Bieber (these days he’s looking more and more like a hot lesbian, but he’s still a hit with the little ladies).

For boys eight and under: the Uncle Milton frog aquarium.  Obviously, this can also be a girl’s gift, but we can save the “gender constructs” conversation for another time.

For older boys: Angry Birds Knock on Wood game.  It’s impossible to steer clear of the video games, but you can find a happy medium with a real game that’s based on the mobile app.

Honest Company

This is brilliant, although it’s really more of a gift for the new parents in your social circle than the kids.  Jessica Alba’s Honest Company is a subscription box-o-stuff site for safe, non-toxic products for babies and families.  You can surprise your newbie parent friends this season with a subscription to the Honest Company with a diaper bundle ($85.90 for one month), which includes 138-320 plant-derived, eco-friendly diapers per bundle.  Or you can get a family essentials bundle ($41.90 for one month), which includes five products from the Honest Company’s line of non-toxic household cleaners and hygienic items, like dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, hand soap, bubble bath, etc.


There’s still time to score a deep discount on Gilt, which has a category just for kids and babies.  If you purchase an item that’s marked with a red bow by 3pm EST and choose 2nd Day air, you can have it by 12/24.  Today’s sales include FootMates kids’ shoes, maternity wear, dress up accessories, Gucci for kids, and more.

The whole Quidsi family of stores has free two-day shipping on all orders over $49, and it’s been my experience that the shipping is super fast and often arrives the next day.  The great thing about Quidsi sites (which include for babies and kids, for toys, for home goods, for eco-friendly goods, for pets, and more) is that the discovery aspect is much more comprehensive than Amazon, and you can shop the whole family of sites and check out with one shopping cart to make it easier to score free shipping.  And right now, when you make your first purchase on one of the Quidsi sites, you can get 30% off.

Christmas treats on

The one thing that never steers me wrong is Christmas treats.  It’s a great way to pad out a cheapy, lame-o present.  You can find tons of cool recipes on Pinterest, but Brit & Co has a pretty awesome step-by-step photographic guide to help you make sure you’re doing it right.  Most of the parents I know need something to take the edge off right now, so I will be making these Bailey’s bonbons. 

(Note: also offers a DIY kit subscription box, so if you have any crafty friends, you can get them a subscription, which delivers a DIY kit to their door once a month for $19.99.)


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