Easy Last Minute Christmas Ideas

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Easy last minute Christmas ideas that you can do by using things you already have on hand…or things you can get at any grocery store! 

last minute christmas ideas centerpiece with pomegranates

I’m hoping this finds you in good shape for the upcoming holiday, but just in case you need a bit of last minute inspiration, I’ve got you covered. All of the last minute Christmas ideas I’m sharing below can be accomplished with things you already have on hand, or things that can be easily picked up at the grocery store. All of the printables featured here are available in an easy-to-download PDF, and can be accessed by filling out the form at the end of the post.


1.) The easiest centerpiece ever is simply to layer fresh pine in a bowl, and add something festive. Use any bowl or tray you have on hand. If you don’t have any pine you can clip from your yard, pick some up at the grocery. Most pine will last at least a few days indoors, so there is no need to use any water. Some suggestions for the festive part:

  • pomegranates
  • red and green Anjou pears
  • red and green apples
  • clove oranges
  • Christmas ball ornaments
  • pine cones
  • dried orange slices

The best thing about a low centerpiece is that your guests will be able to see each other across the table! (Click HERE for the long dough bowl.)

christmas centerpiece in long dough bowl

2.) Pictured above is another easy centerpiece idea using the same long dough bowl. This time I used faux greens to fill the bowl, and topped them with a handmade wool felt garland. Tiny fairy lights completed the look.

fresh greenery in white pitcher

3.) One more easy centerpiece idea for a small table is to put fresh greens in a pitcher or vase that’s been filled with water. Something like this would also be perfect for the beginning or end of a buffet line. Make sure to give the pine pieces a fresh snip on the ends before placing them in the vessel.

last minute christmas ideas easy place setting

Place Setting Ideas

Idea #1: If you want to dress up your place settings, all you need is twine and fresh greenery. Simply tie a twine bow around your napkin, and tuck in a piece of greenery. It’s optional to string on a tiny ornament, but it only takes an extra few seconds.

white plate with napkin and christmas greenery

Idea #2: Take Idea #1 a step further. Instead of a little ornament, tie on a pretty gold or silver bell with festive red and white twine. After tucking in the greenery, add two or three cinnamon sticks.

lenox christmas plate with napkin and candy cane

Idea #3: Tie a red bow around a candy cane, and place it on the napkin. (Pictured above.)

free printable christmas napkin ring with ribbon

Idea #4: Weave a festive piece of ribbon into a printable napkin ring for a very fun place setting accessory. This printable is included in the collection that I created for this post. Just fill out the form at the end to get your download!

bread loaves in Christmas wrap

Gifts from the Kitchen

When you need a last minute gift idea, especially at Christmas, the easiest thing to do is head to your kitchen. You can produce several loaves of quick bread in just an hour or two. Quick breads are easy, and provide a lot of bang for your buck. Depending on the recipe, it’s possible to get four to six small loaves of bread from one recipe. That means there will be plenty to give away, and also some to keep for your own family. Before we move on to the gift wrap information, here is a list of my family’s favorite quick bread recipes. All are tried and true, and are sure to please anyone on your list.

last minute gift idea small loaf of bread with ribbon

Quick Bread Recipes

small loaf of bread wrapped in brown paper

Wrapping Ideas

  • Cellophane Treat Bags: we’re going to start with the easiest method, and that’s using cellophane treat bags. These bags are available in craft stores, and online. It’s optional to wrap your loaves of bread in Cling Wrap or Press’n Seal before inserting them in the cellophane bags. Slip your loaves of bread in the bags, and tie them up with beautiful ribbon and a fun gift tag.
  • Brown Kraft Paper: next up is basic brown kraft paper tied with twine. For this method, I recommend wrapping the loaves of bread in Press’n Seal first, then the brown paper. Wrap the loaves of bread just like you would wrap a box, and finish them off with twine, or any combination of different sizes of ribbon.
  • A Linen Towel: last and perhaps my favorite, is to use a linen or cotton towel, along with ribbon. First, wrap the bread with Press’n Seal. Any kind of kitchen towel will work, but choosing something vintage is a lovely way to present your bread. Kitchen towels come in all different sizes, so be creative with your folding, and you can definitely make the towel fit perfectly. The best place to begin is to smooth the towel out on a flat surface, and fold it in thirds, the long way. Fold over the ends to the middle. It will take a bit of adjusting, but this is my favorite way to fold the towel. Bread wrapped in a beautiful towel is a step up from the brown kraft paper because the towel is included as part of the gift. Save this for someone very special!
last minute gift idea bread wrapped in brown paper

Custom Tip

A really fun thing to do at Christmas is to insert a twig of fresh pine or eucalyptus under your twine or ribbon. Including that little natural element adds a sweet and custom touch to your gift.

last minute gift idea small loaf of bread

Add a Gift Tag

I believe that the finishing touch to any wrapped present is a custom gift tag. The gift tags shown in the images in this post are available exclusively to On Sutton Place email subscribers. To have the entire collection sent directly to your inbox, fill out the form at the end of the post.

loaf of bread in cellophane bag with gift tags

I hope these last minute Christmas ideas have inspired you to keep things simple, yet festive and welcoming for your family and friends. Christmas really isn’t about the stuff…it’s about the people. By going the less complicated route, you are not only giving yourself the gift of time, you are giving it to your family as well.

Sparkling Cranberry
Mocktail Recipe

Need an easy, but delicious drink idea for the holiday season? With just 3 simple ingredients, this Christmas cranberry mocktail is the perfect festive drink. 

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  1. These gift tags are charming! And the extra bonus at the end of the download is a lovely surprise. Beautifully done. Perfect for every type of gift and recipient. Thank you :D

  2. Kathy Harrison says:

    What beautiful tags. These would add beauty to any gift.

  3. Connie Cappello says:

    These are nice ideas and I love the tags, would love to use them on our annual cookie swap treat bags, thank you for all you do all year long! Merry Christmas to you and yours.