We’re in the final stretch now, and as I write this on my way back from Utah where I spent this week in a beautiful winter wonderland, there are only TWO days left until Christmas! Christmas Eve is tomorrow and then the next day is my absolute favorite day of the year! This year, (mostly because of this trip) I had to be ahead of the game when it came to Christmas gifts and holiday prep. That said, I am ~usually~ a last minute shopper and that habit has given me a unique ability to find the best last minute gifts and tricks in a pinch.
Today, I thought I’d share with you the best last-minute holiday savers I found this year at Trader Joe’s, my very favorite store. Whether you need a gift or something to bring to the Christmas party you definitely didn’t forget about, I’ve got you covered!
1. FOR THE WHITE ELEPHANT GIFT UNDER $20…
White Elephant is so fun, but it can be hard to find a gift that still feels nice without going too far over budget or simply getting a gift card. I like to pick a theme when it comes to White Elephant gifts so I can put together a little collection of things. One thing people seem to love is the “car kit.” You’ve seen the girls on TikTok whose center consoles are like a traveling mini mart, right? Well if you haven’t, you’ve got to check them out. For a White Elephant gift that won’t break the bank, but is helpful and cute for anyone at the party, I’d grab a Trader Joe’s hand cream gift set ($9.99), some of their lemon verbena hand sanitizer ($2.00), the delicious green tea matcha mints ($1.99), and their hydrating rose facial spray ($3.99). With a total of only $17.97, you’ve still got wiggle room for a cute bag and a bow!
2. FOR THE CHOCOLATE LOVER IN YOUR LIFE…
You can’t go wrong with chocolate. Whether you’re in need of some good stocking stuffers or an appreciation gift for your local delivery person (they really carry the team this month), Trader Joe’s chocolate passport gift set is equal parts adorable and delicious. With eight different types of chocolate from Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, The Dominican Republic, Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome, and Tanzania, and costing just $9.99, it’s the perfect way to let a chocolate lover know you care.
3. I WAS SUPPOSED TO BRING DESSERT?
Christmas parties are so fun. I love that everyone gets dressed up and gathers together to celebrate this period of rest and reflect back on the year together. Between the lights, the merriment, and the gifts sometimes I get so excited I feel like I’m five years old again. Especially when I totally blank on the fact that I was supposed to bring a dessert for the table. Trader Joe’s has options to get us out of this pickle, with tons of pre-made desserts or items you can toss into the oven and onto your favorite dish so everyone thinks you are the Great British Baker™. My favorites are their pre-made Decked-Out Tree Cookies, loaded with milk-chocolate filling and covered with icing and sprinkles for an Elf-esque maximalist style dessert ($3.49/8 count), or their tried and true Pumpkin Bread mix ($3.99). Replace the oil with their coconut cream and drop in chocolate chips for a bread everyone will be begging you to make for every party hereafter. Trust me.
4. I FORGOT THE MASHED POTATOES :((((
Mashed potatoes are easily one of my favorite holiday foods. My dad actually makes the best mashed potatoes EVER (still trying to convince him to do his own cooking show to teach you guys his ways), but just in case you don’t have a chef for a father and want to make sure your meal isn’t lacking the crowned hero of the holiday table, Trader Joe’s pre-made frozen mashed potatoes actually slay. At only $2.99 per bag, you simply toss some milk in with the little frozen disks and stir until thawed, creamy, and delicious. Top it with some parsley or cheese if you’re feeling *fancy.*
5. DECK THE HALLS…AND THE LIVING ROOM…AND MY BEDSIDE TABLE.
I went a little nuts this year with the Trader Joe’s Evergreen Garlands ($3.99). They smell incredible, and I bought them three separate times because one or two just wasn’t enough. They’ve also got the cutest Grinch-inspired “Grump” trees I can’t get over. By this point, they’ll be majorly discounted, so if you feel like your decor needs a quick holiday tune up, now’s the time!
6. NO! NO! IT CAN’T BE OVER ALREADY!
Christmas is hands down my favorite holiday (did I say that already?) and if I could extend the month of December across October and November, I would. Since I can’t, and because the Halloween/Thanksgiving stans would have my head, I’ve got to get my kicks where I can. Trader Joe’s has the best gingerbread coffee ($8.99) I will absolutely be stocking up on and drinking well into the New Year to pretend it is Christmas for even just a brief moment in the morning before it’s suddenly 75 degrees and sunny in Southern California.
I hope your Holidays are merry, bright, and as stress-free as possible this year, and that you remember the season is really about resting, being present with the people you love, and reflecting back on the year with gratitude, love, and growth.<3