The 30 Best Last-Minute Christmas Gifts of 2023

The 30 Best Last-Minute Christmas Gifts of 2023

This collection of over 180 digestible lessons from industry-spanning celebrity talent is as edifying as it is entertaining.

For the insatiable scholar, yearlong access to MasterClass will prove to be an invaluable gift. Your giftee will be able to take a variety of virtual classes with famous instructors: cooking from Gordon Ramsay, skateboarding from Tony Hawk, writing from David Sedaris, acting from Natalie Portman (and so on and so on). MasterClass features plenty of big-name celebrities, as well as lesser-known experts in their fields.

A person's hands holding a Book of the Month subscription blue gift card.
Photo: Book of the Month

With a new release delivered each month, your recipient will never run out of things to read.

If you’re shopping for a bookworm, a book subscription box will send them a new literary delight every month. For those who want an element of control—without getting overwhelmed with options—we like Book of the Month, which offers subscribers a choice among five to seven recently released hardcovers. The picks are always books released that month so there’s no danger of only seeing stuff they’ve already read. The books often include the month’s most anticipated titles from big-name authors in different genres.

True film aficionados will appreciate this ever-changing assembly of the world’s top hard-to-stream flicks.

A subscription to The Criterion Channel provides access to some of the most critically acclaimed films of all time, with a library that dates back over 100 years and spans every corner of the globe. It’s the perfect gift for the movie lover in your life who has burned through Netflix’s offerings or who would enjoy diving into a comprehensive collection of titles worthy of any MFA student. The channel also categorizes its selections in creative ways—think double features paired with expert commentary, movies directed by women, and films focused on Black characters. For a great bonus gift, a Criterion Channel gift card will enable the recipient to buy physical copies of their favorite films, postcards, or a Criterion-logo T-shirt.

A casserole dish full of mac n cheese.
Photo: Cons Poulos for The New York Times. Food Styling: Simon Andrews

The NYT Cooking app contains thousands of recipes, plus useful tools such as a pantry list and video demonstrations.

Whether your loved one is a burgeoning home cook trying to improve their skills or a veteran bored with their usual recipes, the NYT Cooking App publishes a mix of recipes—both classic and modern—as well as guides to cooking techniques for all skill levels. Included videos help demonstrate trickier techniques, and we appreciate that the app lets you save and quickly access favorite recipes. (For a starting point, we’ve loved Eric Kim’s Sheet-Pan Bibimbap and Melissa Clark’s Lemon Bars With Olive Oil and Sea Salt.)

A global snack subscription


For a global connoisseur of nibbles, a Universal Yums subscription box offers a panoply of delightful snacks from a single country.

For the dedicated nosher with an international palate, consider giving them a Universal Yums subscription box, filled with snacks from around the globe. Each box contains an assortment of sweet and savory treats from a different country, plus a booklet that includes recipes, trivia, and games. Universal Yums has been a Wirecutter favorite for years, as well as several staffers’ go-to last-minute gift. (Note that prices vary based on delivery frequency.)

This article was edited by Hannah Morrill and Jennifer Hunter.

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