Quality last minute gift ideas in 5 minutes with Facebook & Pinterest!

Every year it’s easy to find tons of folks who find themselves in this holiday conundrum; What to buy as gifts for your loved ones and friends or anyone else you feel like brightening the day of with a gift. I have always struggled with this myself and most holidays I would find myself at the computer typing “Best Gifts for (fill in the person)”. Sometimes, I would get fancy and add “2018” to my search to put me on the cutting edge of gift buying 🙂 My wife Liza exercises the practice of when she hears someone mention something that they like, she jots it down in her phone notes file for “Gifts to buy” but I, unfortunately, do not have that discipline myself.

There I am, days away from the holiday and I stayed up past when everyone in the house went to bed so my online search begins sitting near the cool blue glow of my laptop screen. Over years (I won’t admit how many – you’ll never catch me!) of doing this I have developed some ways of discovering what those who I care about care about themselves. Don’t worry, you won’t need to break into your significant others phone to discover this info! You’ll just need to go to where they talk about what they like online.


small gift box with ribbon bow in female hand

Let’s quickly review what makes a good gift.

Here is a quick list of great gift attributes for you to follow in this process. 

  • Crafted or personalized gifts are rare and therefore much more special
    • Example: Gifting someone a photo that is special to them on a creative photo gift like a metal print, print on wood or canvas wrap is about as close to a handmade gift as someone could get. This is a great way to remind the person who gave the gift year-round to that you care about them a great deal.
  • Focus on long term enjoyment
    • Example: Hopefully throughout this investigative process you will see where there are opportunities to give gifts that enhance experiences that the person who you are buying for regularly enjoys. Photography in general is a great way to enhance your experiences through documentary-like capture, creative expression and the ability to share more of what is important to them.
  • Alleviate Guilt
    • Example: Sometimes folks just won’t buy for themselves what they really want because in their opinion it is too expensive and they’re not worth it. We all know that buying the right item can bring tons of joy to our life. This is a great opportunity for you to give a gift that won’t be forgotten anytime soon as the receiver may have been waiting for years to buy what you bought them.

Time to get started on figuring out what in the world to buy!

Google search is very tempting but you have likely hit enter on the traditional “Great gift ideas for wife” in Google and then you clicked on a listicle of the “Top 10 gifts for my wife”. About halfway down that list you begin to realize that none of these gifts would work for your wife, in fact, you aren’t sure who these gifts would be good for at all because you don’t know anyone who would be interested in them. I have certainly been inspired by these lists and they have been a catalyst to helping me land on some good ideas but that has been somewhat rare. I used the example of my wife because this is the type of person that is hard to buy for. I could buy my 3-year-old son practically any toy in the store or a bucket of clothes pins and he would love it but my wife has specific interests which makes general gifts feel out of touch.


Starting with Facebook

All of you Facebook stalkers out there probably already know this but you can learn quite a bit about someone by going to their page and then click on the “About” section.

about fb

Here you will see the places that they’ve “Checked In”, the events that they’ve attended or were interested in, the movies and music that the like and the restaurants that they like. What a wealth of information for gifting!

Here are a few examples and a quick overview of how to get from interest to gift:

  • See a band, performer or comedian that they are into?
    • Begin looking for any upcoming shows in your area to see if there are some tickets available. Generally, try to look for something that happens in the next 3 months to maximize impact by giving the person who you are buying for something to look forward to in the near future.
  • Do you see that they have checked in at any parks?
    • Now you can try a different Google search like “Essentials for visiting national/local parks”. Having this info allows you to do a much more refined search and will get you more accurate ideas for gifts that fit within the criteria of what makes a good gift as listed above
  • Are they into a hobby that they are have a great time with, like photography?
    • People buy cameras all of the time to capture all of the fun things that they do. This is great news for your gift buying process because there is a plethora of items that you could buy for them. Perhaps they are just getting started in photography? You could look into buying them a class or a ticket to a photo shooting event where they get special photographic access.


Jumping over to Pinterest

Man oh man you are lucky if the person that you are buying a gift for is on Pinterest! Since Pinterest’s purpose is provide a way for people to curate all of their favorite things this means that you will essentially be looking at a list of things to potentially buy as gifts when you go to someone’s Pinterest page. It will be easiest to start by clicking on their “Boards” foundboards pin

Here you will find these wonderful curated lists of exactly what this person is into. In several cases there might be links to where to buy the items. It’s like they did the work for you! Use the suggestions above on how to get from interest to gift while you are going through their boards on Pinterest. This is personally my favorite method of discovering what to buy for my wife. She has even caught on to this over the years and she made a board that is entitled “I want this!” so I know right where to go.


I hope that this quick post was helpful to you as we approach the last days before Christmas. Most of the time when I search for something frantically I do a very poor job at finding anything but when I have some structure to my search I end up with something that I proud to give as a gift.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

In the event you need us, we will be here at Midwest Photo in Columbus all weekend! Our sales associates can provide guidance and consultation to help you find that perfect gift!



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