Birthdays have a habit of sneaking up on you – especially if you’ve had other things on your mind. If you’ve realised that there’s a birthday about to arrive, and you haven’t done any preparation, then don’t worry; there are a few things you might do to get things ready quickly. Whether it’s a friend’s daughter or a spouse’s second cousin, there’s no reason you can’t do something to mark a birthday, not matter how late in the day it’s gotten.

What to Wear

If you’ve got a birthday party coming up in the next few days, and you lack the time or inclination to rush down to the shops, then online shopping might be an option. If you need an outfit asap, then ASOS’s next-day delivery might be able to bail you out. Next-day delivery will allow you to get the outfit and make sure it fits (and that it suits you).

Cards and wrapping paper

A card is a time-honoured way of getting a special message across to the person whose birthday you’re celebrating. If at all possible, you’ll want to include a special personalised message, conveying your joy at being part of their life. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great birthday card. They’re available from specialised outlets for as little as 99p.

As far as wrapping paper goes, you’ll want to look something that’s disposable and degradable. Tissue paper usually works wonderfully. Re-usable packaging might also work a treat. If you want to go down the novelty route, then you might look for personalised packaging with the recipient’s face decorating it.


If you’re shopping for someone who loves food, or loves creating food, then there’s no shortage of items you might pick up. Take a look around their kitchen, or get someone to do it on your behalf. If they’re missing an essential piece of equipment, then try to fill the gap. Whether it’s a pasta roller or a spice-rack, it’s easy to pick up that missing ingredient that’ll actually be appreciated.


If you’re shopping for a drinker, then you can’t go wrong by picking up a special limited-edition version of a favourite tipple. You might find gift baskets, or whiskies that have been aged for a few years longer.

Digital Games and Audio Books

If you’re gifting a digital product, then it’ll get there immediately. What’s more, you won’t need to worry about things like wrapping paper.

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes tend to arrive every few weeks, so there’s no need to have something ready to hand over on the big day itself. So, you have a perfect excuse for not having something available – it’s going to come later!