It's just about time for jolly old Saint Nick to make his way down the chimney. But, the lingering question on your mind might be what to get that busy hospitalist or emergency physician in your life. 

Have no fear! Here is a list of ten last-minute gifts across a range of prices that you can pick up at the big box retailer, drug store, or online.

1. Magazine Subscription

Give a copy of the doctor's favorite magazine (you can likely grab a copy at the pharmacy, grocery, or bookstore). Slip a note inside saying a year's subscription is on its way. Or, you can find a subscription to one of several industry journals using this helpful list on Wikipedia.

2. Subscription Box

Magazines aren't the only type of subscription you can give. Many companies offer curated boxes of products, shipped monthly, that appeal to just about any interest or taste.

Fashionistas would appreciate a Birchbox subscription (there's a version for men, too); foodies might cherish monthly deliveries from Graze, and dog lovers would be excited to see packages coming from Bark Box. The best thing is that your busy clinician will love the convenience of a fun, useful product delivered straight to their door each month.

Worried you’ll have nothing under the tree? Wrap a package containing a high-quality photo of an open box from whichever source you choose (download an image from their website) along with a nicely-worded note, and all should be well. It absolutely will, once the first shipment arrives!

3. Photo Gift

If you work in the hospital and looking to give to someone on your team, grab your smartphone, get the staff together, and say cheese! Then, run to your local pharmacy for printing, find an attractive frame, and "voila!" You've got a gift the doctor will cherish for a lifetime, all at very little cost. Most print shops now offer same-day service on other personalized items like calendars, photo books, mouse pads and even phone covers. Consider something  they can use that will always remind them of their favorite work team. 

4. DIY Gifts

If you're crafty, think about creating a DIY Christmas gift. It can be as simple as a tin filled with homemade cookies, a basket of healthy snacks, hand-painted coffee mug, floral arrangement, or whatever strikes your fancy -- and theirs. Pinterest has plenty of DIY gift ideas for you to peruse, like these thermometer-themed pretzel treats! The recipient will appreciate the time and effort you put into making the gift extra special.

5. Bottle of Fine Wine

If the physician happens to be an “oenophile,” you can't go wrong with a gift of fine wine. You may need to ask a spouse or family member about preferences, to ensure you get the right vintage -- so long as it's not two-buck chuck! Or, you could always use the advice mentioned above, and give them a subscription to Gold Medal Wine Club for monthly deliveries of their favorite bottle.

6. Scented Neck Pillow

In case the clinician working a double shift has no place to lay their weary head, the gift of a neck pillow turns any chair into a place to relax. A scented pillow filled with memory foam would be especially beneficial. 

7. iTunes Gift Card

Who doesn’t love taking a moment to relax and listen to music? Present the provider with his or her favorite tunes via a gift card from iTunes or Google Play. Slip it inside a greeting card with your well-wishes and it won’t be long before their feet start tapping.

8. An Interesting Book

Is the doctor a bibliophile? Find out which authors they favor and make a trip to Barnes & Noble. Still not sure? Here are a few suggestions:

  • The Soul of Medicine: Tales from the Bedside by Sherwin B. Nuland;
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder;
  • Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande.

If you need more ideas, Goodreads has curated several lists with doctors in mind.

9. Day at the Spa

Give the gift of serenity, relaxation, and renewed energy with a gift certificate from a local spa. A deep tissue massage may be just the ticket to stimulate the senses and rejuvenate the spirit.

10. A Gift Certificate for an Experience

If you live in an area that offers scenic attractions, an experience gift certificate would be perfect for a doctor that relishes adventure -- and even for one who doesn’t. That could mean a winery tour, scenic cruise, zipline, helicopter ride, introductory flight lesson, or whatever options are available in your area.

Bonus: With Amazon, it's never too late to get a gift! Who wouldn't love receiving a year-long subscription to Amazon Prime (at $99, it's a steal) or a gift card emailed just in the “Nick” of time?

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