Instant popsicles are the perfect last minute holiday gift. I swear.

We are getting close to the Chanukah/Christmas finish line and I still have some outstanding presents. I try to plan ahead and buy gifts throughout the year when I see something interesting. I find it stressful to shop at the last minute. I don’t like to end up with gifts that are just ‘meh.’ But my planning is far from perfect. Sometimes, I end up a lot of Melissa and Doug cupcake decorating kits, or red moleskine notebooks, when I really need something for the whole family.

Kids love popsicles. I wasn’t really thinking about ice pops since it is strangely cold for LA, but we were at a friend’s house for brunch Sunday morning and the kids finished off their breakfast with a fruit popsicle. Instead of brain freeze, I had a brain flash. When I moved into out new condo my daughter was given a Zoku Quick Pop maker and I was given a fancy George Forman type grill. We use the popsicle maker all the time. I haven’t taken the grill out of the box that it came in.

The Zoku Quick Pop maker, makes popsicles in seven minutes. It takes a bit more, if you want to get fancy and make multi-layered ones, say O.J., cranberry then lemonade. For the first few weeks, we make popsicles all the time. Now we make them when we remember to, or when we have guests over, which was just this week.

When I got mine, you could only get it with three places for popsicles. Which means that in one go, you could make nine pops. The first set is quick, then it takes a bit longer and then even longer for the popsicles to freeze (time to put the popsicle maker back in the freezer). Now you can get one and two pop makers, perfect for those who don’t like to share, or who have well-stoked freezers. And if you are super fancy, you can get a character maker and a chocolate stand, in which to coat your pop with chocolate. Yum.

I have given this as a hostess gift over the summer when we visited friends. Part of my brain flash is that this is great gift that everyone can enjoy, no matter if the weather outside is cold. And I have just the people in mind.