It always seems to happen in December, time just slips away and before you know it there’s barely any time at all left to shop and the stores are packed with last minute shoppers who have no idea what to buy. You might be a last minute shopper, but I can help you figure out what to buy before you get to the crazy chaos filled store with these five quick ideas for last minute holiday gifts that are easy and affordable…
1: Gift Cards
You probably saw that coming, right? But don’t grab just any old gift card off the rack and your local gas station. Choose a gift card that the recipient is going to actually be excited to receive.
Maybe your sister has been stressed out lately and could use a trip to her favorite salon for some pampering – Stop into the shop to pick up a gift certificate and while you’re there ask them if they can help you pick something to go with it. A lot of salons keep a record of each client’s “favorite” list, including colors of nail polish, favorite shampoo/conditioner, and so on. Those little things make a big difference.
Maybe your favorite Aunt is a foodie and would love to try the new restaurant in town but hasn’t been there yet because she’s worried about her budget – A gift certificate works nicely in this instance and she’ll be able to leave a nice tip. If you’re nice she might even invite you to dinner with her 😉
Maybe you happen to know that your nephew is getting a video game console this holiday – With the online gaming connections for Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo you can purchase add-ons and even full games with their points systems or directly from the console with a credit card (though, after the Playstation Network hack earlier this year, points are probably safer.) You can usually find gift cards for the points at stores like Target and Best Buy, anyplace that sells video games.
If you’re totally stumped and don’t know what the person would truly enjoy, or for the mysterious teenager in your life, you can always go with a plain old Visa gift card for any amount and let them choose their own adventure and splurge on anything anywhere Visa is accepted.
2: Shop Your Local Mom & Pop Shops
This is like two gifts in one. While the majority of shoppers are off at the big box stores a lot of small business owners are wondering where the crowd is.
Take a trip off the beaten path and visit local small stores to pick up gifts. You’ll avoid the big box crowd, wait in line less, find some pretty amazing gifts that everyone will love, and you’ll support a local small business owner all at the same time. It’s win-win.
3: Practical, but Creatively So
A bottle of wine is a pretty standard gift, but if the person you’re shopping for is a wine lover then there’s nothing wrong with giving a bottle of wine. Get creative and pair that bottle of wine with a set of new wine glasses, an interesting corkscrew, aerator, or some other wine gadgetry.
Or perhaps your gift recipient isn’t a wine drinker at all. Think about something they enjoy, whether it’s a daily breakfast smoothie or their favorite chocolates. Get that item and something that could go with it nicely, like an eco-friendly drink container or a unique candy jar for the kitchen. As an example, my youngest son has started a tradition of buying me a bag of Starbucks coffee and one of their holiday collector’s mugs for my birthday every year (that’s on Dec 27th in case you’re wondering wink wink)
4: Go for the Ornament or Other Decoration
It might be a bit cliché to give an ornament for the holidays, but if you know the recipient appreciates that sort of gift it can actually be a really great gift to give. And it doesn’t have to be an ornament, it can be any holiday decoration. Think about when you’re decorating for the holidays and how each piece you unpack and put in its place sparks a memory for you – receiving your gift could be that memory and it will be appreciated year after year.
If you have a favorite photo of you and the recipient, there are some fun photo frame ornaments out there that display digital photos. Those are especially cool if you went on vacation together or attended an event together, you can load the photos into the ornament for a fun gift full of memories.
Last Minute Gifts Can Be Awesome
So just because there are only a few days left and you’re in a rush to finish your shopping this weekend doesn’t mean you can’t give great gifts that will be adored and appreciated. Just take a few minutes to think about the recipient and remember, it’s the thought that counts.
One last tip before I go…. If you really don’t want to leave the house to do that last minute holiday shopping this weekend, today (Friday December 21) is the last day to get 2-day shipping on Amazon orders in time for delivery before December 25th as long as you order by 4:00 PM PST.