If you’re anything like me, you love Christmas shopping. There’s a holiday cheer in the air, and a sense of accomplishment that comes with finding a present you know the receiver will love. Whether you’re an October shopper, have just a few things left to pick up, or have yet to start your holiday shopping, there always seems to be that last minute gift to pick up. But, rather than whipping up a batch of cookies for an unexpected gift exchange or handing over cash, I’m sharing my go-to list of last minute shopping ideas to fit almost any receiver.
1. Gift Cards
They may be considered impersonal, but depending on who you’re shopping for, it may be two gifts in one. For the girl who loves to shop, you’ve given her the opportunity to pick her own gift. For the long-distance travelers, you can give the gift of being able to fit everything into a single suitcase.
Gift Cards can be purchased for virtually every store and you can them up on your next grocery store visit (should be open on Christmas Eve). If you’re really behind, say Christmas morning, they can be purchased online and either printed out or sent through email.
2. Monogrammed Items
Often found at local chains or stores, a monogrammed item is a great way to personalize an otherwise “blah” gift. For women, pick up a purse, jewelry pouch, coffee mug, blanket, etc. For men, a money clip, grilling tools, cooler, etc works. And for children, you can easily find monogrammed toys. Full names are often hard to match (especially last minute), but a wooden puzzle, step stool, or rocking chair can easily be found with their first initial.
3. Personal Coupons
For those trying to save on cash, personal coupons are a great, customized gift. Whether you’re making an entire book, or just a coupon or two to attach with another present, these are sure to make anyone who gets them happy. The best part is they can be made to suit any giver’s ideas. Offer up a back rub or a childfree date to a spouse, and for parents or friends provide a voucher for a last minute visit or a chance to let them pick the day’s activities.
These coupons can easily be printed on specialized paper, or hand-written for the artistically gifted. Then simply attach coupons together and place under the tree!
4. The Hodge Podge
Depending on how long you wait to buy a gift, there may only be so many options available. For instance, even with the best intentions, most stores will be closed the night before your big holiday. (Think of the episode of Friends where Joey and Chandler gave cans of pop and toilet seat covers as gifts after being forced to shop at a 24-hour gas station.) Luckily, there are places that do stay open late and provide a variety of gift-giving options. Check your local grocery store’s holiday hours, as most host a gift section. They usually sell small kitchen appliances, CDs, and of course, there’s always the gift of food. Bigger department or chain stores will also have later hours as well.
With all of these available options for last minute presents, hopefully you can make your shopping plans enjoyable and as stress-free as possible. For more holiday planning tips, be sure to check back in!