You’re running here, there and everyone all through December, when you suddenly realize that there are less than three shopping days left before Christmas. As the panic sets in, you turn to the Louisville Parenting Examiner column for a quick escape and realize that there is an article to help you come up with fabulous gifts that your family and friends will love.
So, if you find yourself in this situation, here are some quick and easy gifts that will still please the recipient:
- Gift Cards: Gift cards are quick and you can stop and get one on your way. There are as many types of certificates and gift cards as there are retail establishments. Does the person have a favorite restuarant? Or perhaps a clothing store? Fail proof gift money to places such as Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Wal-mart and Target are almost always appreciated. Although they won’t say so to your face, most people prefer gift cards so they can choose something that they themselves will enjoy instead of you choosing for them.
- Bath Goodies: Women (and men) appreciate bath products, such as soaps, shower items, body wash and fragrance spritzes. The beauty of this as a gift is that you can purchase it absolutely anywhere. Although Bath and Body Works is a favorite spot to purchase these types of items, you can also find them at any drug store, grocery store and big box retailer. If you are out in the mad last minute rush that hits this time of year and want to avoid stores such as Wal-Mart, where lines may be long, try out of the way spots like the drug store on the corner or the grocery.
- Photographs: Family almost always appreciates a nice photograph. When you need something last minute, upload your digital photos to CVS or Wal-Mart, for example, you can choose the photographs you want to print and pick them up. Or, use one of their in-store machines, although you may run into lines if you choose to go this route. Again, I would aim for the drug stores like Walgreen’s and CVS to try to avoid the longer lines. Pick up a nice frame while you’re there and you have an inexpensive and memorable gift.
- Party Gifts: Did you get invited to a party at the last minute (or you just forgot about the invite until the last minute) and need a gift for the hostess? Flowers are always appreciated. Pick them up almost anywhere, from the local florist on the corner to the local grocery store.
- Buy Something Useful: Not sure what the person likes? You can hardly go wrong with gifts that are useful, such as stationary, warm blankets, fuzzy socks. Or there are always the tried and true Christmas gift standards of gloves, hats and scarves. Buying for a teen or young adult? Go for a fun and funky magic scarf in fun colors or stripes.
Although last minute gifts can come together and still appear thoughtful, it is best if you can take the time to think through what the person will truly love. Try to buy something that he or she might not purchase but would still love. For example, a busy mom with tons of stress will likely enjoy a massage and personalized note saying you’ll watch the kids while she goes and gets pampered. Or, an executive might enjoy a gift certificate for a day of golf at the local country club or at the shooting range. Happy shopping!