No matter how much you may try to avoid it, there may be times when you need to find a gift at the last minute. No one is perfect, and you may have forgotten someone on your shopping list, or maybe you just couldn’t find the right gift anywhere no matter how hard you looked. Last minute Christmas shopping may be a dreaded task, but it can still be thoughtful, creative and fun. These 6 ideas may help you in finding just the right gift for that special someone.
1) Purchase Gift Certificates
Gift certificates, like gift cards, can be a great gift. Even if you don’t know the recipients hobbies, likes or dislikes, an American Express gift certificate/card is great because it can be used at so many different places, just like cash. That is why I use Them. Although not the most creative gift, there are gift certificates available for any taste. You can purchase a gift certificate for a pedicure and/or manicure, gym membership, spa day, massage, yoga class, or dinner at a nice local restaurant. Think about what the recipient of your gift loves to do the most, but doesn’t have the time or even the money, and give him or her a special treat.
2) Purchase Gift Cards
There are so many available gift cards from places like your local grocery store, where you can purchase a gift card perfect for that special someone. Local stores now carry gift cards from many different vendors, from home improvement to clothing stores, either locally or on-line. When buying gift cards, make sure you check the restrictions that many places place on them. Please don’t forget your local charities during this time of giving. You might find some useful information on gift cards at http://consumer.findlaw.com/consumer-transactions/gift-cards.html
3) Shop Local
I realize the draw of shopping on-line, at home, in your jammies as well as having no crowds to fight but there is something about being out there in local shops or malls, mixing with and seeing the joy, and torment, in peoples faces when last minute shopping. You can avoid the crowds of last minute shoppers and empty store racks in department stores by visiting your local small businesses. These stores are more likely less crowded, and will offer you more choices in unique gifts. It is also a great way to support your local economy and you just might find a great place to continue your shopping throughout the year..
4) Be Practical but Creative
I am willing to bet that sometime in your relationships with family or friends they dropped hints of various things they like, without knowing they were handing you gift ideas on a platter. Think of what your friend or family member really loves to drink, whether it is wine, energy drinks, or diet drink mixes. Purchase one or several varieties, and include the type of glass commonly used for that beverage. For example, for wine, you can purchase a pair or set of wine glasses. Or for diet drink mixes, you can purchase an eco-friendly drinking container.
5) Purchase a Special Christmas Decoration
This is one I’ve done. There is a glass blowing artist working in the mountains near my home. A small, one person operation (http://www.holycityglassart.com/). A long time ago this was a religious compound (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_City,_California). Only one ramshackle building remains now. Anyway, pretty much everything Tom Stanton makes is one-of-a-kind. I purchased a beautiful, cobalt blue glass Christmas ornament from him. Best received, and inexpensive, present I ever gave! This idea is great for the person who loves all types of Christmas decorations, or who loves to collect original pieces. As Christmas approaches, many of the decorations are on sale or clearance, still giving you a reasonable price for the uniqueness of a gift. For example, you can purchase an ornament where you can add your own family picture, making this gift very special.
6) Give a gift of yourself
You can still make the gift special, although it may take some thinking, but there are always gifts that you can give at the last minute to make someone’s Christmas special. After all, it is the thought that counts! One unique approach is to consider giving the gift of yourself, using your talents or skills. Are you an artist, a web expert, an accountant, a person who organizes folks lives or maybe a writer? Think on it… Just because you’re shopping last minute for a Christmas gift for a friend or family member, it doesn’t mean that it has to be without thought. It’s funny but often times when waiting till the last minute I find just the right gift. It may take some creativity, but don’t settle for purchasing an item just because you need a gift. He or she will know it was a last minute thought when you buy them a pair of mittens and they live in Florida!