It's December 24th, Christmas is TOMORROW, for goodness sakes, and you STILL don't have a gift for everyone. Believe me, I know the feeling!
Mom, Dad, siblings, friends, boyfriend – they can all be pretty tricky to shop for. Or not shop for, since, y'know, I'm kind of broke (aren't we all?).
Here are some creative LAST MINUTE GIFT IDEAS for those of us strapped for time, cash, or both! The upside is that when you start getting creative is usually when the best gifts are born, so don't worry – these will definitely bring your loved ones a big happy Christmas smile. :)
A Handwritten Letter
To: Your parents, siblings, friends, significant other
From: Caring, Thoughtful You
Put all the reasons you love them into a letter they'll undoubtedly hold onto and re-read for years to come. Everyone loves to receive letters, because it shows you put thought and feeling into expressing your love for them. There are lots of guides online if you need some tips on how to write a love letter! The same structure applies, whether you're writing to your mom or your wife.
Freshly Baked Goods or A Home Cooked Dish
To: The busy friend with the hectic schedule
From: You, the Kitchen Witch (or Wizard)
With a secret ingredient – love! Hehe :) There's a lot of baked good exchanging going on around the holidays, so it might feel like those cookies get a little lost in the mix. That shouldn't stop you, of course – everybody loves a sweet treat around the holidays!
But if you want to stand out from the crowd and give your loved one a ready-made meal that'll certainly come in handy during the holiday hustle and bustle, think about picking up one of those disposable aluminum baking dishes and whipping up a lasagna or some chicken parmesan. They can be frozen and reheated in a time of need, or when the post-holiday fatigue sets in and ain't NOBODY feel like setting foot in the kitchen ever again.
Gift Bags with Treats and a Card
To: Friends or siblings who you want to surprise with a little something
From: Santa You
Step One: Pick out some cute cellophane bags at a convenience or craft store.
Step Two: Fill with miniature candy bars, tiny hand lotions, flavored chapsticks, nail polish, stickers, glittery gel pens, little goofy keychains... basically anything cheap and fun that will fit in a bag!
Step Three: Tie shut with a ribbon and include a little gift tag or mini-card to say who it's for and a quick Merry Christmas.
It's that easy to create totally sweet, totally thoughtful little gifts! And best of all, this way you can get a bunch of people out of the way in one fell swoop. :)
Makeup, Body Lotion, Toiletries
To: Mom, girlfriend, sister, friends
From: You, the Lady-Pleaser
Hit the convenience store and pick out your gal pal a new mascara and some of that chic lip stain everybody's been raving about but is a touch too expensive to just casually pick up for herself.
Or, if you're not a makeup guru, hit the local Bath and Body Works, Kiehl's, Lush, L'Occitaine, or The Body Shop and select a duo or trio of products. Some great combos:
=> A salt or sugar scrub and body butter
=> Shower gel and body lotion
=> Scented bar soap and bath oil, bath salts, or a few bath bombs
A Cute Notebook and Pens
To: The writer, artist, or student in your life
From: You, the Thoughtful Friend
Easy to find (and inexpensive) at your favorite local bookstore, stationery store, or gift shop. Even office supply places like Staples have pretty cute ones. I'm a HUGE notebook person – I go through a Moleskine a month, I think – so to me, this would be a very thoughtful gift. :) Throw in a couple pens for good measure.
To: The letter writer
From: You, the one who knows them best
Not many people know this about me, but I have a stationery collection! :) So that whenever I want to write a letter, I have a nice backlog to choose from. Note cards, thank you cards, just pretty stationery in general. If you trust your taste even a little bit, I'll bet you can pick out some super cute stationery for you loved ones or friends. :)
Do Something For Them
From: Sweet, Thoughtful You
There are a lot of unpleasant tasks that people leave for later: mowing the lawn, paying the bills, painting the spare room, filing the taxes... So in the absence of other Christmas gift ideas, you can still do something super meaningful (and in reality, way better than some crappy book or gift card) by doing those things for people. Added bonus: tell them why you did it (example: you love them) in a special, heartfelt card.
A Decorated Mason Jar or Mug
To: Friends, parents, co-workers
From: Cool, Crafty You
Use one of the million easy DIY tutorials online to craft up some cute decorated mason jars or mugs. Like these! :)
DIY Animal Topped Jars – SUPER cute!!
DIY Sharpie Mugs – I've done this one before. So easy!!
Fancy Tea, Coffee, or Alcohol
To: Hot Beverage Lovers (or Alcohol lovers)
From: Classy Ol' You
Knowing my grandfather loves drinking green tea, last year's gift was a home run when I gave him some nice looseleaf green tea, a mug, and a diffuser. At a grocery store, home store, or even your local coffee shop, you should be able to find some yummy choices. Stick it in a mug and voila, you've got a gift! :)
And then, for those friends who like booze, why not just pick up a bottle? Who doesn't like an extra bottle of wine laying around? Easy and cost-effective.
A Same-Day Pickup Photo Book
To: Someone you have a bunch of photos of/with
From: Creative you!
I know Walgreens will turn your digital photos into physical, cherishable memories. You can use their online book creator, choose from a surprisingly wide variety of backgrounds and stickers to personalize, and then pick up your book in a nearby store. It's surprisingly easy and fast! Designing the book takes a little while, but if you start this afternoon, you should be able to have your book by tomorrow!
So there are a few ideas – I hope these help you if you're panicking!! Don't worry, it's only Christmas ;)