Friday, December 18, 2009


"Consider Some of These
Last Minute Gift Ideas!"

Gift Cards or Cash

A popular gift for all ages is money. Giving gift cards or cash allows the recipient to pick out the present, ensuring that it’s the right size, style, color or whatever. While gift cards for local merchants or other brick and mortar establishments may need to be purchased during regular business hours, gift certificates delivered by email are available online 24 hours a day. Although gift cards may be purchased for use at specific retailers, a VISA gift card is accepted most everywhere. Alternatively, an even easier option is cash. Just decide whether to give a single bill in the desired denomination or a few bills that equal the chosen amount. Keep in mind that it is often more fun for children to have several small bills to count and spend.

Holiday Treats
For a less expensive gift alternative, a variety of homemade treats and snacks can be whipped up in a hurry. Consider old favorites like Chex Mix or caramel popcorn. Fill a festive tin, or package in a zip top bag and add a bow. Bake a batch of cookies or some miniature loaves of holiday breads. Cook up some fudge or other Christmas candy.Whether homemade or store-bought, holiday treats are a great last minute Christmas gift. Keep a few loaves of fresh-baked pumpkin bread or some festively boxed fudge on hand for unexpected gifting opportunities. Ensure that the intended recipients do not have health issues or dietary restrictions that preclude sweets. Also, never give sweets to someone who is trying to lose weight.

Gift Baskets

For a gift with a personal flair, consider putting together a gift basket. Use an actual basket or choose a decorative tin, nice box or gift bag. Select a variety of small items that match one or more of the recipient’s interests. Focus on items that frequently need replacing such as pastels for the artist, fabric for the quilter, sandpaper for the woodworker or specialty spices for the chef. A variety of gift baskets are also readily available for purchase in stores and online. These festive beauties are frequently heavy on aesthetics and light on content, however. When considering a commercial gift basket, be sure to read the label or description to determine how much of each product is actually included. Often, a purchased gift basket contains more packaging than product.

Gift of Time
Although it may seem counterintuitive, the best last minute gift may be the gift of time. Consider giving the grandkids a hand lettered or computer generated certificate good for a ballgame or trip to the zoo. For busy parents, a free night of babysitting is usually welcome. Teens may enjoy learning a skill or hobby such as cake decorating or woodworking. The gift of time is especially appropriate for small children or senior citizens. While toddlers and preschoolers may quickly lose interest in a toy, they get hours of enjoyment when taken to the playground. The elderly appreciate personal attention and often need help. Consider the gift of a monthly outing or help with housework or other chores. Keep in mind that the gift of time is usually a promise. The actual event will most likely be scheduled on some future date. Once the holidays are over, ensure that all gift of time promises are kept.


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