Last Minute Gifts

Gifts you can’t beat—that beat the clock.

Last-minute-giftThe calendar doesn’t lie—we know just when the holidays will hit in the coming year the moment we take down the tree. That’s doesn’t keep even the most perfectly prepared person from procrastinating come December. I’m guilty of giving shopping the brush-off, whether on purpose or not, so to stay ahead of my gift giving before I get too far behind, I found a few handfuls of thoughtful things that are sure to be a hit, even if your shopping days til Christmas are a near miss. 

Make it

You don’t always need a ton of time or talent to pull off amazing hand-crafted gifts. Just a handful of materials and a few hours to spare can produce some ahhh-some things! Ideas I’ve got?

Money Tree—a branch from an evergreen or otherwise with dollars cleverly clipped on it displayed in a proud pot from the craft store

Shrinky Dink Jewelry—color inside the lines or create your own make-and-bake jewelry old school

Body Scrubs—sugar makes for a sweet exfolliant and essential oils makes for limitless scent options

Cookie Dough—mix, roll and freeze individual balls and bars for cookies that can be baked over the holidays or nibbled cold during the inevitable diet season

Coasters—using found objects like Scrabble tiles, wine corks, or poker chips you can construct funky table-ready art for cups

Infused Oil—favorite flavors  can make for delish olive oils, and scents make for silky or musky perfumes

Heartfelt Heirloom—thoughtfully choose something from your family stash that will bring memories to surface when it’s displayed or used

Kit—assemble a kit to make a favorite meal, makeup for a luxe night out, or games for quality family time

Buy it

Spending a little cash can make up for lost time. Stretching your dollar along with your imagination can lead to some pretty cool gifts.  

Texting Gloves—because baby, it gets cold outside—but expressing your opinion knows no season

Crazy Socks—something to smile about when they get dressed day-to-day

Phone Cases—from cool colors to quirky pop-art to custom-made looks you can create yourself, it’s like a cradle for your life line

Eat Drink & Be Merry—go gourmet, treat friends or family to a favorite variety of snack, steak, wine or non-alcoholic beverage that they wouldn’t otherwise indulge in

Favorites—pick a favorite and buy it king-sized, from a box of candy bars to a wheel of cheese or a multi-pack of anything they like

Sampler—a little of this, a little of that—mini-sized products in a variety of colors, flavors, scents can mix up someone’s day-to-day in a fun way

One-of-a-kind—find the quirkiest ANYTHING you can that is sooooo them, because like snowflakes, no two friends are alike

Thrifty—pop some tags and repurpose a find from your local thrift store, you’ll be surprised at what you score

Experience it

Instead of giving someone someTHING, consider gifting those on your gift list with a place to go, a person to see or an experience that’s too cool to pass up.

Tickets—to a favorite venue for a concert, sporting event, comedian or theatre production

Freebies—a little internet research can take you a long way, you can find free tastings, openings, concerts and the like online that you could attend together in the coming months

Hang Out—spending the day with a friend or family member one-on-one is priceless, find a new activity to explore together, or do something tried-and-true, just the two of you

Exercise—a trial class, a monthly membership—wherever they might find OM or energy can touch their heart, and strengthen it

Consumable Gift Cards—for cupcakes or fro yo, coffee or lunch, a gift card for something they will experience when they are jonesing for a treat is a treat

So don’t worry about how many gifts you have left to get, because this time it’s the thought that counts, not the time left on the clock.


About the author: Heidi Alger

Heidi Alger is the mother of two low-maintenance, high-energy kids under the age of 10. She offers financial guidance, budget tips and lifestyle advice keeping the challenges of modern military families in line, writing alongside an award-winning team at Pioneer Services. Her grandfather, a CW04, served in the Army Security and National Security Agencies during the Korean and Vietnam wars. Follow Heidi on Google+.

Contact: Heidi Alger


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