Friday, December 20, 2013


It's the last weekend before Christmas.  Somehow you get the feeling that there wasn't enough time after the Thanksgiving holiday to get all the shopping done and you're right - the shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year has been one of the shortest in over a decade.  Less shopping time means less presents bought, and you find yourself in a gift crunch.

Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when making a list of last-minute gifts:

  • Check out you neighborhood thrift store or  flea markets.  These shops can be a treasure trove of unique gifts you won't find at the mall.  You can do all your shopping in one location without paying department store prices.  
  • Buy local. Instead of fighting the crowds at the mall or big box stores, stay nearby and support area small businesses.  The range of items can range  from artwork by student artists, local-brewed spirits, or even baked delicacies from your neighborhood experts.  
  • How about a gift that gives all year?  A magazine subscription  will remind your friend of your thoughtful present every time an issue arrives. Gift wrap a current copy and include a note stating more are on the way.  
  • Head to the nearest museum, science museum or zoo, and browse the gift shop for something a little different.  
  • Get away from it all and drive through the countryside this weekend and browse rural stores that stock handmade soaps, candles and regional treats. 
  • Make a theme basket!  Do one for mundane tasks such as car wash, or one for a spa night or barbecue bash.  Just fill the basket with everything the receiver needs to get the job done.  
  • Ever thought of making your own gifts?  Handmade items don't have to be predictable or sub-par. If you have a special talent for making baked goods or reclaimed wood picture frames, put that talent to use! What's more, you don't have to stand in store aisles debating which to color, size or shape to choose.

These are just a few ideas to help you through the next few days.  These tips may allow you to find some time for yourself for the holidays, the ultimate gift to your favorite person - YOU!