Last Minute Gift Ideas - All Budgets

I'm one of "those" people who have all of my gifts purchased and wrapped by December 1st. However, things happen (or maybe you just love the thrill of the last minute hunt), so whether you just realized you forgot about Aunt Hazel or that co-worker who snuck a gift in on you and now you feel like you need to respond...I've got some ideas for you!

1. For the Reader: Have you read a book* you really liked in the last year? Find a copy and give it to a fellow bookworm. If you know they like a particular genre or subject, better still! Tinkers on motorcycles? Pick up a book about antique motorcycles. Likes history? Pick up a book about WWII or an American President. Wrap it up and use a bookmark for a gift tag (you can either write on the back of the bookmark or use a To/From sticker.

*NOTE FOR THE FUTURE: I keep a stash of books at the ready to give away and here's my dirty little secret - I buy used. Yes I do. I make sure they have no marks in them, but if I can get a hardback book for $5 from an author I really like, I have no qualms about giving it away.

2. Music Lover: Chose a nice Christmas card and include a $10 gift card to iTunes (available at Target). If you don't know if they have an iPod, you can buy a gift card code to Amazon (or use Swagbucks* to get a $5 code) and print off a gift card. $10 will usually buy a download-able music CD or 10 individual songs. *Swagbucks is an affiliated link

When My Heart Finds ChristmasHarry for the Holidays   

Alternative: Pick up a copy of your favorite Christmas CD - a little James Taylor* for the holidays or Harry Connick, Jr.* is always nice! *Amazon links are part of Amazon Associates

3. For the Chef: People who love to cook like to use quality ingredients. That usually means things that are outside of their normal grocery budget - nicer cheeses, specialized flours, spices I can't pronounce and that they don't sell at Wal-Mart...that kind of thing. I would recommend going to your local gourmet grocer (in our area, that would be the local EarthFare or Natural Foods store) and picking up a gift card. No, $10 doesn't go very far in a store like that, but it would buy a small block of cheese or a small jar of special spices. Much appreciated because it's a splurge they might not do otherwise.

4. Coffee Snobs Unite: If there's one thing I love, it's good coffee. By "good" I do not mean Folgers "Gourmet" - eww. And don't be deceived - the Dunkin' Donuts coffee in the grocery store is not the same as the Dunkin' Donuts coffee they sell at a Dunkin' Donuts store. Having lived in Boston where DD was a way of life, both Peter and I can actually taste the difference. All of that to say, I would recommend heading to Dunkin' Donut's official website where you can order bags of coffee directly from the company. Right now they are running a special (through the 26th) of 4 - 1 lb. bags of coffee (whole bean or ground) for $19.99! Trust me, that's a deal for real DD coffee. Or you can head to your local Starbucks and grab a 1/2 lb. bag of Christmas Blend coffee - always appreciated! And by the way, if they are true coffee connoisseurs, they'll want whole bean.  


5. For the Person Who Has Everything: Make a donation in their name. Buy a bee hive for a farmer in Africa, a goat for a family in Mongolia, training for a pastor in Asia, a clean water supply for a family in Haiti - and those are just a few ideas! I would recommend checking out the online gift catalogues of Samaritan's Purse, World Vision, and Open Doors. Instead of adding to the pile of stuff for next summer's yard sale, it would be great to help to those who have nothing and do it to honor a friend or loved one.


  1. Great ideas, I especially like the last one.

    I had no idea the DD coffee that I buy at giant was different than the dd shop. So that is why my coffee tastes different than my mother's. She only buys hers at the shop. ooooohhhhhh.

  2. I have Harry Connick Jr.'s Christmas album, it's fantastic!!

    Also, we donate every year to the Heifer organization. The boys love giving goats and gaggles of geese :)

  3. Gotta admit, I'm one of "those other" people :) never have my gifts done until the 24th. Great gift ideas though, thanks!


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