Monday, December 19, 2011

Last Minute Ten

Today I'm wrapping gifts, and mulling over what more I can fit in the Let It Snow giveaway tote. It's getting pretty full . . . but I'm good at packing books. More on this tomorrow and Wednesday.

Ten Things that Make Great Last-Minute Gifts

BAM is offering free express shipping to get your purchase delivered by Christmas if you order online today; browse their nicely categorized holiday gift guide here.

Barnes & offers a great personalized quick gift with their custom design a gift card option, which you can personalize with your own image and greeting card message; $4.50 plus the amount you want to put on the gift card.

For the bird lovers: as a mutual Christmas gift my guy and I renovated our old birdhouse (see pics on my photoblog here) and it's something we'll enjoy year-round. If you have a friend or family member who loves birds, a small/inexpensive feeder and a five pound bag of birdseed are a great gift (you can find both at most home improvement or garden stores.)

Create your own cookbook collection by scanning or typing up your favorite recipes for the holidays, dinners, desserts, or whatever theme you choose. Convert it to a .pdf and e-mail the file to your recipient, or print it out and place it in a folder or binder. Some grocery stores offer free recipe cards and magazines that make nice bonus material to add to your print collection.

Speaking of cooking, who doesn't like cookies? Whip up a batch of your recipient's favorite, or if you'd rather not bake, make some Rice Krispie treats (to make these extra festive, decorate the tops with holiday sprinkles.) Both can be stored in pretty tins; I found these little chest-shaped tins at the dollar store (I love the hinged lids; prevents them from being misplaced.)

E-book lovers will appreciate a gift certificate to their favorite online publisher's store; Samhain offers a nice range from $5.00 to $50.00 here.

Here's a last-minute present for everyone who has to stock up on batteries for the holidays: this year Energizer is offering your choice of a $10.00 prepaid Visa gift card, Paypal, or donation to the National Park Foundation; to get it you'll need three codes from participating Energizer batteries or flashlights, more details on the promotion here. Offer is good on purchases made through 12/31/11.

A subscription to your recipient's magazine is easy and thoughtful; some magazines offer two-for-one deals around this time of year, too. To order online, go to the magazine's home page or check out the discounted offers over on

Burn some CDs with themed collections of music and place in jewel cases; for special touch add your own liner notes and cover art. I'm putting together a collection of show tunes for one of my friends who loves Broadway but is constantly getting stuck in rush hour traffic during her commute; these I'm putting in a ten-slot flat CD holder that fits over a car visor (something I also found at the dollar store.)

For your favorite scribe Writer's Bloc has some neat items on sale, including this elegant glass Venetian dip pen set for $13.50 that is beautiful and a real bargain.


  1. Keita Haruka1:32 PM

    Oooh! Some nice ideas there. I especially like the personal cookbook one. My partner would love that...especially if I made it up from South African dishes. Especially ones that come from my great gran's recipe book. She only started writing her recipies down when she got deep into her 80's and gave them to my mother. Many of them are "secret".

  2. These are all great ideas.

    I'm giving home-baked cookies this year - well, actually it's biscotti, but it's the same thought.

    One more idea is personalised calendars. One of my cousins and his wife give calendars with family photos every year, to their parents and grandparents. Our grandmother treasures them.

    Last year I gave my granny a collage of old family photos in a frame, and got a more delighted reaction than I have ever got from her when I gave her books, skin products, perfumes or gourmet food baskets. It isn't always the expense you go to, but the thought behind the gift.

  3. I bought some magazine subscriptions for a few friends during Amazon's $5 sale.

  4. These are some good thoughts! I also think a nice last minute gift is a nice bottle of wine or a gift card to a local grocery store that your recipient uses. And coffee gift cards are always fun to give and get (especially if the person likes Starbucks like I do).


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