If you’re stuck in slow motion when it comes to gift giving this year, not to worry! There are plenty of totally last minute gift ideas that are actually better than something you could have purchased with weeks to spare.
Instead of running from store to store, try these ideas instead.
A Box Filled With Notes
Grab a box and fill it with short notes that let your special someone know you care. This works great for any age or relationship, from grandparents to someone you’re dating. The notes can be on fancy paper or loose leaf. It won’t matter, because what makes this last minute gift special is how unique and thoughtful it is. You don’t need to write a novel here, but just need a few notes that someone can pull out occasionally and read. The notes are meant to give your special person an emotional lift, so include things like:
- I love it when you make my favorite recipe…
- I can’t help laughing when I think about…
- Remember when we…
- The one thing I love about you most is….
These thoughts should be short and varied. Include reminders about special events you’ve shared, what you love most about this person, what you want to thank them for, and any private jokes. All of these work depending on who you are giving this to. You can even do it the night before the gift exchange!
People say gift certificates are lame, but not me! I love getting them. The trick here is to get someone a certificate from their favorite store. I usually get one from my mom every year to the bookstore in our area. I love it because I end up buying things that I normally wouldn’t have purchased if I were spending my own money. Last year I bought a craft magazine subscription (exciting, I know!) that I had been thinking about getting forever. It wasn’t until I had that “free” money from my gift certificate that I finally did it.
You can usually pick up a last minute gift certificate at any major retailer. Some online places (like Amazon.com) also allow you to purchase a gift certificate and download it right to your computer, which makes this a perfect last minute present. To personalize it even more, write a note with the gift certificate that says something like, “I know you like buying XX, so I thought you’d enjoy this.” That way the person knows you gave it some thought.
Ease Someone’s Mind
Aren’t we all just too busy for our own good these days? A great last minute gift is simply to make someone’s life easier. Sometimes we tell our friends or family to “call if you need anything,” but what if you took this a step further? Rather than putting it on them, be proactive. Nice things you can do differ on the person and situation, but some ideas include:
- Cleaning an elderly person’s house. (Or even a friend’s house.)
- Checking in on a friend’s elderly parent.
- Shoveling snow.
- Running errands for someone.
- Bringing over dinner some night.
You’ve undoubtedly seen those “coupon books” you can make or buy for someone, and this is a nice thing to have them unwrap, but the actions that follow afterward are the real gift. Don’t just make a random promise to help someone who could use assistance, but set a plan in place as your gift to them. Say something like, “I’d like to come by on Tuesdays and give you a hand. What’s something I could do for you that would really help you out?”
The thought of giving someone assistance might seem like an odd gift, but once it is put in place it will become one that is really appreciated. Best of all, it makes a great last minute gift.