It's Christmas Eve and you still haven't found the perfect gift for those on your list. The following ideas are designed to be quick and thoughtful.
Alright, so maybe you haven't resorted to this idea since you were in seventh grade but really, who doesn't love music? You could give a mix of your favorite holiday carols, or make it more personal.
You can give them a sample of music that you think they might enjoy, or give them an array of the now embarrassing tunes that you used to listen to together. They may not listen to your gift everyday, but it'll almost guarantee a smile every time they happen upon it.
For the personal touch, create a CD insert booklet that explains why you chose each track. Consider the following layout for a close friend:
- "Wannabe" Spice Girls- Remember when we danced to this together at our middle school talent show? We worked on it for months!
- "I Will Always Love You" Whitney Houston- I still have us singing this to a karaoke track when we altered our voices to sound like chipmunks.
- "All My Life" K-Ci and Jojo- This was the first song we ever slow danced to at an activity afternoon. Remember how those were always such a big deal?
Expecting a lot of relatives that you always discuss swapping holiday photos with? Finally do it this year by simply burning them a data disk of your digital photos, or give them a flash drive that contains them.
Again, this is a low-effort, low-cost gift, but a potential gold mine to the scrap-bookers in your family.
My Grandma no longer wants gifts because she doesn't need "stuff," but she loves receiving up-to-date photos of everyone. If you have a decent printer and some photo paper, try to send guests home with photos taken during the day's festivities. Digital cameras make instant uploading and printing a breeze, but can appear quite impressive to the technologically impaired.
Book on Tape
Referenced a few gift ideas back, recording yourself reading some of your child's favorite books is a quick, yet quality gift idea.
My personal computer has a built-in microphone, and from the Window's start menu I searched "recorder" then clicked on the "Sound Recorder" search result that appeared. I used the program that appeared to record a story, then saved the file to a place I could easily locate.
I opened up iTunes and added my newly recorded sound files to my music library, and into a play-list, which I then burned onto a blank CD.
Kids will love being able to hear their favorite stories anytime they want, and will love even more being able to hear it from someone they love.
The above ideas can fly with any unexpected guest or as an addition to another gift, but if you legitimately forgot someone who you know would never forget you (husband, wife, sibling, parent, etc…), a gift card might be your best option at this point.
Often you don't even have to go to the actual location you want the gift card for anymore. Meijer, Walmart, and Kroger (among many others) sell gift cards for a variety of stores and services.
Gift cards for music and restaurants are a relatively safe bet for anyone on your list. However, if you know a more specific retailer that they enjoy, it would enhance your personalization. If you're financial able to, consider picking up a couple extra generic gift cards for potential unexpected guests (i.e.: Cousin Eddy's new girlfriend).
Refer to this article for some fun ideas on how to spice up your gift card "wrapping".
Whatever you decide to do remember that it really is the thought that counts.
Maybe you didn't forget anyone you - you just legitimately can't figure out what to get for the one you love. Keep in mind that one of the greatest gifts you can give is time. Pull aside that special someone and set up a lunch date (on you!) or some other fun activity.
Toys break and lose their luster, electronics become outdated, and gift cards run out of credit, but a strong friendship and family can last forever if you devote your time to continue to build it.