If you are anything like me this year, you most likely waited until the last possible second to get gifts for people. I tried to be better and bought all of the supplies for my DIY gifts, but here we are, four days away and I still have yet to finish any of the presents. Not only that, but I still have to purchase for my parents and my mom’s birthday which just so happens to be conveniently 3 days after Christmas. So, that being said, I am left with a kitchen table full of craft materials, a last-minute trip to AC Moore and a severe migraine (although that might be from the abundance of caffeine). Maybe, just maybe, some of you are in the same boat as me, so, here are three of my favorite, you can not go wrong, last-minute gift giving ideas.
Living Social/Groupon/Try It Local
This one is one of my favorites, not just for Christmas, but for any gifts, any time of the year. If you haven’t heard of these three sites yet, check them out at www.livingsocial.com, www.groupon.com or www.tryitlocal.com. They are basically bargain group discount sites. They post discounted…and I mean severely discounted – we are talking at least 50% here…get-a-ways, products, spa services, dinners, adventures, anything. The idea is, you purchase the discount, but you are only charged and offered the discount if the minimum number of people purchase. This helps you out, because the minimum number almost always purchase, and it allows the business owner to still make a profit or at least break even. Living Social and Groupon are two of the biggest and I like living social for more social activities and groupon for more practical purchases. Try It Local is an up and coming site, but deals are only offered on certain days of the week and it has fewer options and less localities to select from. All three are great to search though and you can get weekly or daily emails sent to your inbox or download the mobile app. I am considering purchasing a wine/beer pairing or a two night stay at another B&B for my parents this year. Hopefully, my mom won’t read this before December 25th.
Local Vineyards Events
One thing I was not aware of, until I started working here at the Inn full-time, is how many events local vineyards have each month. Just the few vineyards in this area alone have at least one event each week. Some are repeats, but others are fun, new experiences that take a few hours out of your weekend and give you an exciting memory that you are sure to want to repeat. The great thing about purchasing tickets for a local vineyard event is that as long as the individual is 21 or over, you can buy this for literally anyone! Almost everyone enjoys a great glass of wine and food pairings are all the rave right now. Plus, some vineyards have local breweries come in as well and you end up getting a two-for-one on a pairing. I love getting tickets for my friends and then making a girls night out of the present. Or, for parents, sisters, new grads, brides to be, bridal parties making a night of it, or anyone else. The other great thing about this gift, is that you can purchase two tickets and take a friend. It’s a gift that literally gives twice. Once, when they “open” the present and the second time when they get to spend a night with you, some great wine, delicious food and enjoy light-hearted, fun conversation with new acquaintances.
Grab Bag/Mixed Collection of Items
Ok, in all honesty, this one takes slightly more time than the previous two, but not much more and very little effort. My sister, Angela, has actually mastered the art of giving a mixed collection of items. So, to be truthful, I sort of stole this last-minute gift idea from all of the amazing gifts she has given me over the years. To start, get a neat looking container, basket, bag, anything that can hold all of the items and can be used for something else when empty. Then, fill it with a bunch of small gifts that are convenient and easy to get, but that are perfect for the gift receiver or perfect in general. Some ideas are lottery tickets, favorite candy, bottle of wine, favorite magazine or book, homemade cookies, coffee (k cups are great if they have that kind of coffee maker because you can give a bunch of different flavors and strengths), gloves/scarves/hat, candle and chapstick/lip gloss. Or fill it with a bunch of small items that pertain to one theme. For example, golf balls, golf tees, coupon for a driving range, golf coasters, etc. for a golfing buddy. The great thing about this gift is that all of the items are easy to purchase at almost any one store near you and when put together, it looks like an elaborate, thoughtful gift and the person has 10 or so items to be excited about. Honestly, this gift could literally be put together on the way to Christmas dinner if the stores are open.
You may have noticed that I didn’t say anything about gift certificates. I, personally, am not a fan of giving gift certificates, but if you are, they really do make great last-minute gift options. Especially for those people you would like to buy gifts for, but don’t know their personal tastes that well.
So, good luck this year with your last-minute shopping and remember, since most of you know my mom and/or dad at this point, any suggestions you have for last-minute gifts for them are greatly appreciated! Merry Christmas everyone!
~ Shena ~