Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Christmas 911 - 12 Tips For Last-Minute Christmas Gift Shopping

By Denise Sanger

For those who you work with or don't really know very well, gift-giving can be difficult under any circumstances. Sometimes groups will draw names or something happens that someone can't be there to fulfill their obligations--and you end up with the task of filling in for them at the last minute. These are the ones that you will need "generic" gifts for, or something that will work for almost anyone. Some great generic Christmas gift basket include:

1. Calendars. There are lots of choices that you can make in calendars and almost everyone can use one type or the other. You can get wall calendars that feature attractions in your area or specific breeds of animals. There are also appointment calendars available with a variety of features and for nearly any budget. Students and executives alike can always use a calendar.
2. A digital photo frame. Anyone who has a family, pets, or other interests will have photos that they don't want to keep hidden away in a shoebox. They are available in a variety of frame sizes, hold different amounts and in a wide range of prices.
3. Gift baskets are always a good idea if you include a variety of foods that are sure to include loads of favorites that everyone will enjoy. If you have the artistic ability to create a basket on your own, you will be able to include more than if you purchase one pre-made. If time is an issue, there are plenty of choices at your local variety store!

If you have postponed shopping a little longer than intended and are looking for that last-minute gift for someone on your Christmas list, it's time for some emergency shopping! At least you will have the option of giving them a gift that is a little more personal, since you have an Christmas gift idea of the things they normally enjoy.

4. Give them a book that you know they will enjoy or, if you aren't sure what they have already read, then give them a gift certificate for a bookstore.
5. Get tickets to a local sporting event with their favorite team.
6. Fix a cooking basket with utensils, dishtowels, and a great cookbook for the chef on your list.
7. Fill a picnic basket packet with wine, bread and cheese.
8. A fuel gift card. With the high price of fuel, this is a practical gift that many people will enjoy.
9. A special Christmas tree ornament. This is an especially good gift for a newly married couple's first Christmas together, baby's first Christmas, or to mark any special event. Make sure you choose one that has the date and there are also many styles that allow you to place a photo inside!

Most parents finish up the Christmas shopping for their children by the 24th-but if you have a few last minute things you need to pick up, consider shopping in unconventional places to save time and find some unique items:

10. Seasonal or annual passes to a local kid's museum, kiddie gym, or other favorite spot. This is a gift they will enjoy throughout the year, and should save you some money as well (most seasonal or annual passes are steeply discounted).

11. Check out the kid's aisle of your local art or craft supply store, or head to the hardware store and look for DIY kits designed for kids and teens.

12. Plan ahead for summer by purchasing outdoor gear and playthings designed for warmer weather-you will save a bundle, and avoid the mall if you look online, or head to a sporting goods or outdoor supply store.

No matter who you need to buy for, make your last minute shopping go smoothly by having Christmas gift wrap and related supplies on hand, and making a list before you head to the store.

Denise Sanger is the owner of which features a fantastic selection of water toys and pool toys for kids of all ages. The company is located in sunny Florida and may be reached at 877-950-7665 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 877-950-7665 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

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