The holidays creep up on us every year. If you’re looking to surprise a caregiver in your life, whether it’s your parent, a neighbor or a coworker, but don’t have time to hit the mall, try offering something a bit more personal. We asked Katy Wolk-Stanley, founder of The Non-Consumer Advocate blog, for ideas for thoughtful, personal presents.
Pass on an Heirloom: “This is one of my favorite no cost, yet meaningful gifts,” Wolk-Stanley says. “This could be as simple as a nicely ironed stack of grandma Marie’s handkerchiefs or great-uncle Sammy’s neckties. The gifts have a rich sense of history and are useful.”
Re-gift Books: “Put together a few books and include a card about the books you chose and why you think the recipient would enjoy them,” she says. “You and your friend can later discuss the books.”
Dessert of the Month Club: Wolk-Stanley used to bring desserts over to the neighbors on a regular basis. Chances are you’ll be making dessert for your family at some point during the month, so double it, she says. “The neighbors much preferred this consumable gift over a random knick-knack, and my own family benefitted from my own deliberate dessert-making. Win-win!”
Babysitting Gift Certificate: “An afternoon at the movies or arcade can help to keep kids busy and distracted when their family is busy with doctor’s appointments or just needing some ‘me time.’ Add in a ready-to-eat meal, and you’ve just made a family’s day a whole lot easier.”
Chore Coupon: “Mowing two lawns instead of just your own is easy if you’ve already got the supplies out and the momentum going,” Wolk-Stanley says. You can do this for any unpleasant task, she adds, like grocery shopping, gassing up a car or other time-consuming errands.
“It’s within all of our grasps to help make a person’s life easier,” she says. “The gift of our time during a time of stress is much more meaningful than anything that can be bought at the mall.”
Wrap It Up: Make it fun to unwrap an IOU by placing it in a box within a box within a box. Set up a scavenger hunt. Pair it with a mug and a packet of hot cocoa or hide it in a box of chocolates.
Share Your Last Minute Gifts
What easy last minute gifts have you come up with? Whether it is a DIY or a tip about what stores to get the best last minute gifts we want to know about it! Help out those who are rushing to purchase their last minute gifts for the holidays by sharing your insights and thoughts in our comments section.