Five Quick, Easy, and (Relatively) Inexpensive Gift Ideas

It's almost here! Yes, Christmas comes tomorrow, the day that many of us (particularly those of us who are under age twelve) wait for all year. It's a season of joy, wonder, and excitement for everyone.

Of course, if you haven't managed to finish all your Christmas shopping, that ‘excitement' might just be replaced with ‘panic', as you try to come up with last minute gifts for everyone on your list that you can easily find, buy, and wrap before dawn tomorrow. Luckily you for you, I have some suggestions that just might do the trick. Obviously, I can't come up with truly customized and individualized suggestions for everyone (that's your department, after all), but if you find yourself this close to Christmas while still missing some presents, here are

Five Quick, Easy, and (Relatively) Inexpensive Gift Ideas

1. Homemade Items: If you have crafting or cooking talents (and nowhere you need to be today), you can potentially make your gift recipients something to celebrate the holiday. While it's probably too late to make something as elaborate as a blanket or a sweater (unless you already have one nearly complete), there's items from homemade ornaments to cookie dough that you could make that your recipients would enjoy. The only real problem is finding the time to make such an item on one of the busiest days of the year…

2. Framed Picture(s): A framed picture of you and your recipient makes a great way to show your affection for your recipient while trying to keep the cost of your gift to minimum. You can find or print pictures of the two of you together (or, if you have a new baby, pictures of him or her will be greatly appreciated) and put them in a nice frame. It's not only very thoughtful, but it shows that you care about the person enough to celebrate the times you have had together. Plus, a nice frame goes a long way to showing your affection.

3. Calendar: A Christmas staple, what with New Year's Day being exactly a week later. (I half think that such an arrangement of dates is the result of a calendar maker conspiracy, myself.) If you know something your recipient is interested in, be it history, the Bible, a given comic strip (I'm a fan of Dilbert calendars, myself), or cute pets (or people), you can find a calendar to meet their desires. Granted, with so many other A of date information, from computers to phones, the need for a calendar has all but disappeared, but as a means to see a favorite subject everyday, they're hard to beat.

4. A Good Book: This might just be one of my personal favorite gifts, but a good book selection can show that you not only know the person and his or her tastes, but can find something that they would enjoy among the shelves full of reading material at the typical book store. Plus, in my experience, book stores tend to be less crowded than many of the other stores in your typical mall or shopping center. It can be tricky to find the perfect book for your recipient, but doing so will show that you care for them and completely understand how they think. Of course, if you don't want to take the chance that you'll mess up your selection, you can go with:

5. Gift Cards: We'll end the list with something you probably have considered already (as it's on every list like this), namely gift cards. On the plus side, they are inexpensive, can be bought at nearly any store, and (assuming you buy a card for a place the recipient will actually shop) can be useful to the gift getter. On the minus side, they are just a bit more thoughtful than cash (another possibility if you have NO idea what to get), are only slightly harder to obtain, and (if you get a card for a place the recipient will never shop) can show that you don't know the person at all. My advice is that if you don't know much about the recipient would want other than a vague idea of where she/he shops, this makes a decent gift idea.

There you have it, five ideas for things to get within the next (as of this post going up) fourteen hours so you have something to put underneath the tree. What is everyone else getting for their friends, family and other loved ones?

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