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5 Last Minute Christmas Gifts That Don’t Suck

By Erik Folgate

christmas-gifts
There’s only 7 days left for Christmas shopping, and if you’re like me, you haven’t finished your shopping yet. Who has the time to shop? The one thing that I don’t like about online retailers is that you never know if you’ll get the item before Christmas, so shopping online for Christmas has to be done in November or it’s a waste of time. Fortunately, Money Crashers is here to bail you out. There are some great gifts that you can pull together at the last minute that don’t suck. I hate giving bad gifts. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. I’d rather not give at all, rather than give something that someone won’t want or need. So, here are my top 5 choices if time is not on your side.

1. Your Time

I know that this really isn’t a “gift”, but if you still haven’t found that special gift for your parent, sibling, or significant other, plan an entire day with them. Get a nice card and put the itinerary in the card with what you’ll be doing that day such as going out to lunch, catching a movie, going to their favorite museum/attraction, and other fun stuff around town. If your best friends just had a baby, buy them a gift card to one of their favorite restaurants and give them a coupon for a free night of babysitting.

2. Sporting Event

This goes along the same lines as giving your time, but it works great for dads, husbands, or boyfriends. If you live in a big city or near a big city, find out if your NBA, NHL, or NFL team is playing in the next couple of weeks and get tickets for them to the game.

3. A Charitable Donation

If the person you are shopping for has it all or only wants items that are too far out of your price range, buy them a voucher give to one of their local charities. They’ll love the idea of giving back on the holidays and it will prompt them to give some of their own money. Most people want to give back to their community on the holidays but they don’t know where to start or they don’t have time to do it.

4. Their Favorite TV Series on DVD

Even though I do still buy certain DVD’s from time to time, I think it’s so silly to have a huge collection of DVD movies that you’ll never watch more than once or twice. However, I do like the idea of owning your favorite TV series, especially sitcoms, because the episodes are always funny no matter how many times you watch them. These are easy to pick up at Wal-Mart or Target, and a season is usually under $50. I’ve seen the entire “Friends” TV series, seasons 1 – 10, for $99 at Best Buy! Whatever you do, don’t buy someone a bunch of random DVD’s from the bargain bin! That’s not a good last minute gift!

5. Pictures Done Right

If you have a really good photo of you and that person still on your list, blow it up to a 4″ x 6″ and get a nice frame with white matting to put in it. Pictures never get old, and you can guarantee that he or she will display it somewhere in their house.

If you still need to ship Christmas gifts, check out this post I wrote about saving money on shipping. And if you are having a Christmas party this weekend or next week, check out this post I wrote a while back about saving money on holiday parties.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://www.mymoneypower.com/blog/ Derek

    I forgot about sporting events! My dad was just talking about how he misses going to games. I might have to look into getting some tickets.

    I definitely take advantage of gifting photos, especially for more distant family.

  • http://www.peoplesfinancialadvisor.com/gift.php Bob Schumann

    I want to offer an innovative gift for someone you care for – a Gift Certificate for a personalized Financial Plan. You pay $49 for the certificate. The service is sold for $99 online so you get a bargain right away. The person receives the certificate goes online, runs an interview, and gets a high quality tailored made financial plan from an objective fee-only certified financial planner. She/he doesn’t share with you any detail. It’s all between her/him and the financial planner.

    Giving a gift certificate for a Financial Plan is innovative and caring – you’ll do good for someone.

    Thanks for listening

  • Nancy

    I also think a gift card for a favorite store is always the right color and size!

  • Anissa

    I’m a big fan of food related gifts too. Freshed baked treats and monthly clubs (i.e. bringing a different homemade treat each month) are things people love to get!

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