Monday, December 22, 2008

Last Minute Christmas Gifts

In case you have been living under a rock lately, there are approximately 2.5 shopping days left until Christmas (I say “Approximately” because our Internet/cable/phone are out AGAIN and who knows when I will actually be able to post this).

2.5 days is not a lot of time, dear reader.

However, I am here to share some thrifty shopping tips for those of you who like to live life on the edge and wait until the last minute to finish your Christmas shopping.

Shop at odd hours.
There are some major retail stores staying open pretty darn late in hopes of making last minute sales during this time of recession. For example, a retail store around here stays open until midnight until Christmas Eve. I find it hard to believe that there are any lines in stores at 11:45pm. If you are a night owl, this might be a good option for you.

Create your own gift
Making one’s own gifts to give got a bad rap years ago and I am not sure as to why. Lots of years I make a gift to give to others and have found that it takes much more effort than hopping in the car and plucking a gift off the shelf. Baked treats are a real joy to receive, because who honestly takes the time to bake themselves something. Look here to see my secrets for tasty cutout sugar cookies.

Gift Cards
I am going to be honest and say that gift cards are not my favorite gift to give (although I do like to receive them). I find them to be a bit generic. However, gift cards have become wildly popular and can be found anywhere…including gas stations (which tend to actually be open on Christmas Day…thus giving you one more shopping day).

Framed Pictures
A great present to give relatives is a cute framed picture of your children or family. This is a standard gift coming from casa de Phillips. One hour photo places are EVERYWHERE, including local drug stores. Simply select a picture, download it onto their site, and place your order. Your prints are ready in an hour and you have a cute and thoughtful gift to give.

Discount Retail Stores
I am a big fan of the discount retail store, where one can find a variety of items at discount prices. Recently TJ Maxx and Marshalls contacted me asking to see how many Christmas gifts I could scoop up at their stores spending $25 at each location. Since I tend to consider shopping to be an extracurricular activity, I was more than eager to meet this challenge. Below is a picture of the loot I purchased:

(In order of appearance: One Table Runner, five picture frames, two books, and a DVD)

As I mentioned, I like to give photos for presents. I find that TJ Maxx and Marshalls both have a great selection of frames for super cheap (all of these were under $5....please note, they did not come with photos of my children inside of them). I also think that such stores have a great selection of children's books. Both of the books purchased were in the clearance bin! The DVD was a great find and a gift for some friends. Not pictured is the new flat iron I bought for myself (Toni and Guy brand) and a gift for Tobe (he is the biggest fan of this blog and I didn't want to spoil his Christmas, thus the reason I am keeping it under wraps...excuse the pun).

Those are my tips for last minute Christmas gifts. Anyone have one to share? That clock is ticking!


Jennifer H. said...

I fought the crowds yesterday to finish up my shopping and it was CRAZY!!!

Great ideas!

Lauren from Indiana said...

Central Market was NUTS today. And, speaking as a grad student (well, law student, but we like to think of ourselves as grad students) I would like to give a hearty second to the suggestion about gift cards. I know, I dislike giving them, too. But getting them? Yes. We like this. Because I save them till the end of the semester, when cash is low, but for some reason, my appetite (or my dog's appetite) isn't. I figure since I'm the recipient of so many gift cards, I shouldn't have to give them as gifts, because that sort of turns Christmas into one big cash or cash equivalent exchange. Merry Christmas to you all!!!

DCVol said...

These are great tips~ especially the cheap frames......around here pics are ALWAYS a gift given to the grandparents. I am amazed that you got contacted by those stores to spend $25~ that is awesome. Merry Christmas to you guys!!!