Tis the season for giving gifts to loved ones near and far. I love picking out presents for my husband, sisters, nieces and nephews, and friends. But sometimes I get caught missing a gift for a particular person. Instead of freaking out and running back and forth around your house pulling your hair out (don’t worry, I already did enough of that for the both of us), check out the Meredith Tested ideas below. Many of these last-minute gifts can be sent to your family member or friend via email. Perfect for those who (accidentally or not-so-accidentally) leave holiday gifting to the last minute!
Why not give a great gift that also gives back to an organization, charity, or cause that makes the world a better place? Grab a Kiva gift card. You choose the amount, they get to choose how to “invest” it. It’s interactive! Suh-weet. Check out UNICEF and Heifer International to purchase real stuff for real people. It’s awesome and warm-fuzzy-inducing to know that a goat, mosquito net or other life-saving/enhancing items were given in your name. Click, click, click, done. Yay!
Of course, there’s always straight up cold, hard cash donations in your gift recipients’ name, too. Check out Charity Navigator or Universal Giving to choose from a variety of causes. You’ll definitely find something that fits their passion and personality.
This is the perfect opportunity to check out that little boutique you’ve been wanting to duck into. Another local source of gifts is natural food stores. They typically have some fun eco-friendly gifts on display and delicious local (or at least regional) chocolates, spice blends, beauty items and other food goodies that might be perfect for your roommate, co-worker or hard-to-buy-for brother in law.
This might sound odd, but I’ve had pretty good luck finding eco-friendly, made in the USA toys, clothing, home and beauty items at “big-box” discount stores like Marshalls, TJMaxx and HomeGoods. Perhaps it’s just my region but I was pleasantly surprised to see the selection! Let me know in the comments if you’ve found this to be true at your area stores.
IDEA #4: Give the gift of choice
Yup, you probably knew it was coming. Gift cards! I know so many people who are vehemently opposed to giving gift cards. For some reason gift cards have gained the reputation in some circles as being a “boring” and “thoughtless” gift. Not so! Especially if you’re into living mindfully, there should be no shame in wanting your recipient to get something that they like, need and, (hello!) will actually use.
The secret here is packaging. Sending a code or virtual gift card via email? “Package” the gift with a thoughtful note to show you spent some time choosing their gift card. Something like:
“Merry Christmas, Kelly! Nordstrom has tons of Made in America dresses from brands like Three Dots and Karen Kane that I thought you’d love for work and school. Enjoy this gift card.”
“I know you love your iPad, so here’s a gift card to help you get the apps and games you love! Some favorite apps I’m loving right now are Clumsy Ninja, Evernote and QuizUp.”
If you want to give the person something to unwrap, consider putting the card or code in a reusable box or bag with a similar note and perhaps toss in something small but delightful like fair trade chocolates. Another way to feel good about giving a gift card? Choose an online store, shop or restaurant that YOU love. Share the love! In the case of online/offline shops, choose one that has a big selection in case you and your friend don’t have exactly the same taste.
What are your go-to last-minute gift ideas? Share in the comments! Also, don’t forget to share your opinion in my holiday shopping poll!