What to Gift in the Last Minute Scramble

Time is ticking. The tree is up. You can smell the cookies in the oven and Christmas music has been on the radio for over two months. Click…clack… Wait--is that a reindeer on the roof? No, the dog was just getting up for water. Still, it is getting close to Christmas, and you are far from prepared. In the mayhem that we call finals, you did not catch a second to get gifts for those you love. Luckily, some thoughtful gifts do not require much shopping or time.

For your friend who loves wine night…

Whip up a hand-decorated wine glass. Use glossy mod podge to glue on paper or any other decorations you desire. Feel free to toss on pictures of your favorite weekends out or your random inside jokes. Quotes, magazine clippings and scrapbooking paper may come in handy. When you are done being creative, add an extra coat of mod podge to be safe before sealing the glass with a spray-on topcoat. This gift keeps it personal, yet useful.

Katie Carsky / Gavel Media

Katie Carsky / Gavel Media

For the crony who cruises the world…

If you have a friend who is studying abroad or simply loves to travel, try a scratch-off map. For each country (or even state) that they visit, they get to scratch off another portion of the map. Any world traveler will be pleased to slowly etch away at this piece that they will keep with them for a lifetime.

For the drowsy pal who needs a boost…

Make a simple coffee set. Stop by your local coffee shop for a bag of fresh grinds. Toss them in a bag with a snazzy travel mug or even your typical ceramic mug, and call it a day. It may seem too easy, but for some this could be the perfect gift.

For the buddy that parties harder than any elf…

Put together a Christmas beer medley. Seasonal brews can be interesting to sample, and putting together a nice selection for a friend could offer a fun experience. Some beers that currently hold spots high in the ranks include Delirium Noel, Troegs The Mad Elf Holiday Ale and Port Santa’s Little Helper. Feel free to decorate the bottles with google-eyes, a red pom-pom nose and brown pipe cleaner antlers to add to the festive feel.

 For the comrade in a constant battery crisis…

A portable phone charger can do the trick. These are super easy to come by these days. Whether you are shopping at Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy or even Dunkin Donuts, there is a good chance that the store will keep this handy device in stock. With the worry of going without a phone for more than thirty minutes on most people’s minds, a portable phone charger is the key to both success and peace of mind.

For the companion who is always looking for adventure…

Camping is a cheap vacation and a nice way to get away from the world. Most sites are $20 per night or cheaper, unless you splurge for a cabin which is usually closer to $40 a night or $200 for the week. There are also so many locations to choose from with activities including sightseeing, swimming and hiking, among other things. Gather up the firewood and pull out the guitar because you now have yourself some summer plans. Reservations are simple to make through either The National Park Service or the Reserve America camping site.

For the chum looking for something to chomp on…

Homemade treats never fail to impress. A mason jar wrapped in a bow and filled with homemade trail mix or candied walnuts can be a cute gift. Even a tin of your famous Christmas cookies or a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread can do the trick. The packaging can be key in this situation, but don’t worry because every store around is selling exactly what you are looking for right now.

For the partner with a thing for bacon…

What does a bacon-lover want more than bacon? Nothing. The problem is that he or she has the means to purchase bacon without your help. What if you have more to offer, though? A bacon stocking to hold your bacon Christmas sweater and your bacon-flavored candy canes will not disappoint this friend. There is no denying that it is a truly thoughtful gift.

Having a variety of different people to get gifts for can be difficult, but it is often a lot of fun to figure out who will like what. Sure, you could always fall back on the gift card. No one would be against that, but putting a little thought into a gift--even a last minute gift--may make a world of difference.

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Katie Carsky