Last Minute Christmas gifts, sometimes can be the best ones!

Picture this:

You have been busy at work or school, you work long hours, or you were so absorbed in a project, that before you knew it, it was Christmas Eve.

You are low on funds, and have just been invited to the neighbors for Christmas dinner.

What do you do?

If the problem is a last minute Christmas dinner invitation, then the answer is some kind of goodies, or something you can whip together or wine. But if funds are low, then go for the goodies. It doesn't have to be anything fancy.

If you bake, and have a few simple ingredients, then make some cookies, or muffins, or use some of your own store bought cookies. Next, quickly go to the dollar store, and purchase a cute little Christmas tray (usually plastic) or cookie tin for a dollar.

Now line with foil, and fill with some of your goodies. This way you do not show up empty handed. This makes a great last minute hostess gift. If you don't have time for the dollar store, then look through your house for a cute paper plate and wrap it with xmas paper, then put cookies on it and cover with plastic wrap.

A memory frame can be fun

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This way, you have something you can give to an unexpected guest or if the neighbor pops in.

If you can handle the last minute crowd, find a store on the edge of town, rather than the mall, as it will be crazy at this time. Sometimes small plaza's can have some of the best gift ideas, without the same traffic jams.

So, if you just found out someone else is going to be at Grandma's for Christmas, and now you are short a gift, and you really don't know them that well, and it is now Christmas Eve, then choose something from a local general store, that is not too personal, but shows you care.

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Some ideas might be:

hat, mitts and scarf (everyone likes to stay warm)

lottery tickets

gift cards. (Many of the local stores will carry gift cards for other stores now)

nice pen

magazines (if you know their tastes) such as craft magazines, auto, fashion, and more. There is a magazines for almost all interests now.

The old standby, of chocolates or cookies

Christmas Ornament

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If you can get to a coffee shop:

Most carry gift packages, such as coffee cups filled with coffee packs

coffee shop gift certificates

specialty coffee

Travel coffee mug

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If you can get to a small grocery store (stay away from the big mall ones this close to Christmas)

get a cart, and go up and down the aisles, and find some fancy foods

purchase a tote bag

fill with the fancy foods, or special treats.

You can pretty well guarantee good results with food items. Most grocery stores, even the small local grocer, have some gift packs of cheese, or other food items already made up for purchase.

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So, if you are trying to find last minute hostess gifts, or last minute gift ideas for people, and your budget is low, then stick to Christmas themed gifts, as they will be marked down on Christmas Eve, Last year I picked up some beautiful crystal tree ornaments for 50% off on Christmas Eve morning. This was in a local strip plaza, rather than the packed mall. I was in and then out in a 1/2 hour.

If you can afford more, then go for specialty food items. These always go over well, and most grocery stores sell cute tote bags now, this is great reusable wrapping.

Take a look at your wallet, and get creative, you can do it! When you get off the beaten track and away from the large malls (nothing against the large malls, accept on Christmas Eve!) you will be pleasantly surprised by what you can find.

The dollar store can be a wealth of ideas.  You can even get cheap tea towels to use as wrapping paper instead of traditional paper, so that you look thoughtful without looking last minute.

If you have zero funding, you could get on your computer or get creative and create gift certificates for your own time to them.  Ideas such as babysitting for an evening would be a welcome gift.  Just make up a cute looking certificate and have them make a date while you are there so it will be used and feel like a nice and welcome gift idea.  

There are many services you could provide your time for without spending a dime that would be appreciated as a last minute gift idea.  Babysitting, cooking a meal, house cleaning.

This way your "last minute Christmas Gift" will actually turn out to be one of the best!