For some people the last few days before Christmas are a panic-driven and frantic shopping experience. Some simply haven’t had the time to shop earlier; some underestimate how much time they have. In many cases they end up spending more than they want to in their panic to buy something. Making last minute Christmas gifts work on a budget is possible but it may take a little thought.
Successful Last Minute Christmas Gifts Look Like They Were Planned in Advance
There are three key factors when it comes to buying a successful last minute Christmas gift. If possible, the gift should:
- Look like it was bought with care and not snatched off the shelves in desperation.
- Be something that the gift recipient will want to receive.
- Not cost more than the person buying the gift wanted to spend.
Ticking those boxes makes the fact that the gift was made with perhaps only hours to spare irrelevant.
So, those put under pressure by having to buy late and to buy quickly may want to take a few minutes to think about the person they are buying for and how they can make the gift itself look like it was planned well ahead of time.
Gift Cards and Gift Vouchers
One of the most popular types of last minute Christmas gifts are gift cards and gift vouchers. These can be picked up in all kinds of high-street stores nowadays and are a quick and easy way to sort out a present when time is tight. They can also be purchased for relatively small amounts as most allow the buyer to choose how much to load on to the card/voucher.
So, for example, a gift voucher from a book shop or a music store could be option for those that like to read, listen to music or watch DVDs. If the gift recipient likes music and has an iPod or an iPhone then an iTunes voucher would give them some free music. Those buying for people who are hard to buy for could go for a general option such as an Amazon voucher or a gift card from a department store.
It may seem hard to personalise these kinds of gifts and make them more exciting. But, it can be done. Buying an iTunes voucher can be made a little more special by buying a cheap iPod sock and putting the gift card in it. An entertainment store voucher purchased for a movie lover could be stuck to a bag of popcorn.
Experience Days and Gift SubscriptionsMany stores will also sell experience day packages and subscription sets alongside their gift vouchers. These open up a wide range of potentially exciting and unusual gifts that could really hit the mark. Again, it’s wise to think about what the gift recipient likes to do before buying an experience day.
So, for example, a magazine subscription could give a year’s supply of a favourite magazine. An experience day could see a keen cook spend a day at a cordon bleu cookery school or a racing car fan take a trip around a circuit. These gifts may come in at the higher end of a budget but may be worth it for the once in a lifetime experience they could give.
Digital Photo Frames and Keyrings
It’s relatively easy to pick up low cost digital photo frames and keyrings on the high street and in supermarkets. These are designed to show off a number of digital photos in a slide-show format once they are loaded on to the device. Buying one of these and loading on a few favourite photos turns a basic frame or keyring into an instantly personalised and special gift.
Last Minute Homemade Christmas Gifts
Although there may not be time to make up a complicated homemade Christmas gift, it is possible to make a shop-bought purchase look like it has had some extra care and attention. Buying a bottle of perfume or some favourite toiletries may go down OK. But, buying a gift set can be expensive. As an alternative try buying individual items and putting them in a pretty basket or gift box surrounded by tissue paper. This makes it look like more thought has gone into the gift.
Those stuck for ideas or pushed for time may find that their last minute Christmas shopping is a lot more successful and cost effective if they plan out who they need to buy for and what they want to buy in advance.