So, you were invited to an annual family gathering, but as you set your gifts under the tree you realize that Cousin Susie flew in all the way from Florida to be there this year. Uh oh! You were apparently the only one that didn’t know, because you don’t have a gift for her. What to do? Well, don’t sweat it this season, and prepare for the unexpected by following these tips on giving gifts in a pinch.
To avoid embarrassment, you should always plan ahead; nothing looks worse than a thrown together card with some rolled up bills in it to say, “this is my obligatory gift. Hope you don’t come next year.” Instead you can make the holidays run smoothly by keeping some gifts on hand whenever you go out to a party. It depends on your personal gift-giving style what these gifts will be, but here are some suggestions.
Gift cards with Flare
These ordinarily look very impersonal, but they aren’t likely to know you didn’t buy it especially for them when you add a little something to it. Such stores as Target, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond will provide great gift cards that are sure to be well-received. A small way you can make the gift card look more personalized (besides obviously writing their name on it when they aren’t looking), is to give the card with a stuffed animal. You can find stuffed holiday animals for the sole purpose of holding a gift card at grocery stores. This will look much better than trying to hurriedly make out a card while your husband distracts the recipients. And if all goes well and you don’t need to use it, it’s still your money and maybe now you can justify buying that potato chip scarf at Target’s you’ve been eyeing all season.
Although these don’t keep well, you should make a fun batch of shaped sugar cookies before a holiday gathering. If there isn’t anyone there you don’t have a gift for, you can always present it as a cookie tray to the host or hostess. You can also make small loafs of pumpkin or cranberry breads and wrap them in some festive foil. These will keep longer than cookies and no one can say you didn’t think of them. Another option is to make some cookie mixes, filling a jar with the dry ingredients used in a particular cookie and including the recipe topped with a bow. If you don’t end up giving it away, it sure makes it easy next time you want to make cookies.
Candles and Nonperishables
Candles are a standard gift that may not suit everyone’s taste. However, if you keep a few wrapped candles with blank tags on hand it can get you out of a tight pinch. Cinnamon or other light scents are best, because they are universally liked and give a candle an aromatic asset. Shaped candles and candles nestled in a seasonal base can also make a great gift in a pinch. But if you aren’t the candle loving type, than think of some other nonperishable items that can be wrapped ahead of time such as chapsticks, centerpieces, ceramic figures, or ornaments. Pre-wrapped presents will give the appearance of preparation without the stress of “what if’s” ruining your holiday experience.
So, don’t get caught without a gift. With these simple suggestions, you’ll be sure not to come up short this year.