Feel free to post your favorite last minute gift ideas below.
Cookies in a Jar
Pick an easy recipe and mix the dry ingredients minus the
sugar together. Quite often recipes ask that you cream the
butter and sugar before mixing it with the dry ingredients
so put the sugar in a separate package (baggie.) Let the
recipient add the "wet" ingredients (eggs, butter, milk,
Provide mixing and baking instructions and a list of the
ingredients in the mix (in case of possible allergies.)
Chocolate chips, M&Ms, raisins or nuts can be added to the
Find a container that the ingredients will fit into, a glass
jar, glass cookie jar, tupperware or other such containers.
Decorate by wrapping or with ribbon.
This could be sent with a cookie sheet, mixing bowl or other
like items for making the cookies.
M&M or Chocolate Chip Cookies in a Jar
Makes 4 dozen
12 Minutes @ 350 degrees F
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup mini candy-coated chocolate pieces
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
Instructions for making cookie mix
* In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking
soda, salt and cinnamon. In a 1 quart glass jar or other
container, layer the ingredients in the following order:
Flour mixture, walnuts, 1/2 cup of M&Ms (or chocolate
chips), oats, remaining candies, and brown sugar. Pack down
well after each addition.
Attach a tag with these instructions.
* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease
* In a large bowl, cream together 3/4 cup of
butter, 1 egg and 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla until light and
* Stir in the contents of the jar until well blended. Roll
dough into 1 inch balls and place them 2 inches apart onto
the prepared cookie sheets.
* Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow
cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before
removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
I keep a stash of different gifts at all times, in a specific place. I buy gifts thru out the year from clearance racks, after holiday sales, Free After Rebate items, etc. So I never have to rush out to buy a gift & have to pay full price for it.
Same with giftwrap and cards.
Many times you will need a small inexpensive gift at the last moment. Rarely am I caught off guard. My secret? I find MANY brand new TREASURES still packaged and unused at yard sales and thrift stores. I have a stash of gift items, books, pretty coffee mugs (which I fill and make into candles), and always have on hand new material scraps which I make into nice throw pillows.
I also buy new gift bags, wrapping paper and assorted cards as well as rolls of ribbon. I recently found two brand new books which sell for $15 each, and a gold trimmed Lennox picture frame (with certificate) all for $1 a piece. Buying in advance saves a lot of money when you need a gift. These three items alone saved me close to $30, and are things I will be proud to give when the appropriate time comes. Money saved on gift giving frees up funds for my family's necessities.
Every time i go shopping i have a note as to who is having a birthday coming up or thinking of those Christmas gifts. I look for those sales all the time and buy when it is possible to buy. I have already bought my son's girlfriend her birthday presents which is in September. Now am looking for my son and daughter who both are in October. I try hard to stay ahead. If i can not find things then i make a basket and put a kitchen towel and wine and cheese and snack things with a little note pad for the refrg..and the kitchen items that they can use. Always something to catch my eye and end up already gift wrapped and ready to go.
I love giving (& receiving) gift cards from a store that is of interest to the person, you can shop the after Christmas sales and get some really great prices on things that would cost twice as much before!
Edibles are always a good bet, will suit most ages. Tins of cookies, boxes of sweets or candy, and if u don't need to give them as a gift....BONUS....u get to eat them :)
Restaurant gift certificates,
A decorative pin,
Store gift certificates,
I frequent dollar stores and stock up on inexpensive gifts and keep them on hand for when i need a gift. after christmas is also a good time to find toys, toiletries, etc at really good savings. i also give magnetic shopping lists with a matching pen, glycerin soaps, etc. for gifts. they are cheap, but nice for any kind of gift.
At Christmas time I always have several fancy or unusual plates on hand. I find them on clearance shelves of department and gift stores throughout the year. I give them as gifts and when I receive a gift from someone I wasn't expecting one from I fill it with baked goods, cakes or cookies etc. and wrap in colorful tissue paper and a bow for an inexpensive and always welcome gift. It is much nicer than a plastic or paper plate.
I always have little gift books which I buy on the clearance rack at places like Barnes & Noble. And I collect little bits of costume jewelry, too - samples of cosmetics, fragrance, etc. - which can be put into things.
Over the years I have developed a custom of giving collections of little gifts which go together rather than one BIG one. - So I will give samples with a traveling case or cosmetic bag - or a group of bath things - or a few books. You can then put them IN a bag or basket or something like that. Little things are great to send in birthday cards for just a little token.
When I see small things in thrift stores or on sale, I get them & add them to my gift collection. There is even a sale section at my local drug store that has soaps,etc. And of course, the dollar store....they have candles and you can put them together with stands or holders to make them more special and group them with something else.
I made a wedding present basket with candles, candle holders, special soap, and some dried flowers, etc., which was quite well received.
One virtue of collecting presents like this is that is is MUCH easier on the budget, because you can defray the cost of something like Xmas over several months by planning in advance, and it lets you take advantage of sales and deals.
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