Last-minute gifts – There’s still time!

Last-minute holiday shoppingBlack Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday have all come and gone. And your holiday shopping still isn’t finished? You’ve waited too long to rely on “overnight shipping,” and Amazon’s 30-minute drone delivery hasn’t “taken off” yet! Here are a few last-minute gift ideas to help ease the stress.

Think “homemade” and “handmade”
Check out Pinterest for the site’s featured pinners’ favorite recipes and hundreds of do-it-yourself and craft ideas. And the best part is, you don’t have to sign up to take advantage of these online pin boards — just click away.

Homemade, step-by-step
If your skills in the kitchen require more than a list of ingredients and bulleted recipe directions, visit foodie-photographers like Kathy Maister or the Pioneer Woman, who provide step-by-step photo and/or video tutorials.

While you’re surfing the Web, search for fun graphics and templates and start designing and printing I.O.U. coupons for future promises like shoveling a sidewalk for a neighbor, babysitting for a friend, or teaching a senior “how to Facebook”!

Convenience store shopping
You won’t be the first person to scurry to the closest convenience store on Christmas Eve to pick up a lottery ticket or two for someone on your list. And, while you’re there, you could pick up the latest edition of a popular magazine, and wrap it along with a message that there’s a subscription coming the recipient’s way. Plus, there’s no shortage of subscription deals online to help you save time and money.

Online options
Remember that not all online shopping involves “shipping and handling.” There’s a lot you can do with just a click, including making a donation in someone’s name to a charitable organization like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross or the World Wildlife Fund.

Smaller nonprofit organizations closer to home may accept online charitable donations; choose one that has special meaning to your gift recipient. The State of Maryland, has an online charity database, and the State of Virginia also provides a thorough list of the Commonwealth’s nonprofit organizations. If you would like additional information about a particular charitable organization, GuideStar, provides potential donors with a number of resources to help make philanthropy safer and more transparent.

Curtain call
Does your local amateur theater group have a performance coming up? Why not swing by the Box Office and pick up a pair of tickets? Give one as a gift and the other for yourself, with the promise of a night out together.

“Bake a difference”
Join the millions of people who Spread the Bread to show their gratitude and to honor others, especially during the holiday season, with freshly baked bread. Find the story about how this tradition started when a Massachusetts mother turned her grandmother’s Irish Bread recipe into a token of love.

Look around you
Can’t bear the thought of fighting the traffic on the roads or the frenzy of last-minute shoppers at the mall? Take a look around your local shopping scene. If you didn’t “shop small” on Small Business Saturday, this is the perfect time to find that perfect gift!

Give green
Who doesn’t like money? If a gift of cash turns out to be your final resort, why not try a little money origami to show you really did put thought, time and effort into your gift. It could be easier than you thought to turn George, Ben or Abe into a butterfly or a rose.

Good luck, and happy gifting! Let us know how you managed your last-minute gift challenge!

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