To follow up on yesterday’s post, I thought I’d put my money where my mouth is, as it were, and provide some helpful advice on how to make the season less stressful.
Shopping, is one of the craziest things to attempt this time of year and I’m sure there are one or two of you who haven’t done most of your Christmas shopping yet. So how better to assist you than to provide some helpful tips on how to avoid the malls and make your gift-giving a lot easier?
Excellent idea, I thought, and got to work – only to remember that I already did a list like this last year. So, away I went to find the list.
It’s timeless. I’m lazy. Everyone else does encore presentations of stuff at Christmas. Why not me? Just this once. Also, I know quite a lot of you haven’t seen this. So here we go – last minute holiday gift ideas:
- Dig out that lovely Christmas stationery you got from your Secret Santa years ago. Use it to type up a bunch of cards saying: A Donation Has Been Made in Your Name to [insert charity, real or imaginary, of your choice]
- It’s a day ending in “y” the holidays so you’re going to be going to the liquor store anyway — why not just buy everyone liquor? Liquor is very festive and always appreciated at this stressful heart-warming time of year.
- Dig through your trunkful of gifts from Christmases Past that you haven’t ever taken out of their boxes. Wrap them up. Some cheerful paper and a festive, colourful bow will give the illusion that the gift was chosen with care. If you don’t have a re-gift trunk, you might want to consider it for next year.
- Make some Christmas candles. Candles are very romantic and thoughtful gifts and are quick and easy to make. All you need are some pine needles, some empty toilet paper rolls, used dental floss for wicks — and lots of bacon. Cook the bacon. Eat the bacon and pour the fat into the toilet paper rolls. Add some colourful pine needles, a hunk of dental floss and stick in the fridge for a while. When it’s hard, tie a nice red festive bow around your fragrant home-made Christmas candle and off you go.
- Nothing is more popular than self-help books. Of course, you don’t have time to write and publish a whole book, but you do have time for a “How To” booklet. Just download some good instructional articles from the internet and bind them with some nice festive ribbon. Print off a digital photo of yourself, looking wise, for the cover. You can personalize each booklet by thinking about the greatest failing of each person on your gift list and addressing the “how to” advice accordingly. (e.g.: How to be a Better Parent; How to Say No and Save Big on Penicillin; How to Play with Children Appropriately)
- Tell everyone that you’re taking a stance against the crass commercialism of the season and will only be celebrating it by enjoying the company of your near and dear ones. Don’t let this stop you from accepting gifts, though. Be humble, but gracious like you’re doing them a favour (just this one last time) by accepting their gifts.
- Fortunately, you’re a procrastinator, so you haven’t put yourself on the Do Not Call list for telemarketers yet so just sign up all your loved ones for whatever the next phone call offers.
- Cash is good, especially if you’re shopping for young people. Most of them are unfamiliar with cash, so it will be a novelty for them. Make sure you write up a few instructions on how to use it.
- Make fudge. Who doesn’t love fudge? If you don’t know how to make fudge, don’t worry. Fudge can be anything sweet mashed together into a square shape. The dollar store offers a lot of cheap knock-off chocolate bars like “Oh Harvey!” or “Kite Cat” or “Knickers”. Melt them all down in a big pot, pour into a big square pan and refrigerate for a while. Then cut into little squares, wrap in cellophane and tie a festive bow around the whole thing. (Hint: A few shots of Jack Daniels into the pot right at the end, will make your fudge smell exotic).
- If all else fails, give the gift of faux music. Find some album covers online of bands and singers everybody hates. Glue them into an empty CD case. Wrap in cellophane and glue down the edges. No one will every open the case to notice there isn’t a CD inside and even if they do they’ll be relieved.
Actually, how appropriate is it that I’m recycling this particular post, eh? Heh, heh! Meanwhile, I’ll work on some fresh material as I spend this SNOW DAY quietly at home.