10 Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas

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:

  1.  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]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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)
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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).
  10. 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.

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19 responses to “10 Holiday Gift-Giving Ideas

  1. So the Govt. shuts down if it snows too hard, eh? Why does that not surprise me?

    I’m staring out the window right now at the white-out conditions, and dreading the drive to the Widget Factory.

    Anyway, regarding gifts where someone makes a donation under my name. I never got one of those, but they don’t’ impress me.

    It’s like “I was gonna give you something, but I changed my mind, and decided to spend the money somewhere else. But I thought I’d let you know anyway”.

    Huh. If I”m not going to get a gift from you, fine. But do you HAVETA rub it in and remind me?

  2. Friar – The government hasn’t shut down, don’t worry. They never close in Ottawa. I had already booked today for another reason. The schools are pretty much shut though because the school buses aren’t running.

    Meanie – Like I told Friar, I already had the day booked weeks ago for some appointments. I’m going to actually go to them, so it’s not going to be all fun and games today.

  3. Wonderful ideas all.

    A Caveat re #3 – just make sure you don’t regift to the person who gave it to you in the first place…

  4. Yikes.. a new way to use bacon fat.

    Not sure I would ever try it though….I would be curious to see what the reaction would be of anyone receiving a bacon-fat candle. (good idea to include the pine needles)

  5. In the spirit of the post I went back and found my comment for this from last year:

    Cedarflame:One word, gift cards…hmmm that’s two words…giftcards…now it is one word.

  6. Two words: pickled eggs.

    Nothing says Christmas like the taste and smell of eggs in vinegar, salt, garlic and a variety of spices! I’ve been giving out jars of them to friends and colleagues for years! And, believe it or not, a jar of them was once opened at 24 Sussex by Jean Chretien… or so I was told. Long story.

    No snow day for me either, Friar. We in the Canadian PS brave snow, freezing rain, power outages and PSAC picket lines to carry out our sacred duties!

  7. “Knickers”! Hahahahahah…..ha. Would have liked a snow day after that 2 hour commute. If it wasn’t for the meeting today….oh, I might as well be honest, if it wasn’t for the lunch scheduled with 2 friends, I wouldn’t have come in and would have worked from home. But I’ve missed too many get-togethers with friends lately.

  8. Jazz – Ha ha, that’s exactly what you said when I posted this list last year, except you suggested post-its with the name of the gifter to attach to each gift.. It’s only fair to have recycled comments on a recycled post. Here’s what I responded last time: I’ve kind of discovered that re-giftables are usually from someone’s re-gifting trunk anyway. They’re gifts no one wants and no one ever remembers giving anyone, so you’re pretty safe. But if someone notices that it’s the same gift they gave you last year, say “I KNOW!! It was so great I gave everyone on my list one this year!”

    Justin – I think the scent of fresh pine needles would add a little je ne sais quoi to the aroma of the bacon fat, don’t you?

    Cedar – Yes, you did and I never responded to you. So let me just say that gift cards, to me seem a little dictatorial. They say, “I’m too lazy to get you a gift, so I’m just giving you something like money, except that I insist you spend it in this particular store.” As for this year’s comment, I would add: The new pre-paid credit cards, however, are way cool. I’m giving a few of these this year.

    Trashee – Urghk. I’m glad you’re not my secret santa. If you’re going to give out bar treats, why not booze? BOOZE!

    Alison – Sure…funny how you can drive your broken car through a blizzard to have lunch with your REAL friends. Harumph!

  9. Gift cards actually make great gifts.
    You can pick up handfuls of them at just about any grocery store, write some crazy amount on the back and hand them out to everyone on your list.

    When they don’t work no one will even be surprised by it. Just nod and say the cashier that authorized it looked like she was on crack.

    And at this glorious time of the year what cashier doesn’t..

  10. My son would appreciate a bacon candle!

    The secret ingredient in faking fudge is to crush and then melt everything down (halloween candy works great) and add some coffee cream. before pouring it out.
    🙂

  11. I love Christmas shopping in Korea. i do it about 3 days before Christmas and it takes less than 1 hour. No line ups, no stress, and I always go in armed with a list of what I need to buy. For my parents in Winnipeg I shop online and have it delivered pre-gift wrapped.

  12. H&B2 – Excellent tip. And thanks for finding my blog and leaving such a valuable comment. I’ve had a quick look at your blog and I believe I’m going to be adding it to my blogroll as required reading from now on.

    Cedar – Just what we need here, eh? I hope you enjoyed H&B2.

    Loth – No kidding. Who can resist the delightful smell of bacon and pine needles? And think of all the bacon you get to eat whilst making the candles!

    Mudmamma- Darn, I forgot the coffee cream. Seems kind of extravagant though. Would some old Coffee Mate swiped from work do?

    Sean – The internet is the best thing ever to happen to Christmas, isn’t it? Or any other holiday for that matter. Well, enjoy your last calm bout of Christmas shopping while you can.

  13. you aren’t lazy you are just doing the winter thing and taking it easy.

    when i started reading i remembered your one from last year too, we have history now !!!