Oh, no!!! You are in official panic mode. You suddenly find yourself one present short for one of your children! Sometimes, even with the most organized, well-planned holiday checklist, you still need to rush out and buy one more gift. What should you get?
My Last Minute Gift Guide will help you select a gift for any child, almost any age, boy or girl. Many of these gifts can be found easily, and a few you can purchase from online retailers and still have them for Christmas. You may be able to “create” a gift from the comfort of your home.
1) Movie DVDs/Blu-Ray: Movies make an excellent gift for any age. No doubt, on Christmas, your children have been awake since 5 AM or earlier. A movie is an ideal gift for encouraging down time on a day filled with chaos and excitement. I know that my son is eagerly awaiting the release of several movies, and most of my children have DVDs on their wishlists.
2) Tokens for a Local Fun Zone – Locally we have a Chuck E. Cheese, a laser tag, and a miniature golf. All three of those places have token activities. It is not unusual to see children of all ages playing; often the adults get in on the action. You can prepurchase tokens and give a coupon for a future play date. This only works if your children understand that they will not be going on Christmas Day.
3) Coupons or Vouchers for Other Activities – As a parent, I want my children to open toys, and I forget that time spent with them is much more valuable. This can be something as simple as coupons for a weekly game night, movie night at home complete with popcorn, or activities outside the house. Other ideas consist of vouchers for an upcoming movie at the theater, bowling, zoo tickets, or ice skating rink.
4) Show Tickets – I have a friend who purchased season tickets for Broadway productions at a regional venue. The season tickets were for 6 plays. This gift was enjoyed all through the year. Other ideas include tickets for baseball, football or hockey games, concert tickets, or Disney on Ice or similar shows.
5) Weekend Trip – Having four sons makes for a house full of testosterone. My only daughter literally begs for Mommy/Daughter time. When she was younger, this might be a trip to the mall or out to dinner. Now that she is older and has a full-time job, we don’t usually get regular time for just the two of us. Planning a weekend trip to see a play and dinner out, or shopping at an outlet mall is welcome and needed for both of us. These can be planned for the whole family, and the ideas are endless. These don’t need to be far from home. My sister and her family have gone to a nearby bigger city to attend their First Night festivities.
6) Calendar – I always bought my children calendars. The calendar can be purchased to match the decor in their bedroom. There are calendars for almost anything you can imagine including favorite characters, animals, cars, trains, boats, planes, landscapes, lighthouses, Bible verses, witty phrases, cartoons, sports, art, puzzles, movies, music and even word of the day. Make a custom calendar at an office store which may be ready in as little as 1 day.
7) Books – Not all of my children love to read. I have a couple of reluctant readers, but I am able to buy books for all my children including the ones who don’t love to read. My second son likes Sudoku, origami, collecting Coca-Cola items, and cooking. Another son likes video games, Minecraft, and the Tin-Tin comic books. My youngest loves Disney/Pixar or Star Wars character books. A quick Google or Amazon search of their interest will open up a world of books that you and your child didn’t know existed.
8) Science or Craft Kits – The choices available for science kits are numerous. These are kits that can be used during their vacation time from school. There are kits for building volcanoes, circuitry, studying rocks, making goo, bubble gum, soda pop, jewlery, and art kits of every kind, shape and size.
9) A Dated Ornament – Each year I purchase an ornament for my children. I usually take them to the Hallmark store and let them pick out the ornament they would like. However, there have been times I have surprised them with a design I think would be meaningful. Ornaments come in a variety of cartoon characters, hobbies, movie characters, and whimsical and traditional Christmas themes. When my children marry, they have a box full of unique ornaments they take with them to decorate their new tree. The only downside to this gift is when they leave, you will be missing their ornaments on your tree.
10) Magazine Subscriptions – Last year I purchased Popular Science for my son. Each month he eagerly read through the magazine and shared with me all the new ideas that were presented within the pages. When I asked him if he wanted to renew it, he declined, but he enjoyed that year of a gift in the mail each month. I am exploring options for a different magazine this year, and since he loves getting mail in his name, I know this will be a gift he will appreciate.
Good luck in your quest to find the perfect last-minute gift for your child! Let me know what you purchased.