Last-minute Christmas gifts without too much waiting

We’re doing Christmas gift-opening a couple of times this year because we’re traveling around to see family.  Tonight we spent some time opening part of our gifts.

Yesterday after work I had only a few last-minute Christmas gifts to get, and it was a fairly fast and painless process, even at the start of the last weekend before Christmas.

What I did may be a good option for you, too, if:

  • You still have a little bit of shopping to do;
  • You don’t have a lot of time to fight traffic;
  • You don’t necessarily want to go the gift card route (even though gift cards are gifts).

Last-minute gifts are as nearby and accessible as the grocery store.  Now I don’t mean wrapping up a stick of butter or a couple of potatoes — or even holiday candy — but edible gifts do have a number of advantages.  This is in addition to the bonus of not needing to hit the department stores at this late hour in the holiday shopping season.

  • Food and beverages probably won’t take up space for long.  A knickknack needs to be displayed and dusted.  Food gets eaten.  No displaying and dusting necessary.  This makes food items great gifts for people who already have too much stuff.
  • Food and beverages are festive this time of year.  It’s easy to find “holiday blends” of a lot of different kinds of food items.  Gingerbread coffee is one example.
  • Food and beverages often have lots of varieties in addition to “regular.”  Even if the choices aren’t “Christmas” or “holiday” there are usually different flavors to try out.  I found out recently that my father-in-law likes Cheetos.  There are at least six or seven flavors of Cheetos available.  So I picked three that sounded interesting, wrapped them in a box, and voila.
  • Some unusual foods and beverages are reasonably priced.  We didn’t get any caviar this time of year, but I do know that our Wegmans sells several varieties for $10.  That’s affordable luxury, especially if you’ve never tried it.  For a lot of this stuff, it doesn’t take a whole lot of it to test it out.  Some of my family had had enough with the first cracker; others liked it more.  Bottom line:  Gourmet is affordable.
  • Food and beverages can give a good laugh.  The dogs gave everyone jerky today.  Everyone.  By the time the last person opened their gift from the dogs, we were all laughing.

Anyone giving any food as gifts this year?  I promise I won’t tell.


John Wedding

Husband. Father. Web publisher. Musician. John has blogged at Mighty Bargain Hunter since 2005, helping people to recognize life's good deals.

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  1. Stefanie says

    My partner and I always include chocolate/ candy in our gifts/ stocking stuffers to one another. I really like to get her stuff she loves but doesn’t tend to buy for herself and stuff she used to get from her family as a kid that signals the holidays to her – like the chocolate orange you smash and eat slice by slice.

  2. says

    I have never considered giving food as a gift, but I will keep this in mind as a super last minute gift idea.

    I always have a tough time buying things for my grandparents because they typically give me money, and it feels weird to turn around and buy them something with the money they tried to give to me. :) So I like the idea of maybe getting them (or making them) something tasty that I know they’ll enjoy.

  3. says

    I think hot chocolate, candy, fruit, BBQ or hot sauce, or coffee make great gifts. You could also do drink mixes if someone likes that type of beverage. I’ve never done it, but I’ve seen steaks given as well. When you live in a small town, as I do, you get pretty creative because you don’t have a variety of stores to choose from.

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