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Divas: The procrastinators guide to last minute gifts

It’s crunch time, folks! Whether you have a few gifts left to buy or you totally forgot Christmas is a thing; here’s whatcha do.

Make a list, check it twice. Seriously, you need a list. Get a pad, get a pen and get writing. A little planning right now will save time, money and sanity.

Make a list of all the people for whom you need to buy gifts and jot down ideas. To reduce the number of gifts, buy for “The Family” rather than gifts for everyone.

Determine a realistic budget. Don’t let guilt make you feel that overspending will make it better. It won’t. You’ll just get a second wave of guilt when the bills come in January.

If you know what you want to purchase, plan a power shopping trip, preferably during off hours to avoid the crowds and get it all done at once. Buy gift bags and tissue to make wrapping easier.

And now for a plethora of ideas.

Themed gift baskets are always fun. Themes like Movie Night with popcorn and candy; Hot Sauce Lovers with an assortment of hot sauces, spicy chips and nuts, Spa Time with bath, hair and skincare products.

Great gifts you can purchase online are tickets to events, shows, museums or galleries. Subscriptions to magazines or services like Netflix, Hulu or Spotify.

Monthly subscription boxes are very popular. There’s truly something for everyone, like wine, toys, socks, dog treats, snacks, dinner kits, shaving supplies, or beauty products. Just Google “subscription boxes” and prepare to be amazed. Many start at $10 a month. Remember to search for coupons!

To expedite things, buy gift cards for everyone. You can find them at the grocery store. There’s controversy about whether it’s acceptable to give gift cards.

In my opinion (not that you asked but it’s my column) if you don’t know what the person wants, it’s better to let them select something they need or want, especially if money is tight for either party. Just be sure to buy gift cards that can be redeemed in more than one place, like VISA gift cards. Another welcome option is giving cash.

One caveat: If you’re giving cash or cards your delivery must be creative. Some ideas: Wrap them up in pretty tins or boxes filled with cookies. An inexpensive wallet pre-loaded with a gift card or cash is always a hit. Put the card or cash in a small jar then put the small jar inside a larger jar. Fill the larger jar with candies for a surprise. Place bills inside pages of a book or magazine.

If you’re low on funds; give the Gift of Time. Print out or draw “I owe you” certificates for gifts of your time. Offer to babysit, bake a cake, play games, go for a walk, organize a closet, binge watch TV together, or wash their car. You can buy a calendar and fill in ideas for monthly get-togethers.

Always remember that Christmas is about love so being present IS the best present you can give, and you don’t even have to wrap it!

Merry Christmas from all of us at Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom

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