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Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Final Countdown

Christmas Countdown

Although we have known for months that Christmas was coming, and we have made our lists and checked them more than twice, still over 40% of us have not completed our holiday shopping.

So with the final countdown underway I thought I’d share a few tips that may help you ease the stress this week when it comes to finding those perfect last minute gifts.  

#1 Make it yourself
Most of us are baking cookies, specialty breads, and holiday candy this week.  Buy a cute little goody box or tin (Wal-Mart has them for a great price) and give the gift you know they will enjoy. 

Homemade granola is some of my favorite things to give. Place granola in a little clear glass container and add a red ribbon.  You’re done!  The recipe found here is pretty close to the one I make.

Here's one a dear friend gave me last year.  It was so cute and quite delish!!

#2 Give a service or experience
Make gift certificates for baby-sitting your friend's kids or for detailing your spouse’s car.  

If you have a specialty like cooking fabulous meals or cutting hair, those are also great things to offer on a gift certificate.  Get creative and think outside the box.  If you do your gift will definitely be one of a kind and VERY much appreciated!! 

#3 Shop your closet
There are two schools of thought here for me.  One is that if you just received a new gift you know you will never use, then by all means pass it along.  If, and only if, you feel the person receiving the gift will appreciate and use it.  

The second school of thought for me is this, I personally LOVE to receive 'pre-owned' gifts that have meant something to the person passing it along to me.  Some of my most prized possessions were handed down to me from family members and I can’t think of anything I would rather have to remember my loved ones by.   

So if you give something of sentimental value to you, make sure you let the recipient know where you got it from, how long you owned it and why you have loved it so much. They will forever cherish it!!

#4 Embrace gift cards
I love that you can now purchase gift cards to anywhere in your very own grocery store.  No more running to 10 different places!!  Usually near the checkout is where you'll find a rack full of the most popular retail shops, online stores such as iTunes & Amazon, and restaurants.  So as you finish up your grocery shopping this week pick up that last minute gift for your uncle, you know, the one who already has everything.

And my last couple of tips for this week…


Don’t stress about the things you can’t change…


And remember, the most important things in life are not things.  

Enjoy the last week of our 2011 Christmas Season!!

Merry Christmas,

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