My Guide to Last Minute Gift Shopping

I am always late to the gift giving guides on my blog because I am such a procrastinator! Now that I’m a parent to a child with an early January birthday, I can’t really afford to be, but  inevitably, I scramble last minute for at least ONE person. Here is my quick guide to gift giving for the procrastinator like me.

How much did you actually procrastinate?

If you have Amazon Prime and at least 3 days to spare, a safe bet is to just order through the trusted online retailer. You don’t have to deal with crowds at a mall, or finding the time to get there and your package will more than likely arrive on time. I rarely trust shipping time estimates but Amazon I do trust.

new amazon echo thing

Easy Amazon bets are a toy truck for a toddler boy, doll accessory for a little girl, an actual hardcover book for a parent who isn’t into e-readers, an Echo Spot for a tech savvy parent or partner or Insta Pot for everyone else. (Sorry for the gender stereotypes above but obviously if your daughter wants a truck, by all means get one and vice versa! Tommy loves playing with his cousin’s doll sized stroller.)

crock pot

If you do not have enough time to wait for shipping, you could attempt a store but let’s be honest, that sounds like a miserable idea unless it’s right down the street. Here are your remaining options:

  1. Magazine subscription. Pick up the latest copy at the drugstore and grab some other knick knacks like lip gloss and nail polish and put them in a cute gift bag.
  2. Give the gift of an experience. If it’s for your nephews, you could buy tickets to a kids show or a day at the museum. Daniel Tiger is coming to Boston in April but tickets are already on sale. Other shows like Disney on Ice or Dr Seuss at the Children’s Museum during school vacation are also great “non-stuff” gifts for a kid. You can buy the tickets online and print off your home computer. No printer? Draw them on a piece a paper and get crafty with your fake ticket making skills and put them in a wrapped box! You can do this for a museum pass as well, and tell them that the tickets are good to use when they are ready and you’ll take them! It’s like an IOU.
  3. Cash is always nice but cash to a 529 plan is even better for kids. If you have a Massachusetts 529 plan set up for your child, you can invite friends or family members to gift to your 529 with the U.Fund College Investing Plan’s easy-to-use online service. My dad always gives us money for Tommy because he thinks he has enough toys so we always put it in his 529. I gave my nephew a savings bond 8 years ago for his birthday and I cringe at where it possibly could be today. A contribution to his college fund would have been a little easier to keep track of!
  4. A Girls Night or Day of Pampering. This is my last minute gift idea for my mom and sister 50% of the time I need to get them gifts. It’s a treat when we can get away and I’m able to treat them to a pedicure and lunch or dinner and enjoy spending time together. As adults we often buy the things we need so I like to gift people experiences and quality time if you can’t tell by now. Again, you could get creative with this when it comes to creating something they can open on Christmas day like putting together a little gift bag with a nail polish and mini bottle of champagne.
  5. Donate a cash gift in their name to a favorite charity. There was a lot of bad in the world in 2017. If you haven’t found a gift for the person who has everything, perhaps donate towards hurricane relief funds or the families who lost their homes to the fires in California. The options are endless this year when it comes to helping those in need so if you choose a charity close to home or across the world, your contribution will be better used than another serving platter someone doesn’t need.

Learn more about the U.Fund College Investing Plan here.

This post is sponsored by MEFA and the U.Fund College Investing Plan. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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