Thursday, December 23, 2010

Zero Hour

"Ok, yeah…grab one for 25, another for 15 and ok, um, yah…a 50," I said to Mike, afraid of his reaction as it was zero hour and here we were, still checkin' the list twice. All I can say is thank God for chain stores that carry billions of retailers' gift cards. Because honestly, who doesn't love a gift card? A chance to get out of the house and buy stuff you love at a store you adore? Yes please!

So if you're still pondering what to get that special someone (ok, and maybe not so special because let's face it, sometimes there are people we just have to buy for!), here are a few ideas you may be able to pull off in the next 12 hours that are focused on cost savings. Because really, most of us are broke by now:

1. Cookie baking: whip up a few dozen and continue to feed the bellies…no one counts calories at Christmas; or do cookie cutters tied with a cute ribbon accompanied by your favorite recipe
2. Playlist: create a fabulous playlist on iTunes and pass it along or burn it to a CD for someone's car - virtually free and fun! Plus, you can customize: been through a bad breakup? in love? have a baby? feeling forlorn? There's a song for that…
3. Picture drawn by your child: family loves it, plus it frees up some of your file space and occupies their time for about, oh - 8 minutes
4. Love note: let someone know how you really feel this Christmas…er, only if it's nice! What better gift than to know you're loved and why?
5. Anything on Amazon: seriously, they're shipping same day…it's bananas
6. Services: coupons to babysit, dog sit, clean something, run errands or do that chore they hate the most (like a diaper change..ahem)
7. Regift: make it a good one. And be sure it doesn't go to the person who gave it to you or have your name on some kind of hidden tag!
8. Craft items: for those with kiddos, these items are never sold out if you hit up a hobby store. And with the chilly winter months ahead, there will be crafts that will need to be done for survival! Think yarn, glitter, glue, cloth, construction paper, shoe boxes and more.
9. Pre-written and addressed thank yous: for a dear friend who you may have a bunch of addresses for; make her life easier by purchasing cute Christmas thank you, signing her name with the adorable saying inside, then addressing and stamping them, so all she has to do is approve and drop
10. Lottery tickets: because some people just believe…and there is always that one gas station open on Christmas Day
11. Hot chocolate drive-by: surprise them and say you were thinking about them with a spot of warm brew, complete with whipped cream on top
12. Magazines: give them a reason to indulge in some smut or a read they never have time for or would purchase for themselves; after all, they have a few days off to sneak off and catch up on what's new with the Kardashians
13. Shovel: for Kansas Citians - this means you. Get out there tomorrow morning with the winter weather, burn some calories and make someone's day by putting your back into it and grabbing a shovel
14. Post: do a blurb or word of gratitude on your blog, FB, etc. - if they're into the public love kind of thing…it'll make them feel extra special
15. Handprint kit: there are a few left at Hallmark, Paper Source and Hobby Lobby…grandparents are suckers for a look at your kiddo's hand - do an ornament or something more year-round - they'll love it!

Of course there are always gift cards stocked at your local Walgreens, photos lying around your home that need framed and passed on and flowers for those who believe in doing it fresh and real.

But really, this Christmas and all days at zero hour, all they need is love. Sweet, sweet love.

Happy last minute scrounging dear shoppers!

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