7 Gift Ideas for the Time-Challenged

I wasn’t going to do a post today, but as it turns out, it’s cold and windy and I want to hunker down with my blog and some coffee, a la “the good old days of blogging.”

So, here we go, gift ideas for people who may or may not be like some people I know verrrrry well: perhaps you haven’t hit the shopping yet, maybe you are out of ideas, could be you’re flat broke. Here are seven ideas I came up with to help you (and perhaps that anonymous individual in my own life).

— For your favorite author —

Have you left positive reviews at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads? No? Well, there you go, tie a bow around your four or five-star review and call it good.

— For the reader who already has every book —

You don’t have to spend a small fortune, I assure you. In fact, some of the best books I have on my shelf are tattered old copies of books. If you don’t have time to go peruse Half Price Books for a gem, then why not look on your own shelf? Make it personal by sharing a note in the front (I’d write right on the inside front page!) about why you thought this would be the perfect book. You’ve made it personal in a way that just buying a book from B&N can’t.

— For the crafty person —

Note: THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ME. (In case that certain person is reading and taking notes.)

I’m only being slightly “funny” when I suggest that a pile of various papers, some sharp scissors, and some weird doohickeys would put this person over the moon. Got old popsicle sticks? How about cotton balls? Or pipe cleaners (which are now, I’ve found, called “fuzzy sticks”–lucky for me, I still know someone who actually uses them to clean a pipe)?

Put them in a box with some tissue paper, leave a note expressing your love of their creations, and call it a thoughtful gift with a bit of humor attached.

— For the movie lover —

I guess there’s no such thing as a removable DVR (yet) (or is there), but you could still put yourself to work finding out the times of their favorite old movies and making up a schedule for them. Won’t they appreciate knowing Christmas Vacation is listed five times in the next 24 hours? You bet they will. Especially if they already have it on DVD but the kids won’t let them sit down and actually watch it without interruption!

— For the person who has you stumped —

In some ways, I can’t help you. But in other ways, here are some questions to get you thinking. What makes that person laugh joyfully? What do you catch them doing when they think no one is looking? Do they have a hobby that you can exploit and abuse? Perhaps what they would really value is some of your time–a homemade dinner, a plate of homemade sweets, an evening all to themselves without small people clinging to them.

— For the unknown celebrity in your family —

Surely they have a Facebook page, a Twitter presence, and a website. But what they really need is a fan base. That’s where you come in. Get busy liking and spreading the word to everyone you know.

— For the person who doesn’t really want or need anything —

You know who I’m talking about. The person who you can’t help but think, “Well, I don’t know what to get them, but even if I did, they don’t want me to get them anything.” This is the most challenging person of all, and I’ve found that the win here comes from lots of thinking and usually not a lot of cash. If you’re under age 10, make them a card. If you’re crafty, make them an ornament or a magnet (if they don’t have the kind of tree you can help decorate with homemade ornaments). If you’re a writer, maybe it’s time to sit down and pen a letter telling you what you appreciate about them and why you love them. Maybe you could make them a coupon packet with things like “redeemable for one bear hug” and “I’ll do dishes without complaining or being asked” and “Yes, I would LOVE to sweep the floor” on them.

[Updated thanks to the comments]

How about a donation to a charity in their name? You make up a little card (or just tell them, if you’re extremely time-pressed) and it’s a win-win–they are honored, others are helped. (Thanks for sharing that in the comments, Deanna!)

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