Last Minute Gifts {that don’t seem last minute}

Here it is, just 5 days before Christmas, the weekend of all the Christmas parties, and you realize you still haven’t finished Christmas shopping. It’s too late to order anything online without paying exorbitant shipping costs, so you have to venture out. Again. You could just run to your local box store and grab some candles or one of those pre-made hot chocolate sets … OR … you could just as easily pick up some things from around New Orleans and turn your last minute gift into an, “I can’t believe you did this!” gift.

Below I’ve complied a list of a few items for virtually anyone that will have the recipient thrilled and no one thinking you bought them just a few dwinesippyays before Christmas.

Here are my suggestions for last minute gifts {that don’t seem last minute}:

1. Wine. Not just any wine, either. Pop in to Pearl Wine Co. for a nice gift basket featuring their favorite wine and fancy it up with some extras like an antique door bottle stopper. If you are there shopping for a wine loving mama, definitely include the Wine Sippy Cup. They are so awesome, you may want to pick one up for yourself.

2. Date night OUT. If you are looking for a gift for parents, look no further. Give the gift of a date night! Putting together a date night package is easy: Book Creative Sitters for their kiddos, and include movie tickets and/or a gift card to a local restaurant. I can say with certainty that this would be the most popular gift option for many parents. This gift can truly fit any budget. In fact, I would be thrilled if a friend “gifted” me with free babysitting, and that wouldn’t cost her a penny.

3. Date night IN. Perhaps a night in would suit the person better. Easily create a custom gift basket including things such as a movie, a bag of microwave popcorn, a bottle of wine (or their favorite soft drink) and a box of chocolates (Blue Frog or Sucre, perhaps?). All those items can be purchased at either a drug store or grocery store, so there will be no need to venture out to the mall, and in just a few minutes, you’ll have something memorable for that special someone you haven’t bought for yet.

xmas1small copy4. Cookies. Since we are often baking during the holidays, why not just whip up some of your famous cookies or dessert bars, package them in the Christmas tins (which are available for purchase nearly everywhere this time of year), and voila! A thoughtful, homemade gift. This is especially helpful if you have a few people who still need gifts: a couple hours in the kitchen and you can knock out several people. Not to mention, you’ll get to indulge while you bake. And if you decide to buy baked goods and repackage them, I promise not to tell.

5. Personalized Ornaments. Located in Clearview and Lakeside mall, these pop up ornament shops have a wide xmasarray of ornaments that can be personalized in just a few minutes. Each year I get one for my own family, and I have given them out quite frequently. It is something the recipient will enjoy year after year. In less than 20 minutes and for less than $20.00, you can have something personal and lasting for several people on your list.

6. Photos. Family photos are an amazing gift. All too often, we neglect to get semi-annual, or even annual family photos. In the NOLA area, there are several fabulous local photographers, like some of our favorites, Christie Froom Photography, Little Fish Photography or Amy Cherie Photography. A gift certificate for a mini-session would be a wonderful gift. You won’t even need to leave the house for this one! Simply contact the photographer and purchase the gift certificate. It will come to either your mailbox or your inbox, depending on when you order.

7. A blowout. Yes, you read that right. Give the gift of pampering. Local blow dry bars are great places to go for a little “me” time, or to give you that extra oomph before an event. Gift cards are available and I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t appreciate a gift like this. Even the men are covered at Dry Bar Bleu!

8. Local Boutiques. Maybe you don’t like to have a plan or a list, but you’d rather just go into the store and choose something on the fly. I get that. I couldn’t ever do that myself, but I get it. Check out some great local places like Uptown’s Blue Frog Chocolates, Bayou Gifts in River Ridge, Harahan’s Hickory Chicks or Fleurty Girl, which has locations Downtown, Uptown, Metairie and Mandeville. Surely, you can walk into a shop like one of these and come out minutes later with the “perfect” gift. All without having to step foot in mall.

Using these ideas, you should have no trouble finding something extra special for your holiday party gift exchange or  for the aunt that who decided recently to come in town and join the festivities. Also, I like to have a small gift on hand in case someone unexpected gives us a present. It’s nice to have something to give to them as well.

What are some of your go-to last minute gifts? (I may or may not be still shopping and need more ideas!)

Myndee is a 35ish year old New Orleans area native. She's an author, speaker and self-love advocate. As an introverted extrovert, Myndee loves being part of the generation where most of her friends live in her computer. She and her husband, Luis, live just outside the city with their three kids.



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