This weekend, I was at the grocery store, picking up a last-minute gift for an event, and remembered this little video I made last year. Since this is the week before Christmas, I thought it might come in handy for some of you!
Watch it, then keep the ideas in the back of your mind, and if you suddenly remember you still need a teacher gift, or coach gift, or neighbor gift, or hostess gift you can pick one of these up during a late-night grocery run — or on the way to the party!
Not in the mood for a video? Click through below and you’ll find the 9 recommendations from the video plus notes on why I chose each one.
By the way, how is your shopping coming along? I confess: I’ve barely started mine. Yikes! I feel like our life has been on hold for 11 days while the floors were being redone and we were camping upstairs. We don’t even have our Christmas Tree! I can hardly believe it. We’ve definitely never had a December like this before — we’re going to need to pack in all the holiday magic we can in the next 10 days. I can feel Tim Gunn chanting Make It Work in my ear. : )
1) A Ball Of Twine
Pick cotton, sisal or hemp. Repackage and voila! A hipster gift that looks like you ordered it from an old-school hardware store in Brooklyn.
2) A Good Looking Tool
Find something made of wood or metal. A vegetable scrubber or dustpan. This brush was about $3. It’s gorgeous! Add a bow and buy one for everyone in the neighborhood.
3) Natural Sponge
You’ll probably find this near the car-cleaning supplies. Don’t buy synthetic. Get something natural. Put it in cellophane and give the most useful gift your host will receive.
4) Pretty Cleaning Supplies
Look for a product line with great packaging. This one is French and tres handsome, but when I’m in America, my grocery store favorites are Method, Watkins, and Mrs. Meyers. Pick the scent you swear by and add a bow.
5) A Whole Pineapple
They’re fun to give and fun to receive, and they’re the sort of food item the average consumer rarely buys. We gave these out as party favors one year to gasps of delight.
Look for anything in a round, wood package. Camembert is a safe choice if you’re a cheese novice. Stack two, add a ribbon and it will feel absolutely luxe.
Find a pretty bottle, and pick something unusual and exotic (skip the basil and oregano and cinnamon). Put it in cellophane and it will be glamorous.
Pick 3 BIG boxes of movie candy — like Junior Mints and Milk Duds and Hot Tamales, Or pick out multi-packs of popular candy bars. Stack the candy, and add a ribbon. It doesn’t sound like much. But the big boxes don’t make most people’s grocery lists, so they feel special and unusual.
9) Magazine Subscription
Lastly, for a really thoughtful, almost personalized, gift on the go, I recommend a magazine subscription. Walk by the magazine racks and pick up a title you know they’ll love. Pull out a subscription card that you’ll send in the next day. Roll the issue up and add a bow. It’s a gift they’ll appreciate all year long — and the average subscription is about $10. Not bad!
And that’s it. I keep a spool of ribbon, a pair of scissors and some cellphone bags in my glovebox — and I’m set for last-minute gifts!
P.S. — Want to pick out your own last-minute gifts? Here are my guidelines for Grocery Store Gift Buying.