Gift voucher from your supermarket
These days you can pick up gift vouchers to a range of retailers from your local supermarket. the benefit of this is that supermarkets are open extended hours - sometimes even 24 / 7. So if you realise you have a gift you need immediately, you can probably find something appropriate at your local supermarket.
Some of the gift voucher retailers / services I've seen at supermarkets are:
If you know the person you are buying a gift for at all (hopefully you do!), a voucher for a magazine subscription for the coming year can be a great idea. As a bonus, you can usually go online, and print out a gift receipt to put into a card. Easy!
The website that I use for magazine subscriptions is iSubscribe. You can pick up all kinds of magazine subscriptions, including:
- Grand Designs
- Men's Health
- Fishing World
- Donna Hay
- Runner's World
- Better Homes and Gardens
- Marie Claire
Online gift voucher
The trick with gift vouchers is to make sure they are particularly chosen for the person you are giving them too. You need to show some thought, and reason behind why you chose that particular gift voucher. I think gift vouchers can be underrated - they give the person the choice of how to use them, and often I'll choose something that I know the person wouldn't buy for themselves.
Some ideas are:
- iTunes - for someone who loves music
- Amazon - for your literary friends
- Spa / Massage (such as Endota Spa) - for anyone really! But especially someone who needs some pampering
- Cinemas (maybe Village Gold Class) - for the film buff
- Accommodation (like Wotif) - for someone who needs a weekend away
- Bunnings / Masters - for someone renovating / moving into a new house
- Wiggle - for sporting buddies
- Any other retailer you know they love!
Baking in a jar
In the last few years I have seen some great gift ideas that are dry ingredients for favourite recipes. From cookies and brownies, to pancakes and scones, all you need to do is buy some airtight jars (which will also come in handy), layer some dry ingredients in them, and add a little note with cooking instructions, and any other ingredients they will need. You can pick up most bits from your local supermarket, and you can make a bunch at once to give when needed.
Wine / Spirits / Beer
It sounds a bit passe, but if you know someone who enjoys their alcoholic beverage, they will surely appreciate receiving it at this time of year! Again, the trick to giving something generic like alcohol is to make it specific to the person you are giving it to. Maybe you shared an awesome weekend at the beach - you can give them the makings of those margaritas you all loved. Or if they've just returned from Europe, some French wine or Irish whiskey can have them reminiscing about their trip. Make it personal, and it will be a great gift!
Most of us love a new plant in our lives. Whether it's something small for your desk at work, or some herbs for your backyard or patio, a plant can be picked up from your local outdoor store, plus a pot and some soil, and in 5 minutes you have a great gift. Some herbs or vegetable seedlings can be a great idea for a foodie or green thumb. And a lucky bamboo can be wonderful for someone who's had a tough year.
But just so you know, don't get me a plant. History shows that it probably won't survive a month.
Give to a charity on their behalf
Sometimes you have someone you know who has EVERYTHING. Any gift you think of just seems to have been done before. If they really don't need anything, then maybe you can give them something that is actually for someone else - a charity or cause they are passionate about. They may have adopted a dog from a certain pound, or know someone who is recovering from cancer. There are so many amazing charities out there, and many of us realise they are in more need than we are.
Some of the charities that I personally feel drawn to are:
- Peter MacCallum Institute
- Lost Dog's Home
- National Breast Cancer Foundation
- Beyond Blue
- Australian Red Cross
What would you get someone as a last minute gift? What charity has special meaning to you?