Happy Holidays. It’s that wonderful time of the year. The time when everyone realizes they can’t procrastinate any more and they have to go gift shopping. Well for the other fellow last-minute crusaders, such as myself, this post is for us.

This is an especially difficult task for me. See my two sons have birthdays early in the year, so by the time christmas comes around their lists are nice and full. However, my wife’s birthday is in October. Then mine is in November, along with several other close family members birthdays.

Plus you factor in the other holidays around the time and we are constantly going out and buying stuff. So this leaves me with limited options, lower funds, and more pressure to find a good gift. Not to mention she always hits me with the, “I don’t want anything.”

There are many reasons why you may have gotten to this point. Whether it be you were waiting on payday, couldn’t figure out a gift, or simply didn’t have the time, you are now faced with the dreadful last-minute holiday crowds.

We find ourselves wading through the large crowds at malls and department stores, or spending endless hours online searching for good ideas. Well here is a guide to help you out.

Key Factors In Gift Buying

There are several areas of concern you must first address before beginning your search.

  1. How close are you with the person: Is this a family member, significant other, or just a friend? This really affects the level of effort and specialty you need to put into the gift. This could be a good or a bad thing.
  2. Last gift you gave the person: You don’t want to be redundant and get the same thing over and over. You know… the gift pack from victoria secret, the spa package, or the new set of tools. Be creative and get something interesting.
  3. Last gift they gave you: Now this may seem a bit petty, but I’m very much for “equivalent relationships”. If you don’t get me anything, 90% of the time, I don’t get you anything. If you give me something special or play a significant role in my life, that be reflected in your gift. It’s not necessarily price related, but rather real value.
  4. Budget and Time: While I am sure we would all love to get everyone a gift , the majority of us are not well off enough to do so. Therefore, you should prioritize your list of receivers and make sure the most important people are taken care of first.

With that said let’s go over some actual gifts.

For Significant Others

If 95% of your time isn’t spent figuring out what to get your significant others then you my friend are in trouble. Or you are extremely lucky in that they actually tell you what they want. Not what they say they want, but what they really want.

For the rest of us this is a tactical battle. We begin asking close friends and family if they have any insider information. Then we move to trying to see what they have been searching for online or what commercials they seem interested in.

In the end it comes down to one thing, Well let me first say that this one thing is different for guys and girls. Guys we simply want something we can use. Girls, on the other hand, want something they can love. Getting stuff you actually need is for random shopping during the year. Trust me new kitchen ware or work boots might get the smile, but they won’t get you …wait we are keeping this site PG. Moving on.

Recommendation: Get something special

You really can’t make a recommendation here. This item should most importantly be uniquely crafted for the person. Do not think about price. Put your focus on how well it fits the person and whether it’s 10 cents or $100 dollars, they will appreciate it.

bear figurineFor example,  me and my wife have had an inside joke relating to bears since we first got together back in college. So in our home we keep little bear figurines we find throughout our travel and special places we go.

This makes for a great gift to each other because it’s personal to us and our relationship.



For Close Friends and Family

This is a little easier. Really getting anything is enough to show that you care and that they are valued in your life. So often we get caught up in the “what” and forget the “why”. It’s about the act of giving.

Recommendation 1: Roku Streaming Box

Price: $30-$120

Check out CNET’s post on the newest version.

They have many different versions of streaming box’s, but the Roku has remained one of the most popular ones. They have a lot of apps available both free and paid. This makes for a good gift as more and more people are moving to streaming entertainment. It’s also something the receiver can enjoy in their own way. Weather it be watching classic movies for free on crackle or catching up with the latest shows on Hulu and Netflix, they can find their own brand of entertainment.

Recommendation 2: Shared Experience

This is a great gift idea for the people you already love to spend time with. Also makes for a good gift for those loved ones who already have anything you can imagine.

The experience can be anything raging from driving race cars to exclusive dinners. The idea is to use this moment to create great memories and another good story for you two to share.

You can find great ideas on experience gift sites like Cloud 9 Living.

Recommendation 3: A Subscription

The modern subscription services make for great gifts. There are so many types to choose from.

  • Curated Clothes: We have clothing items like The Trunk Club. Trunk Club is like having a personal stylist. You get an actual stylist to curate a box of clothing and accessories based on his or her needs and personal style, taking all the pressure off you.
  • Health Food: You have healthy food services like Fresh Diet. They prepare fresh and healthy meals and deliver them daily to the subscribers. This is a great gift for the health conscious who have little time to prepare three full meals a day.
  • birchboxGrooming and Accessories: Birchbox is a great service for both men and woman. You get a  monthly box filled with  high-end grooming products and accessories. The items themselves are determined based on your personal style preferences.


This category is for the secret santa at work, the kids teacher, or the neighbor you say hi to sometimes.

amazon gift cardRecommendation: Giftcard from Amazon
Amazon has almost anything you can think of. Their line of available products range from car parts, to cell phones, to cat coats. Literally almost anything you could want. To make things better, you can find items as cheap as a $1.00. A small to moderate amount on an amazon gift card can go a long way.


Whatever you may decide on good luck my friend. I hope this list can make your experience a little easier. Use the comment section to share what you think should be on the list.