Christmas is right around the corner, but with cold winter air across much of the states, as well as those feeling a bit under the weather… many have stayed indoors, forgoing those last few shopping days. With that being said, it’ll come as no surprise to the possible rush that will hit the retail stores at the end of this week. Items will be picked over, stores might look a bit shabby (unorganized), and panic will strike within the hearts of shoppers as to what kind of purchases might be worthwhile. But don’t worry, I have some great last minute gift ideas for anyone, whether it’s a family member or friend…it’s time to get creative.

Last minute gifts can come in the form of a gift certificate; they are easy to purchase online and print from home or the local library. So often when people discuss certificates they automatically think of restaurants, movie theaters or retail outlets, but there’s much more than that. People that live distances can always use a little help when it comes to transportation. An airline such as Southwest has gift cards, and with no minimum dollar amount you can have it emailed within 12 hrs. for free, sent USPS or Fed Ex, whichever your preference might be. Amtrak also has options for gifts, but with a minimum purchase of $50.00. Many times local banks will sell tickets for future events; Festivals or other types of seasonal festivities are among the most common. If anyone you know is a fan of Renaissance Fairs, you can create an account at and purchase advance tickets at a discount during this holiday season. There are advance tickets for sporting events like football, basketball or baseball games, and is always a win-win for any guy that’s a diehard fan. On the other hand, for women…they love to be pampered, so choosing a local salon or spa to purchase a gift card is another great gift idea. If needing to shop for a group (co-workers or friends), entertainment of sorts can fun, like a Comedy Club; laughter among peers keeps it light and let’s face it…everyone needs a laugh now and again.

With so many people on the go today, they can easily find themselves tired after a long day, so why not treat them with a gift of a professional house cleaner? There are plenty of maid services just about anywhere these days, but if it’s someone close to you and haven’t the money to splurge, you can write it in a card and offer to spend an afternoon helping them with a chore or two. Then there’s the meal delivery services; delivering healthy meals with short prep time, making it simple enough for anyone to cook. You can find a list at , and they offer gift cards as well. Now, for those that struggle with last minute ideas for kids…toys aren’t always the answer, though it’s always on their list. Giving them a membership to a recreation center, zoo or signing them up for some type of classes can work in an educational way. When children learn new things they easily get excited, and it could be anything ranging from swimming classes, arts & crafts to taking an interest in storytelling through reading or plays. Their world is big, and teaching them (anything) early on is important, and being a role model is just as important. So whatever you choose to do this Christmas, remember…to ‘give’ is better than to ‘receive.’ May this Christmas Season bring you happiness and many blessings in the coming years.

Make your week count.