Last Minute Gift Ideas So You’re Not Ebenezer Screwed Again This Year

Christmas is the season for celebrating old traditions.  Around this blog, that means dusting off posts of Christmas past, posts that are staler than re-gifted fruitcake.  Enjoy. 

Bah humbug!

Bah humbug!

Christmas is only a couple of days away.  The cards are written, the presents are bought, wrapped and under the tree, and now everyone can sit back and enjoy the season.

Everyone except you.

You haven’t done anything to get ready.  You have no presents, no ideas and no money again this year.   You’re basically screwed, right?


Don’t despair!  You don’t have have to spend Christmas in the doghouse, just because you’re lazy and broke.  Borrow some of these last minute gift ideas:

1)      For the book lover:  Does someone on your gift list always have his or her nose in a book?  Have you priced hardcovers lately?  They can be $30 and up – ridiculous!  Trot down to the local library, check out the newest bestseller and wrap it up.  When the recipient opens your gift and looks bewildered, start on a long-winded diatribe about what an outrageous assault on the environment it is to cut down defenseless trees for books, and the importance of sharing resources.  Add a bit about the great history of Carnegie libraries in America and by the end of your presentation the book lover will be feeling vaguely guilty for ever having bought one.  Be a Christmas angel and remind the recipient they’ll incur overdue fines after 2 weeks, so they should read fast!

2)      For the wine lover:  With your Annie Green Springs tastes, you have neither the budget nor the knowledge to please a true wine connoisseur.  Don’t even try.  Take a card and write, “Here’s a little something to toast the season”.  Wrap up a box containing …2 pieces of dry toast.  I suggest using whole wheat bread since wine snobs also tend to be health food snobs.  They’ll look like poor sports if they even hint that they would prefer a real gift to your clever gag. (Thrifty suggestion: Cut a square of wrapping paper, fold in half and use this as a card.  You can write on the inside and it matches the package for an expensive, coordinated look.)

3)      For that special woman:  Is there anything a woman loves more than a truly spectacular piece of expensive jewelry?  Since THAT’s not going to happen this Christmas, you can still score points by hitting her other hot button: a love of schmaltzy romance.  Just write in a card, “You own the key to my heart.”  Wrap up a small, jewelry-sized box in which you’ve placed…a key.  Any old key will do –could be the key to your locker at the gym.   Make sure it’s not your car key, though, as it might be awkward to have to ask for it back at the end of the evening.

4)      For your kid:  Every parent has experienced this.  You get your kid a Suzy Homemaker kitchen, or Little Tykes workbench and they run right by the big, expensive toy to play with the box.  Encourage their creative spirit with an Imagination Kit: an assortment of cardboard boxes, rolling paper and toilet paper tubes, rubber bands and other stuff that you have around the house.  Pontificate about the importance of creative play, developing building and imagination skills and getting back to basics.  This will confuse the in-laws so they can’t be sure if you really believe all that stuff, or you’re just a cheap Scrooge.

5)      For the kid’s teacher:  Teachers get so much lame junk: ornaments, bubble bath and candles, they could open a gift store.  What do they really, really want?  Some relief from the unrelenting torment of having little monsters like your kid in their class.  Make up several coupons “Good for one day without Johnny”.  On days when your offspring has been acting even more like the spawn of Satan than usual, Teacher can send one of the coupons home with the kid.  You promise to keep him home “sick” the next day, thereby giving Teacher a much-needed break.  Be careful not to give so many coupons that all his days off catch the attention of the health department or truancy officer.

6)      For the brother-in-law:  Your lush of a brother-in-law is always getting in trouble with the po-lice.  What a hoot when he opens your gift in front of the whole family to reveal a stack of “get out of jail free” cards, taken from a Monopoly game.  Even funnier if you could be be there when he tries to use one when he gets stopped, weaving down the road on the way home from the family party.

7)      For your pets:  What dog doesn’t love a rousing game of “fetch”?  Simply gather up a couple of sticks (not too fat), about 1-1/2 feet long, and tie them up with a jaunty, red ribbon.   For the cat, smush a page from the Sunday funnies into a ball, wrap in twine or rubber bands, and you’re ready for hours of pouncing play.  (These also make thoughtful gifts for the dog or cat lover on your list.)

With my helpful hints, a little bit of cleverness can take the place of true thoughtfulness, money and any real effort on your part.

Merry Christmas, and good luck!

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
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37 Responses to Last Minute Gift Ideas So You’re Not Ebenezer Screwed Again This Year

  1. …I am honestly considering the “get out of jail free” card idea for my brother-in-law…


  2. Frances Sullivan says:

    Still laughing. Considering all of your helpful suggestions, actually. Thanks!


  3. franhunne4u says:

    You know what will happen after the first time your offspring has been sent home with that note? Yes, exactly, the next time they write a math test the day before your offspring will behave devilish, get sent home with that note … and thus miss the test … You need really stupid kids to get away with that present.


  4. Elyse says:

    You know, this post just keeps on giving. Last year I used the library book gift suggestion. This year, I will use “the key to my heart” because I haven’t been able to figure out anything to get for my husband. Next year, would you please post what to get for co-workers on whom I palm off all my work who don’t drink or play with cheap gadgets. I’d appreciate that!


  5. Al says:

    Do I see a Peg-o-leg Industries gift catalog in your future?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s where I went wrong! Last year…I BUTTERED the toast.

    Gonna do better this time around!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dana says:

    Actually, I would like the pet’s and kid’s gifts for myself! Sorry, I haven’t been around much. I’ve been in and out of the hospital, after being diagnosed with cancer. Love to you and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


    • pegoleg says:

      Oh, Dana! I’m so sorry to hear it. How are you feeling?


      • Dana says:

        Hey, Peg, I know we went over a lot on Elyse’s blog, so I’ll try not to repeat myself. I’m tired and much weaker that I realized I’d be. Part of it is the medicine, and also I’ve had some procedures that I’m recuperating from. I am keeping my sense of tumors — I mean humor, though! 🙂 I hope that joke wasn’t too icky. I tend to use uncomfortable stuff in my silliness, lately.

        Liked by 1 person

        • pegoleg says:

          Never too icky. I have a whole post category titled “Cancer Schmancer.” I’ve done quite a bit on the topic because there has been so much of it in my family. Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it doesn’t hurt, does it?

          I hope you have a happy, blessed Christmas.


          • Dana says:

            I totally need a deck of “Because I Have Cancer” cards! If I play poker with them, can I bet tumors, instead of poker chips? ‘Cause I’ve got plenty, and sure wouldn’t mind losing a bunch of ’em! “I’ll see your brain tumor, and raise you 3 pleural tumors and a spine tumor!” I think I cold get a fold on that bet!


            • pegoleg says:

              Just the kind of thing you want to win, right?

              You used to travel around quite a bit, didn’t you? Are you fixed in one place now?

              I haven’t written about my sister in a while. She’s got a couple of new tumors and is undergoing a combo of radiation and oral chemo right now. She’s always had trouble getting those horse pills down – do they bother you, too? She’s off work during this course, and I think she feels a bit guilty about that, but the treatment can knock you down faster than the disease. I hope you’re able to take it easy and conserve your strength, and that you have a good support system of people to help you.

              Wish I could think of some great, new words, but all I got is that I’m praying for you, Dana.


              • Dana says:

                No, I’m not the traveler you’re thinking of. I actually have been taking care of my handicapped mom since my senior year of high school, so we’ve stayed in the same place forever.
                I take 4 of those pills every morning; it has to be on an empty stomach. No nausea so far, but my taste is gone* and my tongue is sensitive to texture, plus my mouth is really dry.

                *I mean I can’t taste flavors, not that I’ve started dressing like Mrs Roper! 🙂

                The thing I’m worried about most is my mom. I can’t do all things I used to for her. I was really worried about her when I went to the ER, because she couldn’t leave the house. Thankfully, I was able to get a good neighbor stay with her while waiting for the ambulance to get me. I have a couple of work friends who help us, but I’m trying to find some home care workers that will help both of us for a reasonable rate.

                Ok, sad sack alert, here! Warning! I’m about to indulge in some self-pity — cue Warren Zevon’s “Poor Poor Pitiful Me”. It might seem odd for me to admit this, but while reading your Post “Intimate Strangers”, I was actually envious of your sister for having so many people at the hospital for her. I was alone, and calling mom from my hospital room phone, to make sure she was ok.

                Ok, pity party over! *record scratch* Take off Warren, and put on Bobby Mc Ferrin!
                Here’s a little song I wrote, you might want to sing it note for note, don’t worry, be happy!
                In every life there comes some trouble, but when you worry you make it double, don’t worry, be happy!
                Wooooooooooooooooooooo Don’t worry! Woooooooo Be happy! Woooooooo

                Liked by 1 person

  8. The Cutter says:

    For #3, be careful, or else they might think they’re in a Lexus commercial where Christmas morning brings new cars in the driveway.


  9. “You haven’t done anything to get ready. You have no presents, no ideas and no money again this year. You’re basically screwed, right?”

    I must be a man because I don’t love truly spectacular pieces of expensive jewelries and schmaltzy romance. 😀 Merry Christmas Peg!


  10. elvagreen123 says:

    I’ve watched your particular Scrooge 20 times over the last two weeks, and I bought myself a purse that was on sale. After I threw away the old purse, I found out why my new purse was on sale, busted side zipper. Bah. Humbug! Have a holly, jolly Christmas, Peg!


  11. List of X says:

    If you don’t tell your pets it’s Christmas, you can fully avoid getting them anything.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. All brilliant ideas. But I just told my kids Christmas was canceled due to global warming.


  13. Little Voice says:

    Great ideas for those of us who are either too lazy or too cheap or too uncreative to think gift giving is a big deal. Gift giving is so much more fun.


  14. I’ve given so many women the key-to-my-heart over the years but more and more of my keys are electronic. Women don’t seem to find as much romance in an electronic key card, and that’s disappointing because they’re way more expensive.


  15. Damn it, I missed this and I could have done with those last minute great gift ideas too! I’ll save this post for next year, I’m sure it will be handy then. Hope you had a merry christmas peg, and I wish you a hilarious 2016!


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