Wait, Christmas is just a week away?

Christmas is one week away, are you ready? You know the basic fall back items – books, clothes (please know correct sizes), scarfs, jewelry and even fruitcake. You still have plenty of time to buy and ship presents so gift cards, downloadable gifts and online subscriptions aren’t the only options. Here are a few suggestions if you’re stuck:

Handmade – Time may not be on your side, but nothing says you care about someone as much as a homemade gift and there are tons of options – food, ornaments, cocoa/dessert mixes in a jar or bag, even coupons. This gift is really as fun and imaginative as you let yourself be. To spruce it up, use high-gloss paper and some of your photos.

Take in a show – With the variety of theaters and music venues around us, why not buy tickets to an upcoming show (or a gift certificate if nothing strikes your fancy.) Most venues provide online ticket purchase, so pick out some seats and then wrap up a copy of the show’s CD with a print out of the tickets. If you can’t find the show’s CD, most are available from iTunes.

Movie night – Instead of battling the crowds and packed malls, create a fun night in with a huge bucket of microwave-ready popcorn, soda bottles, large boxes of candy and a movie. If you aren’t sure of what DVD or Blu Ray they might like, give them a subscription to Netflix or another online movie subscription. A bottle of wine can also replace the soda for adult recipients.

Coffee bar – Have a friend addicted to java? Help them out by giving them a coffee bar at home. Start by picking up some different flavors of coffee beans at any of the local stores. Then pick up some different flavors of sugars. Top it off by picking up some flavored syrups from a coffee shop or grocery store. Let your friends have their own coffee shop in their own kitchens.

Week of restaurants – Forget the “12 Days of Christmas” and try a week of new restaurants. We all get stuck in a rut and become too comfortable with the same restaurants and menus. With so many options in Hamilton County and Indianapolis (and more opening all the time), pick a week in January and map out seven restaurants neither you nor your recipient have ever tried. Look for a variety and ones that are close to home so you can easily go back. If your schedule is too busy, pick a day and then go weekly for two months.

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