If you're reading this then you know you're way behind the 8-ball with holiday shopping. While Santa was making his list and checking it twice, you were watching Scandal and drinking gingerbread lattes. Shame on you. Now, it's less than a week until Christmas and you need to buy for everyone on your list in a very short amount of time. Can it be done? Sure. Can it be done without actually looking like you waited until the last minute? That is trickier but possible.
The key to last-minute gifting is to make it look like you thought long and hard for the perfect present. Here are seven last-minute gifts that don't look like afterthoughts. You should be able to get all of them at your local mall and in one shopping trip! Don't forget to splurge on some nice wrapping paper and gift bags (and by splurge, I mean SPLURGE). Over the top, festive wrapping gives the illusion that you really, really care -- which will hide the fact that you're really, really busy.
Patterned Infinity Scarf from Macy's
Tis the season for scarves! Lucky for you, a scarf is not the throw away gift it has been in the past. Nowadays, trendy infinity scarves are a favorite accessory for women, rather than simply winter wear. Make sure you get a fun pattern and great color -- a neutral colored wool scarf is still lame and a no-no.
Elephant Teapot from Target
Obviously you shouldn't get your dad an elephant teapot, but you also shouldn't be shopping for your dad on Christmas Eve. This teapot is a unique spin on something classic. It's cute, functional and can also be used for décor. Plus, the price is just right for last minute purchasing.
Pajama Sets from Macy's
This is the one time out of the year that pajamas are a totally acceptable and fun gift. Holiday PJ's make you think of when you were a kid and still believed in Santa. If you have to get several gifts for sisters, best friends etc., go with matching jammies. You can wear them that night and then break them out again next year. They're also the only item of clothing you can get away with getting too big (you wanted them to be extra comfy, right?).
Automatic Wine Opener from Target
Hello, lover. This is the holy grail of (inexpensive, last-minute) holiday gifts. If you're buying for a regular wine drinker or even an occasional imbiber, it's still awesome. There are several types of automatic wine openers and they work for any price range. Perfect for a hostess, a stocking stuffer or a gift for yourself after a shopping trip well done.
Luxe Throw from JCPenney
What's better than a cozy blanket on a cold winters night? Probably, a cozy blanket and a bottle of wine but, no need to go overboard here. The key to making this last minute buy amazing is to spend a little more moola for something incredibly soft. If you have an idea of the style that would match your gift recipients home, by all means go for it. If you don't, get a neutral color or simple print. If it doesn't match, don't worry. When they're not bundled up in its scrumptious warmth, they will be able to pop it in a closet.
Headphones from Best Buy
It's safe to assume that pretty much everyone uses headphones nearly everyday -- and they're usually cheap ones. Really nice headphones are one of those things people rarely buy for themselves. Last-minute gifts for men are tough to come by but shmancy earbuds are a sure thing. Plus, headphones are always getting lost or broken so there is a constant need for new ones!
Crystal Candlesticks from JCPenney
As last-minute gifts go, candles might as well come with a sign that says "I bought this today." Candlesticks on the other hand, now we're talking! Crystal candlesticks are a great gift because they go with virtually any décor and if they don't match perfectly, they can still be used for special occasions or holidays. The great part is that most big name stores offer fancy looking candlesticks at reasonable prices.
And here is how to make that gift look special:
Willow Day's crepe paper fringe can also be blinged out by using metallic paper. Find Willow Day: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Cotton and Flax teaches us how to decorate our standard wrapping paper using the art of hand stamping. You can create your own stamp with a printmaking block or save some cash and use an eraser. Find Cotton and Flax: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Neon's never been so easy. Design Sponge has an easy tutorial for brightly colored gift wrap designs using neon price tag stickers. Now that's thinking outside the box! Find Design Sponge: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest
Gold and silver are the quintessential holiday colors, so you've got to have some metallic in your gift wrap. Odessa May Society's simple metallic wrapping is truly is simple to do, and adds a little sparkle to all gifts. Find Odessa May Society: Twitter and Pinterest
Washi tape is very popular right now and it's the easiest way to jazz up your gift quickly. Poppytalk has a wonderful tutorial on washi tape wrapping. Follow these instructions and your gift won't look like just tape on paper. Find Poppytalk: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
It seems complicated but this yarn pom pom will just take you a few minutes to make. Sugar and Cloth teaches us how to make the pom poms with just cardboard, scissors, and yes, yarn. Find Sugar and Cloth: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Have you ever thought of sewing your own gift wrap... from pages from an old book? It's simpler than you may think. Head over to It's a House for details. Find It's a House: Facebook and Pinterest.
If you're an anti-bow person, the woven paper topper may be the right gift wrap idea for you. It's a unique gift topper... and a quick fix to any bad wrapping job! Head over to Mini Eco for details. Find Mini Eco: Facebook and Pinterest.
If you really want to cause a stir with your gift you can create mini Christmas tree toppers. Fellow Fellow explains how to do this in really easy, bite size steps. Find Fellow Fellow: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
No craft skills whatsoever? Hey Look is your gift wrap savior. Pop over to Hey Look for free downloads for ancor patterned gift wraps and gift tags. Print, cut, wrap. Find Hey Look: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Follow Caitlyn Becker on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@caitlynbecker