Gift Ideas For The Holidays, Birthdays and More!
Now that you are a parent you might find it harder to shop for friends and relatives throughout the year whether there is a birthday coming up, or the busy holiday season. Maybe after your first baby it was still easy, but now that you are on baby two, three or more you are finding it hard to simply find time for yourself, much less time to shop for others. Unfortunately, just because you don’t have time, it doesn’t mean that the holidays will wait. That brings up the question, how do you spend the least amount of time and get the most quality out of your gift purchases once you have little ones at home you are taking care of?
Photographs of your child, your children, or your whole family are great gifts for family and friends. Many members of the family, like grandparents, will be happy with ONLY receiving a picture of their grandkids. You can buy inexpensive picture packages at places like Sears and Target, or take your own pictures and go to Clark Photos to print out the quantity and sizes that you want.
Mugs, Calendars and More!
Expanding a bit on the “photography” theme you can have items made to give as gifts with your favorite picture on them. Family members will love a calendar that has a new picture of their grandchild, niece or nephew on it every time they turn the page. A mouse pad would be a great gift for the family computer guru or for dad to take to the office with him. These items can all be bought online and shipped to your house, sometimes already gift wrapped making your job that much easier.
Pictures aren’t the only great holiday gift! Who doesn’t like a gift card allowing them to eat out, or go to their favorite store and buy whatever they want. If you have a set amount you are going to spend on each family member, or household, you can go down to the mall, stop in one store and buy gift cards for everyone from that store. Or you can go to a nearby restaurant and buy a gift card from there, treating your family to a night out, and the wives to a night off at the same time.
Scam Alert! Some clever thieves have figured out that they can take gift cards off of store racks and copy down the serial numbers. Days later, they check to see if it’s been purchased, and if yes, will go on a shopping spree from the store’s website. By the time Christmas rolls around, all the money has already been spent. To avoid this, always make sure that all or part of the identification number is hidden behind a “scratch off” (similar to a lottery ticket) so a would-be thief isn’t able to copy the information from the gift card.
One thing that few people think of, but that is really a good idea and can be a lot of fun is scratch off lottery tickets given as gifts. My uncle used to buy everyone 5-10 scratch off lottery tickets for Christmas. If you won on your ticket you could either give it back to him and he would give you another one, or you could keep it and cash it in. As kids it was fun to scratch these off, even if you seldom won. However, occasionally someone would win $1 on a ticket, “sell” it back to my uncle for another ticket, where they would scratch and win as much as $100. Even though we knew what we were getting for Christmas from him, the element of surprise and excitement was always there.
Home Baked Goods
Who doesn’t like homemade cookies and pies? Homemade fudge, with and without nuts is always a big hit as well! For those that are low on money, or don’t have the time to run around outside of the house picking up presents, a good shopping list, successful grocery store run, and good time management skills can come in handy when it comes time to give someone a gift. Homemade goodies can be made throughout the day at your leisure, during nap times and after your baby goes to bed at night. Many items, like cookies, can be made weeks in advance and frozen till the big day, giving you a lot of time to get ready for the holidays.
Just because you have a new baby doesn’t mean that you have to forget about the holidays or not give gifts because of lack of time. With all the internet, pictures, gift cards and one stop shops that are available to consumers today, you can still have a great and successful holiday season and impress your loved ones with your gift ideas. Most families are more concerned with the quality and meaning behind a gift than they are the cost of a gift, making even the inexpensive choices some of the best ideas and most loved gifts of the year.