Here at The Annual we understand the struggle of gift shopping. It’s nearly Christmas eve and you just remembered that second cousin you never bought a gift for. To make matters worse, this is the one year they’re actually flying in from Minnesota in time for Christmas. Luckily, we have comprised the following list of last minute gift ideas for the cousin, great-grandma, or the racist uncle you might have forgotten.
That disappointing book you’ve had on your shelf for 2+ years.
While books can be a kind and thoughtful gift, they’re a lot less so when it’s less about which authors would pique your sister’s interests and more about the fact that you have to have something to hand her on Christmas Eve. Go ahead and grab that dust-coated, crease-ridden copy of Twilight and toss it in a bag! Lisa may not be much of an avid reader but who gives a shit! One down, five to go!
Rare dinosaur fossils
Okay, not a real dinosaur fossil. Look around your parents house or your grandpa’s toolshed, you’re bound to find a large rock. Take the rock and a good chisel (surely your relatives have a half-decent one somewhere) and carve a footprint onto the rock. Once you are satisfied with your homemade dinosaur print, google “Dinosaur Fossil Certificate of Authenticity” and print out the first image that shows up. Done and done.
That unwatched copy of
Rudolf The Rednosed Reindeer
This DVD sits on your shelf for 11 months out of the year and even when Christmas time rolls around, you only watch it on ABC family. There’s technically no reason for you to own the movie, so why not gift it? It’s a great way to say “I’m keenly aware of the holiday we are about to celebrate.”
A new pair of leggings
Well, not new-new. Okay, okay, they’re the ones you bought for $10 on Black Friday. But you only wore them once; they were a little tight in the thighs and while I respect your bold attempt to try something new, plum really isn’t your color. Instead of returning them (will Macy’s take these back if the the tags have been ripped off?), just gift them! Your sister can probably pull them off and if not, she can return them. I’m sure they’ll take them back without a problem or whatever!
Sunglasses seem like such a summer thing, but the sun still comes out in the winter. If it ain’t snowing you’re still getting blinded as sun sets during your mid-afternoon drive home from work. Could you be any more thoughtful?
If you’re buying a gift now you probably don’t care too much for this person so let’s be upfront and say, you don’t need to purchase an actual hamster. Hamsters and mice are very similar and every pet store is bound to have a surplus of cheap mice listed as “feeder mice.” These mice are meant to be sold as snake food, but trust a former pet store employee, aside from the $3 price increase, there’s no difference between that and a pet mouse. Pick a nice fat feeder mouse and no one will doubt it’s a hamster.
Offer to pay for lunch
You’re only in town for a few days, people want to spend time with you but you’ve also got a group of high school pals to catch up with and Jessica is only available on Saturday. Pick a nice restaurant, a nice chain restaurant (most likely Olive Garden), and offer to take a select group of relatives with you. It’s pricier than most gifts but it’ll save the stress that compelled you to google “Last Minute Gifts” in the first place. You can even save a few bucks by filling up on breadsticks before it’s time to order.
A framed family photo
If you’re in a real pinch, pull up your Aunt’s facebook and find the most recent family photo shared on her page. Download that noise, make it black & white, download a 30-day free trial of Photoshop, add a nice brush filter to it and send that shit over to Walgreens. Make sure you get a glossy finish. Then head to Michaels for their perpetual 40% off picture frame sale for the ultimate Holiday Gift mic-drop.
A gift card
If books, pants, and pets are not at your immediate, last-minute disposal, then fret not. For god’s sakes, get them a gift card. Yeah, sure, it’s a cop-out. It’s cutting corners. But everybody likes things. And gift cards buy things!!!
Just remember the golden rule of gift-giving: The receiver is generally required to smile and act appreciative of your gift whether they sincerely liked it or not.
–Kevin Cole & Christine McQuaid