Thanks for tuning in for part #2. If you missed part #1, go here first. Thank you for your patronage.
4. As I mentioned in earlier gift posts, gift cards are pretty lame, overall. But if you're out of time, sometimes it's the only thing you can do. In this case, consider something out of the ordinary. Target & Amazon are really fun, sure, but not especially memorable. I mean, I've appreciated every gift card I've ever received, but I don't remember what I bought with hardly any of them. Consider Sock Dreams, who will e-mail your gift card to your recipient. On the other end of the spectrum, consider an Ax-Man gift card. I'm not sure if they even sell gift cards, but Tenessa once gave me a fancy handwritten slip of paper that said she'd buy me $25 worth of stuff from Ax-man. This meant we got to go together (and do you have ANY IDEA what $25 will buy at Ax-man?) and share the joy. So, so much joy.
3. Perhaps you're broke, or trying to save up for rhinoplasty, or just don't know where you put your wallet. That's okay. Look around your house and find something your recipient would enjoy. Now, I'm not talking about cleaning out your dryer's lint trap for your sister, here, unless she's really into that. But perhaps she has always loved your silver dollar key chain, or has never read your favorite novel. There is nothing wrong with a used gift, especially if it is well loved by all parties. Be careful to avoid lovingly used items such as toothbrushes or panties, though. Wait...it depends on the recipient again. Never mind.
2. Consider simplicity. My friend Joel used to (and may still...we haven't talked about this in awhile) go to a bookstore on December 23rd or 24th and do all his shopping in one afternoon. I adore this idea: any decent bookstore will hold all kinds of inspiration and something for everyone on your list.
1. Go big or go home. This can create all kinds of awkwardness, but really, isn't that what the holidays are all about? Scrimp and save all year and/or take out a new credit card and buy ridiculously extravagant gifts for everyone on your list. Trips are almost always breathtaking, for example, and couldn't your mail carrier use a week in Vegas? Your mother-in-law may only buy you socks and underwear every year, but that doesn't mean you can't get her a 300 carat sapphire pendant that makes that Titanic necklace look quaint. It may raise eyebrows, but I guarantee she'll never forget this Christmas.
Time's a-wasting, people. Get to work, get your gifts done, and then eat some cookies and drink some 'nog. May your gift giving be even more rewarding than your gift receiving.