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Pulling Together Last Minute Gifts

gingerbread cookies on a baking rack

Planning gifts for the special people in your life can be one of the most fun parts of the holiday season; gifts are often physical tokens of our appreciation and love.

However, this celebration of giving dances dangerously close to finals. While your mom would forgive you for foregoing department store shopping in favor of cramming for your final, everyone appreciates gifts that go the extra mile.

If you are really in a pinch, like you planned to exchange this gift in an hour pinch, there are a few generic gifts that work for everyone.

Make sure to include a card with some kind words to give your gift a personal touch. Easy feminine gifts are lip balms, nail polish in their favorite color, or wintertime accessories like scarves and gloves.

Cool lighters, wallets, or a watch if you are willing to spring for it, can make nice gifts for the special guys in your life.

Gender neutral gifts include movies, technology accessories, or gag gifts.

Treats:

Another easy to make gift is one you can eat. The holidays are associated with a myriad of sweet treats that are easy to make.

Chocolate covered pretzels can be made in under a half hour: store bought pretzel rods, melted baker’s chocolate, and sprinkles for decoration.

Sugar cookies and gingersnaps are simple to bake as well. Homemade chocolates take a little extra skill, but come out absolutely delicious!

Eggnog Snickerdoodles:

  1. Whisk together 1 cup flour, 3/4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp salt.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup eggnog, and 1 tsp vanilla. Stir in 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Add the flour mixture and stir until barely incorporated.
  3. Chill dough for 30 minutes. Roll cookie balls in sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake for 9-12 minutes at 350 degrees and let cool.

DIY:

The DIY, or do-it-yourself, trend has been popular for the past few years. Here are a few suggestions handpicked from Pinterest:

A homemade fort kit. This basket brings its recipient back to their past, and is complete with a clothesline, clothespins, sheets, and a flashlight.

Sharpie anything you want onto a ceramic mug. These can range from a simple illustration, your giftee’s initials or lines from an inside joke. Bake your mug for two hours at 350 degrees to set the ink, and take care when washing.

Make your own bookends. Begin by picking out small figurines representative of your decor style and personality. For example, animals from the dollar store or dollar section of Target work well. Spray paint them a bold or metallic color. Find two large rocks from outside and glue your figurines on top of them. Let the bookends dry for a few hours, and you have an incredibly personal and handmade gift.

DIY Sharpie Mugs

  1. Gather Sharpies and mugs with cheap glaze
  2. Draw designs with colorful Sharpies
  3. Bake two hours at 350 degrees