If you find yourself needing a gift with no time to spare, don’t panic. There are some simple last-minute gift options that can get you through the holiday season.
The classic standby is the gift card. Instead of shoving cash in a card, show someone you know them well by getting them a gift card to a place they love or for a luxury they’d never splurge on themselves. Margaritas in Auburn has special deals on gift cards during the holiday season. “From November 13 through the end of December, if you buy $100 in Margaritas gift cards, you get a $25 bonus card,” says Margaritas shift manager Jared Lapointe. This is a great way to give yourself a treat while shopping for others, or to give someone a little extra without spending any extra money.
You can get extra-creative by giving several gift cards in the same gift. For instance, call it “A Night Out on the Town” and include gift cards to a restaurant, a movie theater,, and a coffee house or dessert spot. Great date-night dessert spot Gelato Fiasco has locations in Brunswick and South Portland. “Gift cards can be used in both locations and never expire,” says Gelato Fiasco Marketing Director Bobby Guerette. Not only will the gift recipient get to use all of the gift cards to great places, they can be used all at once to have a very memorable evening.
Do you have a friend who’s a pop culture junkie? With the gift options on iTunes, you can send someone an entire playlist of music, movies, or TV shows as a gift. They will get an email alerting them that someone’s sent them a gift, and they can go download it as soon as they want to! You can also pick up a gift card to your local Bull Moose store, which sells movies, music, and video games. That way the movie or music fan can pick out whatever they want, at new or pre-owned prices. “We have traditional gift cards as well as gift certificates made from recycled CDs,” says Bull Moose sales clerk Lucas Montoya.
If you don’t have time to bake, Grant’s Bakery in Lewiston has got you covered. They stock a ton of holiday-themed baked goods, from gingerbread men to mini-cakes frosted to look like baby snowmen. “The two days before Christmas are our busiest days of the year, and we are prepared for people to just stop in and buy stuff,” says co-owner Doug Grant. “Our European holiday cookies are a nice presentation of assorted cookies on a tray… we roast our own nuts, and a pound of fresh roasted cashews is a great gift too.” The bakery also stocks date and nut breads, pies, and other treats. “The baby snowmen and baby Santas are a big hit… they’re mini-cakes that we frost with our homemade butter cream frosting and put either a snowman or Santa face on the front,” Grant says. “Kids love them!”
If you’re on the way to a holiday party and need a host or hostess gift, pick up a poinsettia. They are traditionally associated with Christmas, and they add a festive decorative touch. “I love poinsettias, and I love giving them as gifts,” says Patti LeBlanc of Auburn. “They look nice and last a long time, plus you can pick them up on the way if you need to.” LeBlanc gets hers from Farmer Whiting’s in Auburn.
If you don’t have time to buy, make, or bake something, you can always just take a few minutes to write a sincere card to a loved one. The person will know you’re thinking of them and will feel that holiday cheer that comes from being surrounded by friends and family.