Last minute shopping gifts? Here are 10 ideas

If you’re stuck with a last minute present to buy. Here are 10 gift ideas. Most are quick and easy. Some of them don’t require that you leave your house.

Two suggestions can be found at your local grocery store. No, you don’t have to cook.

For a couple of them, all you need is a phone, the internet to find telephone numbers and your credit card.

1. A journal with plain pages. Add a pen, a pencil, a box of colored pencils, glue stick and tape in a zip lock bag. If you can find a journal with a plain colored cover with no designs, pick that one.

The idea is for the traveler’s own thoughts to fill the pages without any suggestions. The pencils say, “Create.” The tape and glue stick is for the traveler to affix any interesting item he or she picks up along the way. Ticket stubs, interesting food wrapper, a leaf, etc. . .

2. An Entertainment Coupon Book– I am so fond of these books. Buy one for your family members to get them to travel in their own city. There are restaurant deals as well as deals on admission prices to various attractions and buy one get one free tickets to certain cultural shows. Leafing through the pages is a trip of future possibilities.

My son and I just saw BalletMet Columbus’s version of The Nutcracker for half price this past Tuesday. For two excellent seats towards the back of the orchestra, I paid $32. When we head up to Cleveland, we take my husband’s parents’ book with us to the West Side Market, a food mecca that’s been around since 1902 . We’ve run into other Entertainment Book holders while standing in line at Dohar Meats, one of the many vendors with coupons in the Cleveland area book.

3. Matt Harding’s book, “Where the Hell is Matt? Dancing Badly Around the World” Harding’s book tells the story of the behind the scenes of his Where the Hell is Matt videos when he danced his silly, simple dance around the world and eventually, people danced with him. It’s moving and funny and makes one think that this is a guy one would like as a friend. Plus, Harding’s version of the world is perfect for a New Year of good cheer.

4. A gift basket you put together with local foods from your state. Think jams, jellies, sauces, chips, candy, pasta, beverages–anything and everything. Call your basket a “Taste trip of ……..” and fill in the name of the state. You can make up your own label. You don’t need to artfully make a basket either. Get a gift bag, wrap items in tissue paper and you’re done.

5. A gift basket of foods around the world. Head to the grocery store and buy an item from as many countries as you can think of. Use # 4 as a guide. This can be a “Bringing the World to You” sort of gift.

6. A gift card to a movie theater and a list of movie suggestions for what to see. With the wealth of movies being released this season, a movie gift card is perfect for offering a travel opportunity to someone through the big screen. Along with your list, add details about where each movie will take the audience.

7. Money for an oil and filter change. For people who have about everything on the planet, wouldn’t this be useful? You could add a funny item for the dashboard or a funky air freshener for the rear view mirror.

8. A membership to a museum or a zoo. Call the museum and purchase a membership for someone. I bought a membership for my dad to the New York Historical Society this way. For families, this is a great gift.

9. Dinner out. You can call a restaurant to order a gift card in someones name if you don’t have time to pick it up or live in the same city. We did this for a friend of ours wedding present.

10. A night in a hotel or at a bed and breakfast. Give someone the gift of a night away from home. The hotel could even be where the person lives. Staying in a hotel in the town where one lives is a great way for a fresh view in the New Year.