The last Saturday before Christmas-of course I am not ready. We went over to my parents toting a tree & outdoor decorations-they are 84 & my Dad needs a knee replacement so they were not up to decorating. By the time we left the tree was decroated and wreathes were hung and garland surrounded the door. Time for a quick bite & some last minute shopping. Here are some ideas I came up with for those last minute gifts.
Last Minute Gift Ideas
Italian Dinner in a Basket
I can shop almost anywhere! A quick trip to the grocery store turned into Christmas shopping & I checked one more name off the list. Here is what I purchased to make an
Italian Dinner in a basket for friends of mine who both work with limited time to cook.
4 jars of gourmet-style pasta sauce
Assorted pastas: linguini, fettuccini, ziti, penne-get creative & choose some spinach, tomato basil or whole wheat varieties
Parmesan & Romano cheese
A jar of minced garlic
Salad Dressing-red wine vinaigrette
Cooking Spray-olive oil
Peppercorns in a self-contained grinder
Whole Grain Crackers
I bought a red check tea towel to line the basket and arranged the ingredients. I also put in a bottle of red wine, a package of my pesto mix and a quick bread mix. Wrapped it all in cellophane and tied it with a raffia bow & wooden spoon. I collect baskets through out the year at yard sales & thrift stores. If you don’t have one on hand a quick trip to your local dollar store should yield a serviceable container. Another great container for this gift would be a big, ceramic pasta bowl. Nothing in this basket is perishable & doesn’t require refrigeration.
Christmas in a Basket-Know someone who is celebrating their first Christmas? Give them a basket full of ornaments to decorate their tree. I went to my local dollar store & found some lovely ornaments for $1.00 each. Just as pretty as the department & craft stores were selling! I included a box of ornament hangers, a box of popcorn-(to string for the tree or to munch on while decorating), a tin of cocoa mix, a bag of mini marshmallows, two mugs & a box of pirouette cookies-yes at the dollar store!
Holiday Housekeeping Basket-My cousins gave me this basket as a thank you gift when they came to stay for Thanksgiving. It was everything I needed for a houseful of guests right at my finger tips! The basket included dish soap, hand soap, counter spray, Laundry detergent & softener, rubber gloves, sponges & scrubber & room spray all packed into a lovely sea grass laundry basket. All the products were geranium scented by Mrs. Meyers. It has a delightful fresh smell that wafts through the house when you are doing laundry. I am now “hooked” and won’t buy anything else. The fragrance was so perfect for me because it smells just like my house when I am drying scented geranium leaves in my oven. They also make a Lemon Verbena, Lavender, & gingerbread fragrance that are just heavenly. Check your local grocery store or look them up on line.
Tea Lover’s Basket-All the ingredients for this basket can come from the grocery store as well. I purchased mugs, assorted teas, cookies, & candies. You can take this a step further with a stop at a gourmet store & add a tea cozy, spoon rests, unrefined sugar, & tea bag squeezers. I popped into a favorite antique mall to pick up lacey linens & silver tea spoons. I placed all my goodies on an elegant silver plated tray & wrapped it with a yard of netting I bought at the fabric store. You could use the same “formula” for the coffee lover on your list too!
For The Gardener-As I so love a garden, this one was easy for me. I went to my local garden center, Home Depot or Lowe’s will do too & purchased a pair of sturdy, comfortable work gloves, several bags of assorted spring bulbs, Miracle Grow, Bone Meal, some essential hand tools with padded grips, some plant markers, & knee pads. This basket is easy to get carried away with-you could add a garden ornament, wind chimes, garden statuary, watering can, etc. I put everything into a brightly colored plastic tub tied with raffia & a garden-themed ornament for the tree.