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Last minute ideas turn even most unprepared into seasoned gift giver
last minute gifts
To whip together a quick gift for a friend, grab the nearest mason jar for hot chocolate in a jar. - photo by Photo Contributed

It’s a week before Christmas. You’re sitting at home, basking in the glow of your festively trimmed tree, sipping on your third glass of eggnog.


Everything’s perfect — until you realize you forgot to get a present for your overly enthusiastic coworker who you know will definitely be expecting a gift at the company Christmas party.


No need to drop the eggnog. Whether it’s a coworker you share a cubicle with at the office, significant other, overbearing mother-in-law or estranged cousin you forgot to shop for this year, there are a myriad of last-minute Christmas gift ideas to throw together before the big day.


To whip together a quick gift for a friend, grab the nearest mason jar for hot chocolate in a jar. Start off with ¼ cup powdered milk, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ cup sugar and ½ cup chocolate chips. If you want peppermint hot chocolate, add ½ cup crushed candy cane bits. For toffee hot chocolate, add ½ cup crushed toffee. Just don’t forget to top off each mason jar with marshmallows and a festive bow to pull the entire gift together. If they had a stressful week, go ahead and attach a mini bottle of whiskey or rum for the perfect mug of adult hot chocolate.


Whether you’ve been with your significant other for two days or two decades, Christmas is a wonderful time to show them how special they are to you -- and what better way to show them than with pictures and little reminders of the time you have spent together? Head to your nearest photo center where you can print out photos for just about the amount of spare change you can find in your coat pockets or car. If you’re short on time, simply insert them in a festive photo album. If you have more time, however, don’t hold back and put together a scrapbook complete with photos, love notes and tiny mementos.


If you forgot to shop for an entire family, whether it’s your own or the friendly neighbors down the street, gift them a movie night in a box. Start off with a popcorn bucket and fill it with popular movie titles from this year, such as “Finding Dory,” “Ghostbusters” or “Star Trek Beyond,” and all of the fixings for the perfect night-in: microwaveable kettle corn or popcorn, bottled soda, and boxes of theatre candy. Throw in a couple board game classics like Monopoly, Candyland or Clue if you want to transform their movie night into a game night as well.


Maybe in the frenzy of holiday shopping, you also neglected to get your coworker a gift. Avoid an awkward moment at your company’s Christmas party by first purchasing a plain white coffee mug from the dollar store and some permanent markers. Use the pens to write an inspirational quote to get them through the toughest of work weeks or a funny slogan to make them smile and then bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees to set. If you want to add another unique touch to each mug, add glitter with the help of Mod Podge or give them a marbled effect by dipping them in water and nail polish.


So before you run to the store to grab the nearest fruitcake, give these last minute Christmas gift ideas a try. And remember — if all else fails, there’s always a gift card.