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20 super last-minute holiday gifts for almost anyone

Christmas comes faster than most of us realize, especially for those with busy careers. OK, maybe December creeps along slower than eager children may desire, as they open the daily doors on their Advent calendars. But for grownups with full schedules and lengthy holiday gift recipient lists, the month seems to zip by all too quickly.

If you haven’t finished your holiday shopping or crafting, or if you have run out of time before you have reached the end of Santa’s “Nice List,” you might consider these last-minute gift ideas. Most of these items are suitable for just about anyone – even colleagues, customers, or bosses.

NOTE: Written by this author, this copyrighted material originally appeared on another publisher’s site. That site no longer exists. This author holds all rights to this content. No republication is allowed without permission.

20 super last-minute holiday gifts for almost anyone.

  1. Baked goods – homemade or store-bought
  2. Bath products – bath salts, body washes, brushes, bubble baths, loofahs, or soaps
  3. Books – especially holiday books, gift books, or current bestsellers
  4. Candles – scented jar candles, pillars, tapers, tea lights, or votives
  5. Candy – chocolates, giant candy canes, mints, or truffles
  6. Gift cards – for music downloads, movies, popular stores, restaurants, or websites.
  7. Gift wrapping supplies – brand-new gift bags, wrapping paper, ribbons and bows
  8. Gourmet foods – jams, nuts, olive oils, pepper sauces, sundae toppings
  9. Holiday decorations – candle holders, placemats, tablecloths, tree toppers, wreaths
  10. Holiday music – CD compilations
  11. Houseplants – live or silk
  12. Mittens – fuzzy mitts or leather gloves
  13. Ornaments – handcrafted or purchased collectibles
  14. Party goods – holiday-themed paper cups, plates, napkins
  15. Picture frames – various sizes with or without snapshots
  16. Plush pets – child-friendly stuffed animal toys
  17. Pot pourri – favorite scents
  18. Scarves – silk or warm and woolly
  19. Socks – fun prints or winter-worthy
  20. Writing papers – casual note cards or formal stationary

Plenty of holiday celebrants and party hosts keep secret supplies of these sorts of gifts on-hand, just in case they need last-minute presents to offer to unexpected drop-ins or to reciprocate to gift-givers they has not anticipated. That way, they can toss choice items in pretty gift bags and be Santas-on-the-spot with a few last-minute gifts that don’t appear to be last-minute at all.

Adapted from public domain image.

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Ever work on Thanksgiving?

Did you ever have to work on Thanksgiving? Did you miss the feast, or simply scurry away immediately afterwards?

Emergency response professionals, police officers, hospital workers, utility experts, and others routinely work on holidays, keeping daily life running for the rest of us. Pizza deliverers, gas station attendants, and lots of fast food workers don’t skip for the day, either.

What about retail?

Plenty of people are complaining about popular stores that are opening on Thanksgiving Day (or Thanksgiving night) to get a jump on the Black Friday shopping frenzy. Some even call for customers to boycott major retailers that expect their employees to report to work on this family-focused holiday.

Sure, we understand that lots of these employers offer holiday/overtime pay (or bonuses) for those who punch in on Thanksgiving. And lots of workers seem to say they are willing to forgo dishwasher duties at home (or at Grandma’s house) and head off to their jobs instead. Scores of sales clerks, cashiers, and stockroom staffers will work through the night, keeping customers happy and store shelves filled for the Black Friday stretch.

Like it or not, maybe we all have to face the fact that Thanksgiving duty is becoming a norm for retail staffs. 

But how about corporate 9-to-5’ers?

Should business professionals and office workers be called in on Thanksgiving?

Here’s an example. Not so many years ago, I was working as a public relations executive for a large Midwest manufacturing company. Part of my responsibilities included writing speeches for the chief executive officer, who was (Gotta say it.) a bit of a blowhard. OK, he was a real turkey.

The guy called me at home on Thanksgiving morning and demanded that I show up at the office to work through a section of his upcoming presentation for the board of directors. The meeting was still two weeks out.

Is he kidding? I thought.

I spent a more than a few holiday hours, tweaking phrases and editing visuals (with the graphics pros, who were also tagged for the day). Then I dashed off to my in-laws’ for some cold turkey and more than one cold shoulder. And, as a salaried employee, I received no benefit from the effort, except meeting one more unrealistic expectation from the boorish boss.

Is holiday work a fair demand? Maybe it depends on the job. In the very least, perhaps it ought to be spelled out ahead of time, if it is to be required.

Adapted from public domain image.

Feel free to follow on Google+ and Twitter. Please visit my Amazon author page as well.
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