Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Parents


During the hectic holiday season, it's a challenge to complete Christmas shopping in time for the big day. If you suddenly find you've run out of time to shop, it doesn't mean you can't still give a great gift. Even if it's Christmas morning, it is possible to come up with a gift for Mom and Dad.

E-mail Gift Certificate

  • It's not necessary to visit your parent's favorite retailer to pick up a gift certificate. Many discount department and gift stores offer gift cards from other major retail chains. It is also possible to purchase and deliver a gift certificate without ever leaving your house. Purchase a gift certificate directly from the retailer by visiting its company Web site. Many companies offer to send a gift certificate e-mail directly to the recipient, often the same day. This means you can order the certificate and have it delivered that afternoon. To take advantage of this service, your parents will need to have an e-mail account.

Photo Portrait

  • When you want to give a homemade gift to your parents yet have run out of time, you can create one with a digital camera, photo paper, and a computer and printer. Have a friend take your photo with a series of quick, candid-like snapshots using the digital camera. Or go outside in the garden, during the morning or late afternoon, for another good setting. Download the images to your computer and print out the best one to frame for your parents. Recycle a frame you are no longer using, or purchase a new one.

Gift Promises

  • Give your parents a gift certificate promising to do something. In some instances, the gift promise goes unfulfilled; a nice thought yet one that never materializes. To show your sincerity at completing the task, make a quick stop to the store to pick up some items to help you complete the gift. If the promise is for a homemade spaghetti dinner, purchase the non-perishable items to make the meal, and wrap them up with the gift certificate. For a promise to take your parents on a beach outing, gift wrap a couple of new beach towels and sunscreen.

Custom Gourmet Basket

  • Create a custom gift basket filled with your parent's favorite culinary treats. The most challenging aspect of this gift is obtaining a basket at the last minute. You may already have an extra basket at home, or you can purchase one at a discount store. Once you've located a basket, line the bottom with scrunched up tissue paper, preferably in red and green. Stop at the grocery store and look for items your parents enjoy yet don't normally purchase on a regular trip to the supermarket, such as cans of crab or shrimp. Select boxes of gourmet candy, cookies or other delicacies you know your parents enjoy. The object is to create a basket with your parents' personal taste in mind, as opposed to purchasing a pre-prepared, generic gift basket.

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  • Photo Credit christmas presents under christmas tree image by Maria Brzostowska from
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