The random Christmas gift guide.

Every year we always ask ourselves, what the heck should I get so and so for Christmas. Most people take joy in Christmas shopping but I for one dread it.  I want to get it over with and at the same time do a decent job at it. I always start early, well before the busy season.  Sure the sales start after “Black Friday” but I’d be willing to pay a little more if I can finish shopping by early December. Of course balancing your budget can always be tricky too…

Here’s a few ideas for you guys that you can take advantage of.  Or maybe it’ll get the creative juices flowing in your heads.  In any case, Christmas is 15 days away so I hope you’re either done or about to finish your shopping.  Sometimes, availability is an issue or just plain logistics.  Since we’re on a rock here in Hawaii, if you order online a lot of things come from yonder lands so better do it soon.

Personalized read-along books.
I’m sure a bunch of you have little kids to shop for whether it’s your nephews, nieces, little cousins, friend’s kids, etc. Here’s an idea that could work. You’ll have to get some help. Go to the Hallmark website and personalize a read-along book.  Convince their mom or maybe even their grandma to play along and they can have a read-along book with the voice of whomever immortalized in this book.

Personalized stamps.
If you’ve got loved ones or those with pets, this is also a neat idea. They are mail friendly, but unfortunately, once you’ve used them all they’re gone. But the thought is pretty cool. Check out stamps.com.

Dog leash with LED light & poop bag dispenser.
Inexpensive great idea for dog owners. Check it out. You can buy it online or I’ve seen it at Bed, Bath & Beyond.
Blu Ray Disc Player.
Sure the logical easy choice is to get a PS3 which can support online video gaming, video games, Netflix streaming and Blu Ray/DVD discs.  However, if you’re on a budget, throwing out the $200 may be a difficult feat.  Try picking up a economical version at such places like Walmart, Costco or Target.  You can always order one from Amazon.com especially if they have the “Free Super Saver Shipper” option.

Tassimo robotic coffee brew master.
If you can splurge a little, get a Tassimo robot coffee maker. Coffee lovers will thank you.

Angry Birds.
The Angry Birds game is hugely popular and I find it hard to imagine that there are a lot of kids who don’t know what that is.  So why not get them their very own Angry Bird character plush toy?  Just go to the Rovio website and pick one up.

Flip Video.
Now that vlogging and YouTube are such a big hit, it may be time to get your special someone a Flip Video.  The best part about?  Now you can customize your very own video player to whatever design you like.

Jlist.
Got this girlfriends that love those “cutesy” crap like Totoro, Hello Kitty, Rillakuma or Domo-kun?  Check out jlist.com for a lot of cool swag that would make them happy.

Zazzle.
Whether it’s a brand-name or something you can make yourself. Hit up Zazzle.com for some cool gift ideas.  Especially for the kids.  Sure toys are so easy to get…which is why I neglected those kinds of things on this list.  But hey if your 9-year old sister is the only kid in her class with a Domo-kun personalized shirt….you know she’d rock it as much as she could.

iRobot vacuum cleaner.
Know someone that lazy or who just doesn’t have time for household chores.  Have no fear, check out this gem of a house cleaner.

Progressive gifts.
Sometimes when you’re on a budget you gotta get creative. Especially for multiple stocking stuffers or gifts for couples.  There are a couple of things you could do to minimize your expenses but at the same time give the impression that you took a lot of time and thought into the gifts.  The perceived value can also be pretty high.

One thing I like doing for couples is to build an experience.  Buy a box of microwaveable popcorn, kettle corn is always best.  Then hit a store like Walmart or even shop on Amazon and ravage the budget DVD section.  I like grabbing a lot of 80’s movies b/c that’s my generation and you can make an “80’s night.”  Recycle some of those gift baskets you got and wrap the popcorn and a couple of DVD’s and hand ’em out to couples.  You can make more than one basket.  Not only have you created an inexpensive creative gift, you’ve given the couple a chance to spend time together and build the experience.

One that same line, you can also buy an inexpensive pasta cook book, a pasta container and a box of pasta & marinara sauce and give that away.  You can thing of other dishes the couple can make and work from there.

Just think of ways you can build an experience for the couples and give it some sentimental value if you can.  Heck, go buy a water proof camera and some inexpensive diving fins/mask so the couple can spend a beach day together.  Stuff like that always goes a long way.

Anyway, I left you off with those ideas so you can get creative.  Remember, blowing money doesn’t always means those are the best gifts…although it definitely is nice 🙂  Good luck and happy shopping.

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