Oops... you thought you had all your shopping done for the holidays? And then... well, you got a gift from someone you had forgotten about. Or a coworker suddenly decided you were worth a plate of homemade goodies. One of the kids got invited to a Christmas party that requires a gift.
And there you are, turning your credit card over and over, contemplating yet one more shopping trip.
There is time to create quick and frugal gifts even if it's the day before Christmas.
Get one of those cardboard boxes that you keep tossing back in the garage or basement and fill it with those clothes and shoes you keep intending to give to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. A dress up box encourages imaginative play and will fill many hours of happiness for your children.
Create an art box with any smaller box you have on hand. You probably have an assortment of paper on hand. Graph paper, note paper, colored paper, wrapping paper, plain white printer paper... Look around for stickers, stamps, pencils, pens, paper punches, glue, tape, templates of various kinds. You might be surprised at what you can find. Then go to the internet and look up "coloring pages." Choose a few that are appropriate for your kids and print them.
Baskets, baskets, baskets. You probably have one or two, but if you don't decorate a box. Fill it with whatever she likes, from food to yarn to stories printed from the internet. Add a pouch of instant cocoa or coffee and a mug, or look in your own stash for things you haven't used that she would like.
Start a slip from one of your own houseplants. If it has to be rooted, present it tied in a plastic bag of water and set in a cup or pretty little planter. Add a pouch of potting mix if you have it on hand.
For a single man, homemade bread with butter and jelly included in fancy containers; 'instant soup' - your own homemade dehydrated vegetables mixed with bouillon. Tear jerky into small bits and add to the mixture if you have it.
A handmade gift certificate for whatever he now pays for - washing the car, mowing the lawn, shoveling the sidewalk. Make sure it's something you can carry through on!
You don't have to buy a gift brand new for it to be appreciated. Look around. A 'first edition' of a favorite book or an old picture of a special place or person can mean more than a gift you spent a fortune on.
Save your money and your sanity.