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Last-minute Christmas gift ideas

Easy, Cheap Last-Minute Gift Ideas

It's the last day before Christmas, and if you've finished shopping, congratulations—you're one of those enviably organized people that everyone else secretly resents just a tiny bit. Kidding, kidding. But if you still have a few folks left on your list, don't panic—I've got a few last-minute gift ideas that don't cost a fortune. Better yet, you won't need to deal with crowds to pull it all together.

It almost goes without saying, but a spa or salon gift certificate is an easy choice. Local spas and salons can whip up a certificate for you on the spot, and some can even e-mail a certificate. Check out my shopping guide so you avoid any faux pas in giving such a gift.

For four quick and simple suggestions that cost less than $20,


Forget about hitting the mall, mega-mart or Main Street today. The crowds are likely to be wackier than Phyllis Diller after a three-martini lunch. Instead, head to your local drugstore (and get bonus points if it's a 24-hour joint). Here are three quick, inexpensive and fun grooming gifts that you can pull together within 10 minutes at Walgreens.

Nail it down Create an at-home manicure set. Choose a simple base coat, a couple of shades of nail polish, a nail file, and a hand cream. Roll it all up in a simple white dish towel—they're always inexpensive—and secure it with a festive ribbon. Simple and fun.

Start off on the right foot Can Dr. Scholl's be a fun gift? Actually, yes. The good doctor's well-priced pedicure products for women are surprisingly cute-looking. Pick up a foot cream, a nail buffer, a rasp for rough calluses, and a bath fizzy. You could toss it in a stocking, or if you really want to be complete, arrange the products in a dish pan (which can be used as a foot soaking tub).

For the anti-metrosexual dude Skip the cologne aisle and head straight to the shaving aisle. Find the fanciest shaving cream there, pick up a new Mach 3 razor, and toss a container of face cream in the cart. (Neutrogena has a great men's line with guy-friendly packaging.) It's no-fuss, but he'll use it.

Get fruity If you have a friend who's crazy about a particular fruit, scour the drugstore for anything related to it. For instance, if your friend loves cherries, you could get her cherry Chapstick, Revlon Cherries in the Snow lipstick, cherry-scented soap, a red or pink bath sponge, and a bag of cherry Jolly Ranchers. Yeah, it's a little goofy, but c'mon, it's the eleventh hour—goofy is sometimes what you get.


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