It's the beginning of December, which means that if you don't start quickly, you can drag down the corridor of a CVS on December 24, wondering which of your closest and sweetest scented candles and which ones turn their nose at them. But with a little planning and imagination you can give gifts that rock – and don't break the bank. All you need is a little thought … and your smartphone.
Let's face it, we all spend too much time taking pictures with our phones, instead of living right now. But you can take advantage of it with Chatbooks, a service that converts your smartphone photos into books cheaply and easily. Simply download the Chatbook app on your iPhone or Android, select the desired product and choose photos from your camera roll. Books range from $ 10 (6 x 6 inch soft cover) to $ 20 (8 x 8 inch hard cover) and come with 30 pages. Extra pages are 20 cents for the small book and 40 cents for the large one. So take your photos from the 90th Alaska cruise or last year in Alaska and make it a nice little package. Give yourself a week or two to make sure the book is sent on time.
The Gift of Serenity
You recommended meditation, but your stressed friend says she couldn't possibly sit still and think of nothing. Well, for just $ 12.99 you can give her a monthly subscription to Headspace, the guided meditation app with the relaxing English accent from Andy Puddicome. For $ 60 you can give a year of another popular app, Calm, with guided meditation, soothing music tracks and (for insomnia on your list) adult sleeping stories. Or for just $ 20 on Amazon, give them Calm & # 39; s lavender sleep mist and write them a little note to let them know that they can get a free 30-day trial from Calm.
The Perfect T-shirt (or bottle)
CafePress is an online print-on-demand store, where you can design your own merchandise or choose someone else's. It has just about everything: a notorious RBG t-shirt ($ 22), iPhone cases with your own photo ($ 27) or even a personalized stainless steel bottle ($ 20). As with all personalized gifts, make sure you leave enough time for the gift to arrive.
What to give your crafty friends
You cannot sew a button on a shirt, let alone sew a quilt or knit a self-made sweater. But for your cunning friend, acknowledge their talent with personalized sewing labels, available in sets of 25, for $ 23 on Amazon. Ditto for your friend who bakes (bread labels on Etsy for $ 8.50). Of course, if you can knit or bake, be sure to grab some of those labels for yourself and give your talents as a gift to your friends
Kitchen gadgets and the gift of paying attention
Here is a gift that you can buy in bulk and give to just about anyone on your list. ChicWrap reinvents the modest plastic winding roll as something colorful and whimsical and that actually works . The plastic does not swing like the winding in a supermarket cover and attaches nicely to bowls and plates. (Watch this video.) ChicWrap comes in seven different designs and goes for just $ 15 at Everything Kitchen. And while we are talking about simple household gadgets, what about the humble grapefruit spoon? My husband always says that buying the perfect gift is primarily a matter of attention. So if you find your friend is struggling to scoop out grapefruit slices with an unapproved spoon, or if they are always jealous when they see your garlic press use, skip the slippers and the photo frames and give them exactly what they need.