By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Last minute gifts? Don't panic
Save money
Placeholder Image
Shopping for last-minute gifts?
Personalized baskets are always a hit, and it’s something you can do yourself. You can put nearly anything in a basket (add colored tissue paper and a ribbon) once you know your theme:
• Crafts supplies, colored papers, scissors, and a glue gun will please a crafter or an artistic child.
• Go with a cookbook, spatula, cheese grater, kitchen towel and new frying pan for the cook.
• Puzzle and crossword books, a mechanical pencil and a padded lap table for a puzzle fan.
• Stop at a gourmet food store and load up a basket with crackers, cheeses, ham, sausage, candies and a cheese slicer. Keep an eye out for possible allergens, like nuts.
• For the do-it-yourselfer think bucket and fill it with items he or she will use up; glue, tape, specialty soaps and other cleaners and rags, lots and lots of rags. If it’s for a car buff include oil, fluids, car wax. If he or she works around the house; light bulbs, dust cloths, etc.
The best gifts are those that last all year. Some ideas:
• For the film buff, a Netflix subscription — Besides the low cost, there are no late fees. The movie CDs come in the mail, you keep them as long as you want and than pop them into the postage-paid red envelope to send them back. Select from plans offering a single film to multiple movies at one time. The recipient needs a computer to make movie selections, and the monthly charge will show up on your credit card.
• Magazine subscription — Select one with a topic of interest to your recipient. Call directly to make sure there’s no confusion over billing versus delivery address, and ask which issue will be delivered first. Buy a copy of the current edition and wrap it with a card and a note about your soon-to-arrive gift.
• Gift baskets — Check Harry and David’s 12-month Light Size Club Gift for a selection of fruit baskets that are sent each month. Also available are eight-month, five-month and three-month clubs. Call 1-877-322-1200 after looking at the selections at
• Your time — Give the gift of yourself. A packet of handmade coupons, each good for a specific chore or event, or to be “cashed in” during a specific month, can go a long way to helping someone who might prefer your time over a new sweater. Think: raking and mowing, babysitting, errands, closet organization, lessons, etc.
If all else fails, go for a gift certificate to the recipient’s favorite store. Be sure to ask about any fees for not using the card within a certain time frame.

Uffington does not personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into his column whenever possible. Write to him in care of King Features Weekly Service, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475, or send e-mail to
Sign up for our e-newsletters