BOSTON (CBS) – There always seems to be so much to do this week. The pressure is mounting.
And to make things worse the new neighbor down the street just showed up with homemade fudge for you and you have nothing for them. So you add them to your shopping list for the weekend.
Do not do that! If you run out to get them something now you will get caught up in exchanging gifts forever or until they move. A very nice thank you note will do.
Many of you are in your cars driving to the malls or the local shopping center right now, doing the last minute stuff.
Think about picking up some gift cards. Head to your favorite restaurant. Give the adults on your list a dinner out. Some of the restaurants are offering a $10 gift card if you buy a $50 gift card. So you can treat yourself as well. Gift cards can be bought at your local drugstore or grocery store. I got a Starbucks card for my niece in CVS.
Head to the local florist, grocery store, or garden center. Buy some plants or flowers, decorative containers, and some bows and voila` you have all those last minute gifts covered. And if you don’t give them all away they will look lovely in your home.
Head to one of the big discount stores like Target or Walmart that sells inexpensive baskets. Buy a bunch and fill them with gifts. You don’t even need to wrap the gifts in the basket, just add a bow to the handle.
Do a theme for each basket. For your brother-in-law who considers himself a gourmet cook how about a spice rub, good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a fancy apron, a cookbook and a wooden spoon.
Your brother is into golf, your sister loves to read, so work on those themes. You can fill the baskets before you leave the store. Then when you get home all you have to do is remove the price tags, add that bow, and add some candy canes for color.
If you still have people on your list give them IOUs. Make up gift certificates for them. Promise your niece a trip to the mall after Christmas to pick out the clothes she wants. Give your sister a gift of babysitting for a weekend. Promise your mom dinner out at a restaurant of her choice. Make it easy!
It is truly better to spend time with your family this week baking cookies or decorating than it is frantically cruising the mall. And probably cheaper too for you spend so much more when you are in a rush to get something.
You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.
Subscribe to Dee’s Money Matters newsletter here.