Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS

Last-minute holiday shopping ideas to get your brain rolling

December 23, 2014
Melissa Schneider - Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

We're just a couple of days from Christmas, and Hanukkah just wrapped up, but if you think you've missed out on all of the great holiday deals this season, don't worry you haven't. Thousands of businesses are offering holiday deals throughout the rest of the month, both online and in person, to help even the last-minute, last-second shoppers get that perfect gift for their special friends and loved ones.

Having trouble finding that perfect present for your list of friends and family, or looking for some unique gift ideas this holiday season? We're here to help ease your frustration and get your brain into "think" mode.

For the Animal Lover

Article Photos

It's safe to say, if you're shopping for an animal-lover, chances are they already have a pet or quite a few, so buying them a new one probably isn't a great idea.

But, special treats for pets, that's also fun for their human companions, would work perfectly. Check out the new perfumes and colognes for the poshest of pets. There are dozens of cool costumes and outfits that are enough to put a smile on anyone's face.

Why not treat your animal-lover friend to a wildlife excursion? With nearly a dozen state-funded recreational parks nearby, it's easy to find one to visit. Include a basket of natural items and things you'd need while on the trip, such as sunscreen, lotion, loofah sponges (for after the trip), granola bars and other snacks.

For the Avid Music and Movie Buff

This can be a tricky category. On one hand, it's easy to shop for the music and/or movie lover, because all you have to do is just buy their favorite and/or latest movie or album. But, often they advance order or buy it as soon as it's available. So, that leaves you in a bind.

iTunes offers gift cards that allows the user to download or order virtually any song, album or movie available, so those always make good, safe gifts.

Lately, several music and movie companies have been releasing a ton of special editions, newly/digitally remastered pieces and collector's box sets for several bands, collections and movie compilations. These special editions always make a great addition to a music/movie buff's collection.

For the Handyman

There are so many great spots around town to pick up your favorite handyman something special for the holidays. With everyone talking about the inevitable "Zombie Apocalypse," and the explosion of survival reality shows and movies, pick up a cool survival pack, complete with hair-splitting machete/knife, a fire-starter and carry-all knapsack.

Multi-tools, like those made by Leatherman, are always a great thing to have handy. If they don't have one, they'll love it. If they already have one, a larger and more prominent one will definitely put a smile on their face.

For the Young-at-Heart

A gift certificate to a savory local ice cream shop is always a great way to stroll down Memory Lane. Enjoy a few licks of your waffle cone while enjoying a few great stories of another generation.

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a story is worth a million times more, right? Get them the latest book, a subscription to a magazine of their liking, or a gift certificate to their favorite book shop or one they may not yet know about. The holidays are often times we learn of new shops and boutiques we never knew existed before.

Just as we get better with age, so does alcohol for the most part! A great, aged bottle of scotch, wine or whiskey can make the greatest addition to any young-at-heart's stocking (and liquor cabinet).

For the Girlfriend/Wife/Lucky Lady

It's been said time and time again: If you're confused and don't know which way to go, you simply can't go wrong with jewelry or perfume for your best woman out there.

Up the ante a bit and get her a nice gift set of her favorite perfume, which usually comes with a matching lotion, powder and/or purse-sized spray or shake it up, take her to the jewelry shop or department store, and help her help you find the perfect piece.

For the Die-Hard Sports Fan

You'd imagine supplying a cool gift for a sports fanatic would be easy but it may not be as simple as you think. A die-hard sports fan most likely already has tons of team T-shirts, team hats and anything else that sports their team's logo.

Surprising them with tickets to one of The Big Games is always a plus. If they already have tickets or season passes, prepaid gift cards to the stadium concession stand and gift shops just makes their trip even better.

Sports books and documentary DVDs of your sports fan's award-winning team moments (or side-splitting fumbles) is another great addition to any fan's collection.

And, if you still can't think of something special, there's never anything wrong with getting them more team memorabilia: shirts, hats, PJs, pillowcases, they're all great.

For the In-Laws

You may be experiencing some difficulty trying to decide what to get your in-laws. This is a couple of people who can be particularly harder to shop for especially if they're new to your family. Have no fear, let's jot down some ideas.

For the mother-in-law and/or sister-in-law, if you don't really know much about them, stick with bath and beauty, or sweets. A nice gift basket of fragranced lotions and bath gels always makes a kind gift, as does a collection of candles and relaxation products.

And, every lady loves to be pampered from time to time. Treat her to a trip or two to a fabulous spa or salon (or both), so she'll feel fresh and vibrant, from head to toe.

For the sweet tooth (make sure they're not diabetic. If so, go sugar-free), a box of chocolates is a safe bet. For a little more "zing," sign her up for a chocolate-of-the-month club. What a fun thing to wait for by the mailbox!

For the father-in-law or brother-in-law, stick with gadgets. If they're electronically-inclined, get them some accessories for their MP3 player, smartphone or tablet. If golf is their thing, a day out on the green of their favorite golf and country club is in order or perhaps to a club they haven't yet golfed. For those who are into hobbies, a cool and operable model car, model boat or model plane kit is a fun way to go.

When buying for a pair of in-laws, a night on the town or tickets to a local play or concert are always welcomed gifts, as well as some great restaurants or lounges. If trying to make your gift-purchasing a bit simpler, tickets to a dinner theater offers a complete, one-stop package.

For the Aspiring Chef

Everyone has at least one friend who prides themselves on their cooking ability. Boost their ego (and their kitchen inventory) by getting something special for the galley. Why not get your favorite chef his or her own personalized chef jacket and hat? It's just a great way to add a little "spice" to their life in the kitchen.

Bring your chef's kitchen into the 21st century with a kitchen-safe electronic stand-up recipe reader. Store all your favorite recipes (up to 2,500) in this precise and compact kitchen gadget, which comes preloaded with 250 recipes. They're a bit pricey, but if you're willing to lay down the clams, it's definitely something that comes in handy for any kitchen artiste.

For the traditional chefs who can't let go of their hand-written formulas, get them a cool new leather-bound recipe holder, or hidden card box. This is a great way to store and save those old, passed-down and well-treasured recipes.

An at-home, grow-anywhere herb garden is perfect for any chef at any altitude or climate. Allowing them to utilize their own hand-grown herbs gives them an even bigger feeling of accomplishment when the table is served.

For those who may think they're a chef, but in reality just a nightmare in the kitchen, you can't go wrong with taking them out to a great restaurant around town. Avoid the hassle (and the food poisoning), and surprise your "chef" with gift certificates to a few eateries within our great community.

Do you have a professional chef you just don't know what to get for them? A great, comfortable pair of sneakers can be just the trick for those long hours of slicing and dicing in their restaurant's kitchen.

Whatever you decide to get for your favorite friends and family this year, happy shopping, good luck and happy holidays!



I am looking for:
News, Blogs & Events Web