Holy crap! Christmas is [insert number of days until Jesus’ birthday] days away and I haven’t gotten anything for [insert distant family member that you probably shouldn’t be buying a gift for, but feel obligated for some reason] yet!!!

Sound familiar?

I’ve done it. You probably have too. Christmas shopping is hard.

But it doesn’t have to be.

What if I told you that there’s one present that is good for about 97% everyone you know? Except in rare circumstances, you will be completely prepared for Christmas, birthdays, and any other occasion where you find yourself needing to give a gift.

This is going to blow your mind, so make sure you are sitting down…

Make Christmas Presents for Everyone

Remember when you were 6 years old and you wanted to give someone a present but you didn’t have any money? What did you do?

You made one.

I remember nailing five pieces of scrap wood together into a “breakfast in bed table” that I gave my mom. I gave it to her with breakfast and everything one day and she pretended to love it. Heck, maybe she even did love it. But the point is I gave her a present and didn’t have to buy anything.

Now obviously no one wants a crappy piece of furniture made from scrap wood (especially if it comes from an adult), but you can still make presents for everyone. And the best part is you can make everyone the same present.

Find a Hobby You Can Give Away

About a year ago I had this brilliant idea. I’m going to learn how to make homemade soda. I bought all the equipment, purchased some ingredients, and found myself a homemade soda recipe book. I used all that stuff to make a gallon of root beer. It was absolutely terrible.

I was so discouraged that I haven’t tried again since. But imagine if I had kept trying. Imagine if I actually came up with a homemade soda recipe that was actually delicious. You better believe I would be making tons of it, bottling it up, and giving it away as Christmas presents.

homemade soda

photo credit: flickr.com/rockinfree

I could spend a few bucks and create a homemade label with my face on it. Then I’d make the soda, slap on a label, and give everyone a six pack of Kevin McKee’s Sassafras Specialty.

It would be fun to make, cheap, and (as long as it’s good) something people actually enjoy.

Homemade soda is just one option. There are lots of homemade drinks (wine, beer, interesting combinations of Kool-Aid) that you can give away. If you have a hobby of making crafty stuff that doesn’t look like it was made in a 2nd grade art classroom, you can give your arts and crafts away as home decorations or ornaments. Maybe you make super-delicious cookies and you can give those away. Anything you can make that doesn’t suck is fair game.

Just Send a Really Nice Card

Why make or buy a gift when a nice card will suffice? Cards are simple, easy, and great for friends or family who don’t live nearby. You can personalize them with as much, or as little, details as you want. And mailing them won’t cost a fortune either.

For family members you don’t see often, you can send them custom Christmas cards with photos of the kids or a happy family memory.

It doesn’t really matter what it is. Just learn to make something kinda cool, package it up to look pretty, and give it away to everyone. It removes all the stress out of, “What should I buy for [someone]?”

You’re welcome.