Home > Uncategorized > Last Minute Gifts – 5 Days ‘Til Christmas!!

Last Minute Gifts – 5 Days ‘Til Christmas!!

If your year was anything like mine you might be just getting the time to do your Christmas shopping.  I’ve come up with a few ideas for last minute gifts for the nieces & nephews on your list.

Babies and Pre-schoolers: Language Development

I have a 5-month old nephew and he’s getting Bright Baby Books for Christmas.  These Roger Priddy books are a treat for any little one.  Over the years I’ve seen the Colors, Number and Animals titles – anything you can imagine.  There are even some bilingual offerings.  These books have sturdy pages and bold colors.  I’ve seen them in Barnes & Noble, Marshall’s and Target.  Please encourage parents to read to the babies – it makes them smart, calm and obedient.  Well that’s what I’ve heard.

Kindergarten – Third Grade: Young Readers

If you have a young reader – just beginning chapter books look at the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park.  Junie is sure to get your six-eight year-olds interested in reading.  Titles include “Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying” and “Junie B. Jones and Her Big Fat Mouth.” I ran across the box sets on Amazon. Warning Junie B. is a bit sassy – I read a New York Times article that quotes some parents not pleased with that tone.  I think those parents need to calm down and step out of the 50’s.   Kids are smart enough to appreciate fiction.  If anything the books can provide many teachable moments.

I also recommend the Brain Quest Workbooks which have guidance by age and grade.  I haven’t completed these with my nieces or nephews, but took a peek at them while I was browsing titles in Target.  These exercises can enhance learning and keep your angels occupied with something other than Wii games.

If your niece plays sports – like a couple of mine do – look for creative ways to encourage their athletic side.   Don’t just buy a basketball for that budding WNBA superstar – pick up a biography on Lisa Leslie.  Use Christmas gifts as an opportunity to reinforce the things you think are important.

Reading with  8 – 12 year olds

Every child benefits from an expanded vocabulary.  That’s why this aunt gives books for Christmas – at least until you reach high school.  The Harry Potter books in paperback (numbers 1-7) are in a box set for around $60 at Target.  If you want to have them delivered check out Amazon.com.  For a yet-to-be-delivered gift, I sometimes print a picture of the item, cut it out and put the picture in a card.  That way they’ll have something to open while the gift is making its way.

The “Diary of A Wimpy Kid” series and Judy Blume books are also popular in this age group.  It’s important for kids to read what they like, but remember to push them to read above their grade level. If you find them easily devouring books with simple language, help them find more challenging material.   Find ways to read with them and check on their progress throughout the year.

Teens & College Aged

This age group is sometimes hard to shop for.  Some of them work and have money to buy what they want.  Others have strange habits and styles that we just don’t get.  A great gift recommended by my friend Emily is an iTunes Gift Card –  you can find them at Best Buy, online from Apple.com and sometimes in your pharmacy.  Enhance the gift by sharing a list of music you enjoy, books they could check out and appropriate movies.  This is an opportunity to keep them engaged throughout the year.  Teach them how to use their iPod for more than just music.  Introduce them to podcasts and lectures.  You’d be surprised how interesting they’ll find the BBC and NPR.  Share your favorites and encourage them to become more sophisticated.  You know all teens want that!!

Speaking of sophistication, let’s talk beauty. Lots of young ladies wear make-up.  Lots of them get it wrong.  Invest in a few quality brushes and colors for a unique gift.  This doesn’t have to be expensive.  Target is the exclusive retailer of Sonia Kashuk’s line of cosmetics.  These are high-quality colors and brushes at reasonable prices.  Also check out e.l.f. – the Eyes Lips Face line – they make beautiful palettes and carry a wide range of inexpensive products.  K-Mart and Target tend to carry their products.  You can also order on the e.l.f. website for even greater selection.

Don’t stress about what to give.  Keep it simple, think about fun and happy shopping!!

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