So, if you’re anything like me, you just now realized that Christmas is tomorrow, and wasn’t I suppose to go shopping or something?
When you’re busy running a business, it’s easy to let everything else slip through the cracks. (Yes, even shopping sprees and candy cane martini binges.) But, one thing you don’t want to do? Is become an unthoughtful schmuck.
Which is precisely why I decided to come up with a list of thoughtful last minute gift ideas (that are way better than another freaking Yankee candle), including a few creative ways you can give them, so your present actually feels like a present…and not something you, uh, bought at the last minute. (Even if it IS the doggone truth, you dirty workaholic.)
1. Give them the gift of…a day off from their life in a basket.
Recommended items for inclusion: One printed permission slip (signed and sealed by you, of course), a bicycle lock & cable to officially tie up their computer & phone (complete with usage instructions), a box of chocolate covered cherries (because they are DELICIOUS), a pair of the fuzziest slippers in all of Target, the most recent sports illustrated and/or fireman calendar (so they can have eye candy and at least pretend they’re on a beach), a snorkel (for effect), a paperback copy of your favorite dirty romance, and a custom-made itinerary – printed on parchment, of course, including lunch & dinner times, their favorite 1pm soap opera, and the very best of all: TUB SOAK TIME!
2. Give the gift of…your expertise.
Grab some screencasting software, and make a series of online tutorials walking them step-by-step through a skill that you’re an expert at, personalized just for their needs. Say you’re a writer, and your friend is trying to pitch a TV show…could you show them how to edit any pitch so it's more compelling / attention-grabbing / ready-made for TV? Say you’re a photographer, and your friend is getting married soon…could you make a fun wedding tutorial for making sure they're posed at the best angle? Say you’re a sex coach…
…just kidding, you guys. (Then again, a live demonstration of the kama sutra could be perfect for at least one person on your list?)
3. NEW! Give someone the gift of…eloquence, power & business charisma.
Surprise! Now you can purchase my very own LOVE, BUSINESS OWNER, a powerful collection of over 300 classic business scenarios & sticky situations, with accompanying script templates for handling each one like a pro, for just $99. For anyone starting a business, this is a surefire favorite, guaranteed to help them more effectively sell to prospects, state their fees without stuttering, and learn to sound like a boss…instead of just having the title.
(Prefer to give a gift card for this, instead? You can purchase a House of Moxie, Inc. gift card over here. After purchase, you'll get an email with a pretty digital gift card & unique code that you can either print and give, or send along with a note. Your recipient can enter the gift card code at checkout themselves, and codes don't expire, and can be used multiple times until the balance is exhausted. FAN-CY.)
4. Give the gift of…you on video, counting thy ways you love them / think they’re great / admire them / hate them.
There’s no link here, you guys. YOU JUST PUSH RECORD.
5. Give the gift of… a hot new website that makes itself.
Without having to hire a designer, pay thousands of dollars OR touch a line of code. It’s called The Grid, and you better believe I’m signed up to be a founding member.
6. Gift the gift of… not losing your mind, OR your gadgets.
The Tile is this nifty little tag you attach to, say, your key ring, that syncs with your iPhone so you can always find anything on the fly. Can’t wait for it to ship? They’ve got you covered with their very own guide for making the gift tangible in the meantime. 🙂
7. Gift the gift of…an eBook of eBooks.
You know how you want to just push the “Give as a Gift” button on Amazon, but feel like a lazy, unthoughtful schmuck about it? Try this tip: Go ahead and purchase 5 of your favorite Kindle books on Amazon as a gift (even better if they’re related)…but have the email forwarded to yourself, instead of to your recipient. Then, take each email confirmation and print to PDF. Then, using something like Adobe Acrobat, stitch the PDFs together into one big PDF, and then add a gorgeous cover and a thoughtful holiday note, and maybe a cute ending, too. Then, go ahead and email them the personalized eBook of books, as one big, pretty, personalized booklet. 🙂
8. Give the gift of…an online service they really should have.
An account with Freshbooks? Maybe an email marketing service like AWeber? Web hosting from somebody like Bluehost? A new e-commerce store with Shopify? Or maybe something like this swanky new business forecasting application. Here’s how you do it without needing their CC information: Buy a prepaid credit card for the amount it costs to buy them one to three months of the service of your choice – and then write a note with the information, making it clear that it’s intended for the service you want them to have (which will make your gift feel more thoughtful and personalized.) Is it like a gift card? A little. Does it FEEL as thoughtless as a generic gift card? Not at all.
9. Give the the gift of…clarity.
Schedule a Clarity call on the recipient's behalf with an expert surrounding something they’re having a particular issue with: From public speaking, to sales and marketing, to business & career advice, you can find experts on nearly anything. (And what a neat gift!) Pssst: You can even schedule an expert Clarity call with me. Shhhh.
10. Give the the gift of… doing something that fucking matters.
Like giving one girl life skills training for a year, or feeding a woman and a child at a safe house. It’s Crowdrise’s “Christmas Present Thing,” where their tagline states: “Instead of giving a dumb present…”
11. Or, be way more shallow, but fun, and give the gift of… celebrity gossip and sex tips (without cluttering their house.)
It’s the Netflix of magazines, and unless they're one of those ultra-snobby, craft beer drinking “intellectuals,” they'll love you for giving them permission to veg out at least once a week. 🙂
12. Give the the gift of…The *Stop Working Once and a While You Crazy Asshole* Cure
13. Give the gift of… knowing what the fuck is going on in the world.
Also, crossword puzzles!
14. Give someone the gift of… the story of their life.
I’ll let you click away on that one.
15. Give them the gift of… The Business Survival Kit.
Recommended items for inclusion are: A mason jar filled with cut up slips of paper filled with suggestions on ways to relax (they can reach in and pick one at random any time they’re feeling on edge), a note welcoming them to their 30 day subscription of You Don't Need a Job, You Need Guts (containing my best advice on marketing yourself), a big old bottle of red (duh), a voodoo doll and accompanying pack of needles, a lavender scented candle (to balance out the voodoo doll), one of those fun little stress balls (for good measure), a package of marbles (for when they lose theirs, of course), a nice printed list of local therapist phone numbers, and – my favorite – a pre-paid cell phone programmed with your phone number on speed dial for the next time they’re about to go loose cannon. (Because isn’t that cute and slightly James Bondish?)
16. Give the gift of… a handmade snowglobe with their favorite poem, lyric, or quote inside, laminated.
Because we’re crafty motherfuckers these days.
17. Gift the give of…one of those awesome subscription services (preferably delivering something they normally wouldn’t treat themselves to).
My favorite? Carefully curated roses that get delivered to their home weekly, biweekly, or monthly. And how could I leave this one out? Glassful Wine, sending deliciously sexy bottles of wine to their doorstep every month. BECAUSE WHO DOESN’T NEED THIS?
18. Give the gift of…their mantra for 2015
Got a few more days to spare?
19. Gift them the gift of…A recorded sound turned into art
Record a voice memo, a line from their favorite podcast, or their favorite song…and then have it printed onto canvas.
20. Give them the gift of…. Make your own gin kit!
I mean, it IS pretty cool.
21. Worst case scenario?
Gifting a gift card? Handing over some old fashion cash? Here are some bonus fun ideas for packaging into something that feels more thoughtful.
:: There’s always a tissue box full of money.
:: And taking a cue from the tissue box, you can always wrap the certificate / redemption code / cashola to look ENTIRELY like something else. (This year, our very own Jess actually wrapped a video game gift card to look like a trumpet with paper towel tubes and an oil funnel.)
:: You can try putting the certificate / gift card / order confirmation in a gorgeous picture frame, and send along with a card that says: “In case of client emergency, break glass.”
:: Empty out a box of chocolates (that shouldn’t be too hard!), and then replace each little chocolate holder with clues to guess what your gift is, or even stuff them with a bunch of fun little printed certificates (like one valid for a free foot rub, and another valid for one hour of uninterrupted VENT time with you.) Close the chocolate box, tie a bow on that bitch, and voilà.
:: Take the gift card, and then put it in a fun puzzle maze, like this one. The catch? The gift card is trapped in there until they figure out how to get the ball through the maze. 🙂
:: Use a service like this to record a message, and then have it translated into a QR code that the recipient has to scan with their phone in order to hear.
:: Set up one hell of a treasure hunt to figure out what you got them on the other side. You can do this in a physical location, or even online, by sending them from website to website, gathering clues you’ve set up in advance, and putting them altogether to guess what your gift is. Fun!
Because at the end of the day…
Nothing is more important than at least looking like you gave a damn.
There's lots of stuff that's more important, but probably not the day before Christmas. 🙂