It happens every year. No matter how early you start, or how organized your list is, there are always a few gifts that you can't seem to fill until the last-minute. Unfortunately all of your regular online retailers' Christmas delivery guarantees expired days ago, and like hell you're paying $19.99 to ship your Grandma's sweater Next Day Air.
So, as every year before it, you drudge out into the elements of weather and crowded malls filled with panicked holiday shoppers. You're left picking through the scraps – these aren't the gifts no one else wanted to buy, those are all gone as well – no, you're left with the items that show up at places like TJ Maxx a few months later for half price. A holiday flask set. A travel grooming kit. If you're really lucky you might find a calendar with a focus your giftee has a remote interest in.
Do yourself, and those you're last-minute shopping for, a favor and declare, “Not this year.” We've got two super-easy Do It Yourself gift ideas that anyone will love – and you only have to head to the grocery store.
Homemade Spicy Rub
Perfect for every guy on your list, from your grandfather, brother-in-law, or girlfriend's father, every man loves to grill meat. If you're unaware of the incredible taste benefits rubs offer grilled meat, check out our intro to dry and wet rubs. This rub makes awesome chicken, beef, or anything else you can think to throw it on, making it versatile no matter what your giftee's grilling specialty is. (Plus, you'll have a bunch of great spices left over to make your own rubs, win!)
Homemade Hot Cocoa
You know who loves hot chocolate? Scratch that. Do you know anyone who doesn't like hot chocolate? It's chocolate milk, hot, with marshmallows in it. Thinking of it that way you can give this to anyone. Need another gift for your girlfriend, mom, brother's kids, grandma, whoever? Homemade hot chocolate. The person can make it right after opening it, and it pleases every time. Add 1/4 cup of the finished cocoa mix to hot milk.
Now, so the giftee has some idea of what this stuff is, create a simple label out of a file folder. Find some extra twine and ribbon lying around and wrap it around the container, using it to hold the label in place. You may want to mention on the hot chocolate label that one serving is 1/4 cup. Boom. Christmas presents.