Great Gifts to Keep on Hand for Unexpected Holiday Guests
Family & Parenting, Local Steals & Deals, Seasonal & Current Events
By Chelsea Triola
Published: December 13 2013
Don't let an unexpected guest turn into a Christmas Crisis this holiday - check out these thoughtful, inexpensive gift ideas perfect for keeping handy this holiday for those surprise visitors!
It can get difficult to buy for everyone on your list, and there’s always someone that shows up to the party unexpectedly. Whether it is a family member or a friend of the family, we have come up with some great “Emergency” Gift Ideas that you can keep on hand without breaking the bank, so that no matter who shows up for the holidays, no one feels left out.
These generous gifts are great to have handy, and are perfect for giving to pretty much anyone that may walk through your door this holiday. Whether an unexpected girlfriend or a distant cousin that decided last minute to join the party, we’ve got you covered with inspired ideas that could save the day and turn a potential holiday faux pas into a heartwarming moment! As you begin to deck the halls and get prepped for Christmas company, be sure to take a moment to check out our Emergency Gift Giving Guide, and be prepared no matter what comes your way this Christmas!
1. Candies, Cookies & Sweet Treats in a Decorative Basket or Tin. These type of gifts are the perfect surprise for everyone - after all who doesn’t love delicious holiday goodies? This is one of the simplest, least expensive on-the-fly gift ideas - simply gather a few different types of cookies or candies in a festive container, and wrap in holiday cellophane if you have some handy. You can even replace the goodies with healthy foods as well, such as raisins and nuts for those who don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
2. Picture Frames. These are a great emergency gift because almost everyone loves pictures! We all love to surround ourselves with photos of loved ones to remind us each day how lucky we are. Buy a frame that is neutral colored and simple, so it is sure to fit anyone’s tastes. He or she can place it on his or her desk at work or at home on the fireplace!
3. Throw Blankets. Blankets are a warm, convenient present that everyone can enjoy and appreciate! Some leave blankets in their cars, basements or even at work, making this a truly versatile gift. During the holidays, stores often have blanket bundles that include other warm winter items such as gloves, scarves and socks, and these bundles are often offered at deep discounts right before the holidays. Whomever receives this great gift will be sure to appreciate it on a chilly day!
4. Gas Gift Cards. It’s become more and more popular to give out gift cards during the holidays, and a Gas Gift Card is by far the most practical item on our list of Emergency Gifts. No matter who the giftee is - a student, someone with a long commute, or truly anyone who owns a car, thoughtful gift of a gas card is sure to be appreciated. Plus, if you end up not needing that emergency gift, you can always fill up your tank after the holidays have passed!
In addition to our Emergency On Hand Gift Guide, we’ve also got some helpful hints for planning ahead:
Add Holiday Labels to your on-hand gifts, but don’t fill them out, and keep the gifts to the side somewhere away from the celebrations. After your unexpected guest arrives, excuse yourself for a moment, fill out the tag, and stealthily place the gift under the tree - it’s like it was there the whole time!
Pre-wrap your emergency gifts, and use Post-It Notes as labels for each item. This way, your gift is ready to go, but you won’t have to panic trying to remember what you’ve wrapped!
If you like to plan ahead, you can purchase great gifts such as photo frames, blanket bundles, and other holiday-themed items inexpensively after Christmas when they’re on clearance, and save them for next year’s On Hand Gift!
We know the holidays can be an extremely expensive time of year, so if you’re on a budget, make some gifts at home. People love getting handcrafted items, knowing how much thought and time was put into them. And remember, emergency gifts aren’t only helpful during the holidays - they’re great for anniversaries, birthdays, graduations and other special occasions as well!
Have a great "Emergency" Gift Idea you would like to share?