Walmart asked me to do a post about last minute shopping, and I new immediately what I was going to write about. My Dad.
You see, my dad is notoriously hard to shop for. The man is in his 70’s, has a lifetime of things he has already accumulated, and he can easily afford to buy anything he wants. That in and of itself makes it difficult to buy for him. An additional issue is that for the last 3 or 4 years he has been driving down to New York to spend the Christmas with both my brother and me–and he doesn’t really want to have to pack a lot of stuff in the car to bring back north.
I always buy him a main gift–but then in the week before Christmas I freak out and have to go on a last minute shopping trip. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t just buy him one thing and say “there, that’s good” when the rest of my family is opening up piles of presents. I always feel like I need a few things to add some bulk. So what do you do?
Run out to Walmart of course! I take the tact that I should either get him things that are consumable, or things that anyone would need or enjoy!
For consumables food gifts are always great. Christmas isn’t Christmas if at least one person doesn’t get a box of fancy chocolates–so I picked up a box of Whitmans Chocolates priced at under $5.50. I also got a nice Old Wisconsin sausage & cracker box set. I figured he can bring them home, but he’s just as likely to suggest we crack them open and share the snacks over the course of the weekend. The Wasabi Almonds will be a great “car snack” for his drive home.
Since he’s coming down to visit fairly regularly, the travel sized toiletry articles will be useful, and he can either keep the slippers and bring them home or leave them at my brother’s house for his next visit. I added two items I know most people will find useful–a calendar and a headlamp, and then finished it off with a couple of classic comedy movies (Mr Roberts & No Time for Sergeants in a set) that are sure to be nostalgic.
Speaking of movies–I think dvds are a great gift for someone like my dad. They can be enjoyed multiple times but don’t take up much space. Also, if you happen to pick out something that he doesn’t really like, it’s easy for him to take it back to the Walmart near his home and exchange it for a different movie or TV Show. Yup–TV shows! You can buy entire seasons of favorite TV shows for really reasonable prices–Like entire seasons of some of the older ones for under $10! My Dad doesn’t DVR, and he doesn’t use Netflix, Hulu or anything like that, so TV series he enjoys on DVD are a great option.
If you get really stuck on ideas, remember you can get all kinds of gift cards at your local Walmart. Of course there are Walmart giftcards, but there are tons of others giftcards for favorite Restaurants and services: Cracker Barrel, Taco Bell, Buffalo Wild Wings, Dominos Pizza, Red Lobster, IHOP, Applebees, Olive Garden, Red Robin, Chilis, Ruby Tuesdays, The Cheesecake Factory, Outback, Coldstone Creamery, Starbucks, Omaha Steak, Visa & Mastercard Giftcards, iTunes, Xbox Live, AMC & Regal Theaters and many more. If you can’t find a gift card that they would enjoy and find useful then they really ARE impossible to shop for!
So what do YOU buy for the hard to shop for, especially at the last minute?