You've left it a bit late, you've run out of money, and your parents are gonna be pissed. Here's a few ideas for when you're up a festive creek without a paddle.
Shit, it’s nearly Christmas Eve! It’s too late to buy it on eBay, the shop shelves are as empty as your bank account, and you don’t want to disappoint your parents on Christmas morning by showing up empty handed. Don’t worry – it’s Tab to the rescue! Here’s a few ideas to help you scrape together some great gifts at the last minute.
These presents are easy, all you need to do is have a rummage around in the cupboards. You don’t even need to be that good at cooking, because it’s the thought that counts (supposedly).
A great idea with a rustic feel, it’ll go down great on Christmas day. Find an onion, some vinegar, and whatever fruit is lying around, and show your family that you’re a real Jamie Oliver.
Did this for my dad once, it’s bloody simple. Just get whatever oil you’ve got lying around and flavour it with stuff. Literally, whatever’s in the cupboard. Pepper, garlic, rosemary, even olives.
Who doesn’t love a cookie? Well, except coeliacs. Get a recipe on the internet, find something that your loved one likes (booze, chocolate, fruit) and dump it in a mixing bowl with a bit of flour and some eggs. Voila! A cutesy little gift that everyone will coo over, and all you did was turn the oven on.
It’s easy to flavour your own popcorn, and that shit is cheap. Really cheap. Find yourself a posh little jar or tub, pop some corn, and add a flavouring. Bacon is a popular one, but you could mix it with anything you can find at the shops, or make chocolate marshmallow popcorn bars if you’re feeling really domestic.
When I’m worried about disappointing my family, I always take a trip to my local off licence. If you go for a brisk winter walk, you should be able to find an offie that’s open at this time of year, and you’ll be laughing.
Makes it seem like you put some sort of thought into just wandering down to the corner shop. Buy a vanilla pod, or some Skittles, and put them in a bottle of vodka. By the time your loved one pops it open, science will have done the work for you! For a Christmas twist, it also works with candy canes.
Hot chocolate kit
Scrape together some cocoa, and a few things to make it better (marshmallows, whipped cream, alcohol) and knock them together in a little bag or box. Perfect for those chilly winter nights!
Homemade coffee syrups
Similar to flavoured booze, but your sister can put it in her coffee in the morning without looking like a waster. If your sister is a white girl who wears a gilet, pumpkin spice would be a good flavour to try. Check out this how-to.
Hip and rustic do-it-yourself
Your sister Genevieve and your brother Tarquin-James will love these awfully quaint gift ideas.
Homemade bath fizz
If you’ve got a double-barrelled surname, your mum is bound to love these. Takes a little bit of shopping but it looks a lot more impressive than it is. Just whack together some salt and a few other bits and pieces, pop them in a cake mould, and mummy-dearest can have a relaxing hot bath.
Buy a bog-standard picture frame (£2 from the supermarket, winner), nick an old picture of you and your gift receiver, and bung it together. Minimum effort, but mum’ll fucking love it and dad’ll admire your bullshit abilities.
A Bee Hotel
Yeah, apparently this is a thing. Good last minute gift if your parents like to spend a lot of time in the garden. They can be a bit complicated to make but it’s basically just drilling holes in wood.
Curried lentil soup mix
A big shortcut you can take is getting them food, but making them do the cooking. Just stuff a load of dry ingredients into a jar and tell them to add the liquids. Works with pancakes, cookies, and all sorts of other stuff, but the corner shop is much more likely to have a shitload of lentils they’re not selling over the Christmas period. And lentil soup is just SO rustic and down to earth.
A homemade cushion
If you’re really in a bind, you can make a cushion out of an old scarf. You don’t even need to get proper stuffing for it, just cut an old jumper into little bits of fabric, stuff the scarf, and tie the ends. Just tell your unwitting family member that you bought it from a stall on Portobello Road and they’ll feel totally special. Ha, chumps.
For the cool cousins & siblings
They won’t really care that much, and it’s much easier to give them something funny than something heartfelt.
Been on a trip to the health clinic lately? If your local health centre is open around the holidays, slip in and grab some free johnnies, and you’ve got an easy, free, funny, and useful present for your sexually active sister. Just try not to picture it at the dinner table.
Anything with a funny name
Be it a bottle of funny named ale (Bishop’s Finger, Hoptimus Prime, Old Leghumper, etc.), Drysack wine, or some Cemen dip, your banter loving rugby playing brother will go nuts for something that provides a chuckle.
Your uni hoodie
Get your mum to iron it and fold it (because mums are always better at folding) and pretend it’s brand new. Uni hoodies are so hip and cool and down with the kids right now, they’ll probably believe you and love it.
Everyone likes getting money as a present, even if they moan about it not being personal. They’re lying bastards and they’ll go and spend that money happily. To add a personal touch, fold it a bit. Makes it look like you put thought into it. For the loved one, a heart. For the gentleman, a shirt. For the youngster, a jet fighter. There’s literally tens of things you can do.
If you can’t even be arsed to get out of bed
Give the gift of reading
Order them a magazine subscription online, write a note on a piece of paper saying “I’ve got you a subscription” and wrap it up. Simple. Sometimes the magazine will even send YOU a present just for buying one, so everyone’s a winner.
Movie streaming services, WiFi, and lots more can be bought from the comfort of your bed. Spotify will even give you Premium membership half price if you’re a student!
A donation to a charity
Massive cop out, but you can make a donation in their name to a worthy cause. Who doesn’t want a donkey adopted in their name?