Guest Author - Reshma Vyas
Whether you're scouting for more last minute stocking stuffers or need to make special one-of-a-kind Christmas or holiday "care packs" and gift baskets, there are still plenty of bargains available. Heavily discounted sales are everywhere; from dollar stores to upscale department stores. You can purchase a variety of products at low sale prices to create themed "care packs" or gift baskets centered around the recipient's hobbies, interests or needs. Here are a few themes:
1. Arts and Crafts: acrylic paint pots, bead and finding packs, charcoal pencils, circular knitting needles, crochet needle set, felt, foam craft balls and blocks, floral crafts accessories, glitter glue tubes, glitter packs, paintbrush set, pastels/pastel pencils, ribbon, shredded collage paper, watercolor paint set and yarn.
2. Automotive/Sports: car care and polishing kits, cleaning wipes and sponges, digital tire gauge, exercise bands, gloves and mittens, golf balls and accessories, heart rate monitor, stopwatch, and windshield repair kit.
3. Beauty and Skin Care: If you are fortunate to know the person's brand preferences, you can easily put together a pretty gift basket featuring their favorite products. You can focus on cosmetics, foot care products, hair care, skin care or create a gift basket of assorted staples including body cream or lotion, facial cleanser, facial sponges, exfoliating hand cream and hand soap. As a special surprise, tuck in an inexpensive boxed jewelry item such as a fashion watch, a pair of leg warmers or gloves.
4. Electronics: Aside from the usual batteries, chargers and flashlights, you can still find a wide selection of small electronics and accessories at highly competitive prices. Some suggestions: camera case or bag, camera film, DVD-R discs, digital camera, financial and scientific calculators, flash memory cards, hand-held electronic games, hand-held electronic labeler, portable flash drives, portable media player with camera and portable mini-radio.
5. Food: Buying gourmet candy, cheese, cocoa, fruit, meat and specialty nuts is an old standby. For kids, though, you can buy a lunchbox featuring their favorite movie or television character or a fashion tote bag and fill it with candy along with either small craft supplies, novelty socks, a personalized Christmas ornament, a small action figure/figurine or mini toys.
6. Garden: Fill a gift basket with seed packets, flower bulb bags, pocket size gardening books, small gardening accessories, gardening gloves, hand and cuticle cream, a neck warmer, a jar of organic apple butter, garden vegetable cheese spread and a bag of trail mix.
7. Home/Kitchen: assorted cooking and kitchen gadgets and tools, bag clips, bar/bottler opener, baking/decorating tools and accessories, bottle stopper, coffee filters, coffee mugs, corkscrews, gourmet coffee packs, novelty salt and pepper shakers, magnetic clips, nutmeg grinder, placecard holders, polishing cloth, salt and pepper grinders, thermometers/timers, wood preserver and wooden spoons set.
8. Office and School Supplies: These are always in steady demand throughout the year. There is a endless variety of combinations and supplies to make customized "care packs" or gift baskets for adults and kids. Popular items: bookmarks, crayons, erasers, glue and glue sticks, markers, paper clips, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, photo paper, spiral note pads, stapler set and stickers.
9. Travel: camera film, comb and brush set, compact day planner, personal care products including travel size bottles of hair shampoo and conditioner, hand sanitizer and hand lotion, sewing kit and thermal mugs.
Every "care pack" or gift basket can include store gift certificates and/or coupons.