Tis the night before Christmas and you’ve realised you need very last minute Christmas ideas for Aunt Maude, Uncle Fred and your twin brother whose birthday you’ve already forgotten earlier in the year.
Problem is, the major shops are all shut and you’ve got only late-night retailers, licensed venues, and other limited options available.
At first your thought may be “F*** it, F*** them and F*** everybody who has a problem with Mike Lowry”. Whilst this is the easiest option it may leave you with a reputation of dolphin like tightness or Grinch-like personality like Oscar the Grouch, or a federal politician.
So once you’ve decided you’re better than Bill Heffernan or Warren Entsch, you need a plan and a few options on what to get past 8pm on Xmas eve.
At The Gurgler, we’re nothing if not helpful. And since we’re really not helpful either, it’s time to get into the Christmas spirit and help those lost souls looking for gifts.
1 – You can always use the “I ordered you something online – but it got delayed in customs”. This is a good tactic as it provides the most plausible reason for a delay other than you ordered it too late or not at all. It also means the gift may be more exotic if from overseas and with Customs, and so forgiveness may be more forthcoming if the potential gift is of a higher quality.
The customs excuse also gives you a few days after Christmas to actually go out and buy the gift yourself, although shopping in a centre at least one removed from your potential recipients is wise to save Curb Your Enthusiasm type music playing in your head when the inevitable post Xmas meeting happens.
This option is desirable as you can still watch Boxing Day test without interference. It is also the cheapest option if you don’t follow this up with actual purchase of gift.
2 – If you actually want to buy the person something, you could try the following.
Nothing says laziness like buying a gift card online. However, no one can tell you bought it online, so present gift with the lie “I went to Shop X but couldn’t decide what you wanted/what size you were/if I knew anything about you ”. They won’t care, because it’s still better than getting a gift that sucks or nothing at all.
3 – Nothing says Christmas cheers like Keno. And you know that the local pub has Keno and will open later than most establishments that don’t sell petrol.
So while you’re there sinking your 5th pint before driving home slowly without your lights on because that’s far safer than drink driving quickly as less easy to spot for the police, why not place a Keno 6 spot ticket that will last from Xmas eve until 2015. For the minimum of 10 cents a throw you can put on 400 games which will take your present up New Year’s Day if purchased around the 11pm mark.
If you can drag yourself out of the pub before 9ish, then there’s always the standard bottle of wine for the family member you know nothing about. But instead of taking the attendants poor advice of a bottle of white wine they’ve counted for the past 16 stocktakes, we heartily recommend going a little different this year, and saying it Stone’s Green Ginger wine. Part Wine, Part Ginger, Part spirit, fully terrible, it will make your recipient’s Christmas very merry indeed.
4 – If you’ve crossed over into actual Christmas day and are driving home at 2am and thinking of what to buy, don’t forget your one-stop is the local Servo. With gifts ranging from the standard Cadbury’s favourites, a recent author’s release, “adult literature”, bags of Ice, or a Traveller’s Pie, it truly has all your options covered.
To make it look less last minute we recommend buying little bits of everything and finding some display box or basket from birthday/Xmas of yore and making a little hamper of the quality of the local RSL’s Tuesday lunchtime morning melodies door prize.
The issue with this option is it is the most expensive with Prrupt (Petrol Retailer Round Up Tax) charged at every opportunity, so you are paying for the convenience.
5 – Sometimes you don’t even have to leave home for last minute Christmas ideas.
Regifting is always an option, but one that should be met with caution. We recommend the workplace Secret Santa gift for your family members as the budget is usually low, and the gift always awful or useless. Perfect for that long lost relative who keeps calling you Billy when your name is Sheila.
Note for extra savings in future don’t unwrap the present, this will save you time and expense of having to re-wrap it before the official re-gift.
This is the most extreme option of last minute Xmas gifting, as unopened gifts may well be the office pranksters play of the year that you will forward to an unexpected person. On the flip side, it is the gift that keeps giving, as you will also be on the edge of your milk crate wondering how offensive or terrible the gift could be. Cheap entertainment, and cheap is what we’re selling here.
6 – One for the Green thumbs is taking one of your best looking plants, and one of your less wrecked pots and painting it to resemble a mural by local students at the local train station and give this as the Green option for last minute Christmas ideas.
Better still, if you are not very good in the garden, your neighbourhood provides many fine examples of said Plant and Pot, and depending on the suburb, the range is only limited by your imagination, and dedication to exercise.
Of course there’s always Love, and whilst it is free, it is not accepted at that many stores and Xmas gifts these days, and is best avoided at all times during this festive period.