Last minute Christmas

last minute gift and travel ideas for Christmas

Sat25Jan2020

LastMinuteChristmas.com

Last Minute Christmas

Elves in a Decorating Frenzy

Hi all! Tis the season for decorating at the North Pole. You would think Christmas decorations are up all the time and in some places they are. But not everywhere. North Pole Village actually has an...

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How Early Is Too Early to Put Up Holiday Decorations?

A Texas couple thought Nov. 1 was as good a time as any for a giant snowman in their front yard. The homeowners’ association poured hot water on the idea.

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New Answers from Elf Crash

Greetings! It is so nice to hear from so many of you. The past couple of weeks the emails and texts to the North Pole have really picked up. Perhaps the most common question I’m getting is...

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office christmas decorations for the the new office grinch

I got a new job! I will be sitting in a cube in an office. My new officemates are really gearing up for Christmas, planning their decorations with a fervor and level of secrecy that kind of frightens me. I...don't want to do this. Unbeknownst to them, I hate Christmas. The absolute best idea I've heard so far is to put up a spider nativity scene, but I just started this job and I don't want to offend people too much just yet. So. What can I do to appear as if I am ok with this whole thing and my new coworkers (who generally seem like decent people) without actually having to be too Christmasy? Bonus points if the ideas include decorating with spiders.

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Man in Red

I've finally reached that age and girth when I've been asked to play Santa Claus for our local early childhood centre. How do I be the best Santa possible? My daughter's ECE needs a Santa for the Christmas party. I will be that Santa. The children there range from 6 months to 5 years old, more sitting in the 2-4 year bracket; perhaps forty in total. Their parents will be present, and I will have presents to hand out. What can I do to make this the best possible experience for them (and me)?

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Christmas presents; changing incomes

My parents don't have a lot of money. They would like to send Christmas presents. I have more money than they do. I would like to send them presents. How do I make it not awkward? Snowflakes inside. My parents are struggling financially for a variety of reasons, including a late career layoff, bankruptcy, bad real estate loss, and my mother's mental health and other disabilities. They have had a particularly tight season.

My stepdad got in touch last night to ask what me, partner, and child, would like for Christmas. I didn't know how tight things had been, so I said "child likes Lego, partner would like a gift card for clothes for their new job, or a magazine subscription maybe" (not realizing how awkward it is to ask someone with little money for a gift card, and that said magazine subscription might be out of their price range).

I would like to communicate to them that it is very kind of them to want to get us gifts, but if the gesture is important to them, they could get us coffee or chocolate or some other small scale consumable. Neither of them do crafts or make foodstuffs, and we live in different cities. Time and energy are both limited.

I also want to get them gifts. I know my mother needs new clothes and hasn't been able to get them for herself. I would like to get them a giftcard for a restaurant they like, because they haven't been able to go out in months. I would like to get them gift cards for groceries or for the drug store so they can get good food and toiletries they might not otherwise be able to. I'm concerned that it will create an uncomfortable dynamic if the gift/care package I send them is much larger in scale than the coffee/chocolate they send me.

My mom and I have a strained relationship and communicate minimally, largely because of her untreated mental health issues and alcoholism, but I care about her and want her to have a comfortable life.

I feel so uncomfortable about how to communicate this. What is the most tactful way?

They helped me out financially quite a bit in my early twenties, and I feel guilty that that money could have gone into their savings to cushion this difficult time.

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Budget for Christmas and Save Money on All Your Presents This Year

Christmas shopping can drive even the best savers into debt. Here’s a plan to save, and the best way to spend.

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O Holiday Tree: Name of Year-End Greenery Divides Wisconsin

Republicans call it a Christmas tree. The Democratic governor calls it a holiday tree. In a season of partisan bickering, nothing is off limits.

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Spy kids!

What's a good Christmas present to give a 7 year old who's getting into spy and detective stuff? My 7yo niece seems to be really getting into spy/detective stuff. Her birthday recently involved solving clues using a book with various ciphers to find presents, and she recently even set up something similar for her parents to find.

I'd like to give her something along those lines for Christmas, especially since I was also really into spy/detective stuff at that age. I do have ideas for books (eg Nancy Drew) but I'd love to get her something interactive - she's pretty artsy and crafty and also loves science experiments. Something experiential could be cool - she goes to that one science museum in Bristol (I forget the name) pretty often but I'm not sure if the family are escape room types. As far as I know they don't have any game consoles in the house and I don't think her parents would be into letting her play computer games, but board/card/ttrpg games could work.

She's in the UK and I'm in Australia, so preferably something I can get from the UK and delivered to her directly would be fab. I do want to craft a puzzle or two for her as part of this present, so if the sender is ok with custom messages that'd work!

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A Sleigh Debate at the North Pole

Greetings! With about 46 days to go until Santa launches a new debate has broken out at the North Pole: what sleigh design should Santa use this year? This was never supposed to happen. As you know,...

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How to Best Celebrate Christmas in London

There’s no shortage of Christmas markets, holiday shopping and festive entertainment during London’s yuletide season.

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Epic Halloween Opens Christmas Season

Greetings all! The North Pole awakens today to a fresh blanket of snow after a rare Halloween blizzard landed while elves and their families were trick-or-treating for Halloween yesterday. Most...

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How Many Christmas Movies Is Too Many Christmas Movies?

In two years, the number of those formulaic cozy romances has soared on some TV outlets. Don’t expect a slowdown anytime soon.

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Where should we hole up for Christmas?

For the first time EVER, Mr. Dorinda and I will be doing Christmas with just the two of us (and our dogs). To stave off any homesickness that might afflict us (read: me) when we’re away from the hustle and bustle of Full Family Christmas, we’d like to help make our first Us-mas a little special by spending it somewhere cute, quaint, homey, Christmasy, and not too far of a drive from our house. Where should we go?! We’re thinking of taking 3 or 4 nights over Christmas to snuggle up somewhere and enjoy our quiet, private holiday. We will be going the AirBnB/VRBO route since we’ll be bringing the dogs. Ideally, we’ll find some sort of cabin/farmhouse/guesthouse with a fenced yard where they can play (in the snow?!). But before we look for the perfect AirBnB, we need to decide on the perfect town/area! That’s where you come in!!

I’m picturing a very Hallmark movie-esque sort of vibe: think Stars Hollow, or cabin in the snowy woods, or Victorian carrollers, or things like that. Cheesy! Comforting! Cozy!
Here’s what we’d like our Christmas cave to have:
- driving distance (like, maybe 5 hours max? But could be persuaded to go farther) from Durham, NC
- snow potential would be nice!
- close to nice hiking opportunities
- close-ish to some sort of quaint, charming small-ish town where we can get groceries and maybe a good (and vegan-friendly) restaurant meal or two
- good Christmas/holiday/winter festival vibes (I don’t really know what I mean by this...so interpret as you like!)
- maybe a cute local/regional theatre in town where we can see a festive play

On our list of places we’re considering so far (chosen mostly at random!) are:
- Staunton, VA (only drawback here is we’ve been a lot, so it’s not new to us)
- Asheville, NC (same as above)
- Gatlinburg, TN
- Charleston, SC

Where else should we be looking? Tell us your favorite festive holiday place in the southeast US!!

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2 Months Until Christmas

Greetings! Today we tick off another milestone in the countdown to Christmas — Christmas is two months from today! Isn’t it exciting? This week we have seen all the North Pole Radio news...

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Uncommon Christmas gift for nieces and nephews (ages 8-12)

My nieces and nephews (5 in total) are wonderful kids. Two are too cool for school, and the other three are curious, well-mannered, and thankful for any gift that comes their way. I'm letting go of the fact that the other two might never love the gifts from their aunt, but there have been hits in the past: Swiss army knife, small red metal toolbox with lock (great to store treasures/have some privacy). I'd like to get them all the same gift, as experience-based gifts are for their birthday. Something useful to them now and meaningful to them later in life.

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3 Months Until Christmas

Hi all! Today marks just three months until Christmas but if you look outside my window you’d think it is Christmas Eve! The snow is falling outside and it is starting to pile up on the ground....

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Christmas in Spain (and environs)

I will be spending both Eve and Day in one of the following five cities: Granada, Cordoba, Madrid, Seville, Lisbon. Help me figure out which is best (or feel free to recommend your own). Concerns:
• Food. Ideally we're looking for a city with some number of restaurants that will be open (if Spain or Portugal have any).
• Any charming cultural events that I might not know about.

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4 Months Until Christmas

Hi everyone! Today marks the 4 month mark until Christmas. Only four months until Santa flies! Unbelievable! You wouldn’t believe how much is happening now at the North Pole — even with...

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In Delaying Tariffs, Trump Faces Up to Economic Reality

President Trump insists China is paying the full cost of his tariffs. But his decision to push some of them off until December is an admission of their impact on American consumers.

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In Delaying Tariffs, Trump Faces Up to Economic Reality

President Trump insists China is paying the full cost of his tariffs. But his decision to push some of them off until December is an admission of their impact on American consumers.

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North Pole Stunned By Santa’s Announcement

A short time ago Santa finally made the big announcement we’ve been anticipating for over a week now. You can listen to how that all unfolded here at the North Pole via a special edition of the...

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Santa Tracking Replay to Begin Soon

Well, we said last week there would be a big announcement and it just hasn’t happened yet. There is a good reason. Santa hasn’t been here and he’s the one making the announcement....

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