Great gifts are available at gas stations, drug stores, and grocery stores, according to gift expert Daphne Shirley of ShirleyGirls. These are gifts that can be bought on the way to the party. Not even wrapping is required.
Before Entering the Store
Have a theme in mind before entering the store to purchase a gift. For example, if the recipient likes to drive, consider gifts for the car; if the person likes wine, consider a wine-themed gift. Having a theme helps to stay focused when in the store, because less time is wasted browsing around aimlessly.
Gas Station Gifts
An excellent gift for anyone who has a vehicle is a “car emergency kit.” Add an assortment of items to a pail or 5-gallon bucket that can easily be kept in a trunk. Include flares, a blanket, jumper cables, a can of fix-a-flat, starter fluid, gloves, hot-hands, window washer fluid, car mats, and maybe even a car air freshener. Tie a shop cloth into a bow and attach it to the handle, and it’s ready.
For the couch potato, think TV. Fill a Styrofoam cooler with a current TV Guide, snacks, soda, cheese-whiz, crackers, salsa, antacids, a DVD, and even a fire log if he or she has a fireplace. Cut off a small branch of an evergreen bush or a few flowers to add to the mix, and arrange the items in a pleasing way.
Drug Store Gifts
A terrific gift to give to a host is a “Party Snafu Solver ‘Basket’.” The host will appreciate a bucket full of party-throwing problem solvers such as carpet cleaner, a clothing stain pen, a disposable camera, pink bismuth, OTC pain relievers, dish washing detergent, and hand lotion. Add a colorful feather duster as a last touch.
Grocery Store Gifts
Most party-throwers would welcome food and drink to a party, especially if it can also turn into a fun activity. Bring three bottles of wine, apples, and some cheese. Cover the wine bottles with paper bags so the host can throw an impromptu wine taste test. If budget allows, add a few wine glasses.
**If choices turn out to be very limited, choose items that are unified by one color. Think of the recipient’s favorite color, and put together a collection of items that go together. It may sound a little wacky, but if the items are practical, they will be used, unlike many gifts that get put on a shelf.
**Always keep the person’s interests in mind.
**A gift basket is not required. Make the packaging part of the gift. For instance, aprons, bowls, and coolers all double very well as gift containers.
**Add natural touches like pine cones, a bunch of cut flowers, or a related pretty item to make the gift look like it was more well-thought-out than it actually was.
Think practical and consider the recipient, and this kind of gift just can’t go wrong.