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Emergency Gift Guide
I’m following up from my gift-giving etiquette guide due to the interest in emergency gifts! Here are my favorite items to keep around in case you need to reciprocate an unexpected gift or someone’s plus-one crashes your gift exchange.
Wine Keep a few bottles of a mid-range wine you enjoy on hand, nothing top shelf, but no Winking Owl either. It should be something you’ll enjoy drinking yourself if no randos show up at your Christmas Eve cocktail hour.
Calendars These are such an ubiquitous gift and somewhat unnecessary due to computers and phones, but they’re a nice ‘generic’ gift for people you don’t know well. Honestly, one of my favorite gifts that I receive each year is the calendar I keep on my desk at work.
A multi-pack of gift cards Those three-packs of $10 Starbucks gift cards are an easy thing to toss in your shopping basket at the store and be covered for emergency gift giving. They never expire, so you can keep them for next year or give them to your child’s teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Holiday treats Home-baked treats can go stale quickly, so keep an eye on these before you hand them out. If you’re like me and farm out your baking to the good people at Walker Shortbread, store-bought cookies have a much longer shelf life. Hail, preservatives! Keep an extra box or loaf of your favorite holiday baked good and some candy on hand.
Stationery Not monogrammed obviously, although maybe ironic personalized stationery will take off. You could have the cards engraved with ‘Party Crasher.’ But in reality, just have some nice notepads or a pack of attractive seasonless cards that are blank inside. Maybe throw in a matching pen if you want to go the distance for these emergency gifts.
And please, in the spirit of Christmas, be nice to the crasher plus-ones. If someone has dragged them to your party, they’re probably already feeling uncomfortable. Give them a glass of wine and a hastily packaged emergency gift.