Christmas is Saturday, the first day of Kwanzaa is Sunday—have you finished your shopping? Some people do like to wait until the last minute. If that is you, let me give you a few ideas.


I was thinking of some of my favorite things. Number one on the list is flannel lounging pants. We used to call them pajama bottoms. These are so comfortable to slip into when you come home from work or when you are hanging out in the house. They make them for men and women. My only caution: please do not wear these to the grocery store. I see so many people wearing these pants outside along with their doo-rags on their head. Maybe you can add a note inside of the box, to be worn inside only.

Have you seen the new beverage dispensers? This is a great way to upgrade your punch bowl. The beverage dispenser is clear glass with a lid and some have a separate base that you can fill with ice. This will keep the beverage cold without diluting it. These dispensers come in so many styles and sizes. Some even come with a stand. I found a great one for under $20 at Marshall’s. Also check out Sam’s Club and the Internet for a great selection.

Speaking of beverages, the Wine and Spirits store is a great place to shop for gifts. At this time of year there’s tons of gift sets and specials.

Don’t sleep the gift card or gift certificate. You can make your own gift certificate and treat someone to dinner at their favorite restaurant, clean the house for them or give them a certificate to their favorite hair or nail salon. These are perfect gifts for the woman who has everything. Send your significant other to a day spa for a massage or go for a couples massage. Try something new.

If you decide to go safe and go the gift card route at least find a creative way to present it. The boxes and little bags for gift cards are very unique. If you’re going to visit someone who recently moved in to their home the gift of holiday decorations is always fun. Since you are buying this late just about everything will be on sale.

I love books and book stores. For a few of my friends who saw the movie “For Colored Girls” I purchased the chore poem by Ntozake Shange for them. The cover has changed but the contents are the same as the 1975 version. A book is a great gift but try to find out if the person has read it all ready.

One of my all time favorites is a gift that keeps on giving- an AAA membership, a magazine subscription, or a subscription to the New Pittsburgh Courier. This is one of best last minute gifts. Stop by your local news stand and pick up the current copy of the magazine or newspaper that you plan to give as a gift. Pull out the subscription card fill it out and make the payment. Wrap a ribbon around the magazine with a small gift card. Viola, the gift is complete and soon the subscription will start. Operative word here, make the payment.

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa!

(Email the columnist at deb­

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