Last Minute Christmas Gifts that Don’t Seem Last Minute

Are you still trying to think of what to give someone on your list?  Are you panicking a bit because Christmas will be here in less than a week?  I have been in the same boat because of all the sickness in my house for the past few weeks.  I was really behind and playing catch up on gift shopping.  I found some great gifts though that I am happy to give my family and I’m pretty sure they’re gonna love them.  Here are some last minute Christmas gifts that don’t seem last minute:

Give a magazine subscription

Buy a Magazine from a local store (Target or WalMart) and give it with a card that says the recipient is getting a new subscription to the magazine (be sure to sign them up for a gift subscription). Amazon has lots of magazine subscriptions available for many different magazines.

Some ideas are America Girl for girls ages 8 & up, Clubhouse for boys and girls ages 8-12, Clubhouse Jr. for boys & girls ages 3-7, Real Simple Magazine for women, Kiwi Magazine for the mom who is green and eats healthy,  Wired Magazine for anyone into the latest technology.


For the gamer in your family get them the subscription to Gamefly. The game service that allows them to rent games for as long as they like and then return them for a new selection. $15.95 a month gets you 1 game at a time.


Give the gift of unlimited movies with Netflix.  My family has a Netflix subscription and we love it! Watch instantly over the internet on your computer, mobile & tablet device or on your TV via Wii, PS3, Xbox and many other devices. A month of service is $7.99 and you can sign up for just one month or multiple months.

Kindle Ebooks

You can purchase specific Kindle books at Amazon to send to someone.  One of my favorite books to give is Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are.  It is beautiful and life changing (and only $3.79 for Kindle right now).

Kindle books can be gifted to someone who has a Kindle OR someone who has an iPad or iPhone and has the Kindle app on their phone.


Starbucks allows you to email gift cards to a recipient and choose your greeting.  If you have the iPhone Starbucks app you can also send a gift right from your phone using the recipients email address.


If you have iTunes you can log in to your account and give gift cards from the store.  They will be emailed on the date you select.  iTunes gift cards are great for anyone who has an iPod, iPhone, or iPad.  It allows them to purchase music, movies and apps.

Spa Finder

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SpaFinder allows you to print or email a SpaFinder gift card that the recipient can redeem at over 20,000 Spas, Yoga, Pilates, & Fitness Studios Worldwide.

Amazon gift card

Last but not least, email an Amazon Gift Card that allows your recipient to purchase just about anything they could think of on

What are your go-to last minute gifts?  I hope you are having a lovely Christmas season and not feeling too rushed!

Disclosure: Some affiliate links are used in this post.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cracker Cookies Recipe {& a Gluten-free Version}

If you haven’t ever tried this Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cracker Cookies Recipe before you are missing out (sorry, just being honest). They are sweet and salty at the same time and so very good. They do not necessarily fit into my idea of eating super healthy but they are a once a year Christmas treat. I have made these every year since I was a little girl and my mom and I discovered them at a craft sale one Christmas. My family loves them now too and I would get in serious trouble if we didn’t make them. They are pretty simple to make. See the recipe notes below for a gluten-free substitution.

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Cracker Cookies Recipe {& a Gluten-free Version}
Recipe type: Cookies
  • 1 box Ritz crackers (or use the an organic version of butter crackers from Whole Foods)
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar creamy peanut butter
  • 2 (1 lb. ) Packages of Chocolate Almond Bark or any melting chocolate of your choosing
  1. Spread peanut butter on a Ritz cracker and then top with another cracker to make a sandwich. Repeat this until you have used up all of the Ritz crackers.
  2. In a double boiler (or a glass bowl on top of a pan with about 1½ inches of water in it) melt the chocolate over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Once the chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from the stove and use a fork to dip the ritz and peanut butter sandwiches into the chocolate. Pick up the chocolate covered Ritz with a fork and gently tap it on the sides of the bowl to remove excess chocolate. Place cookies to dry on wax or parchment paper.
  3. Once the cookies are dry store in an airtight container. They stay good one the counter for about a week or you can make them ahead and freeze them.
For a gluten-free version use Glutino Gluten-free Original Crackers. They end up tasting pretty close to the same thing when you add the peanut butter and cover them in chocolate.

Debt-Proof Your Christmas {A Review}

If you’re like me you want to know how to Dept-Proof Your Christmas.  Imagine with me that you look back and your Christmas was the best yet. You think about the past few weeks leading up to it and smile.  It really was how you imagined it could be and you feel joy and peace at knowing that you had the Christmas you intentionally planned for.  Sounds great doesn’t it?

I love that Mary Hunt has written a book full of practical ideas as well as the inspiration we need to get ourselves in the mindset of a debt-free Christmas. Her book, titled Debt-Proof Your Christmas, is amazingly thorough on the subject of celebrating the holidays without breaking the bank.  She shares inspiration for having the right mindsets and developing a plan for your Christmas spending.  Mary doesn’t beat you up with past failure but rather encourages you that it’s never too late to start on a path towards a debt-free Christmas.

“You can decide right now that Christmas for you and your family will not be dictated by the retail industry, which has it’s sight set on your wallet and your wealth.”

Dept-Proof Your Christmas covers everything from budgeting, how to find great deals, homemade gifts, and holiday traditions to all kinds of creative gift ideas and even a section on holiday entertaining.  This book is sure to help you find ways to cut back, be more creative and give more intentionally thought out gifts.  I believe you will find it to be a very helpful book whether you are going into Christmas not sure how to make it all work or you are already on top of the budgeting and planning.

What are some of the ways you plan for a debt-free Christmas?

Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Disclosure: I received this book for free from Revell to review. Also, the links in this post are affiliate links that allow Mommy Kudos to earn a small commission on any purchase you make with them.  I will only share with you what I use and recommend. I hope you enjoy them!

Making Memories and Taking Time Off

 My 6 hanging out by a big tree

Did you notice that I lost steam and ended my gift guide early?  Well, it isn’t so much that I lost steam but that blogging is a lot of work and when you add 6 kids into the mix it can get a bit crazy (especially this time of year).  I would far rather enjoy this season than stress about posts not going up.  So I decided to end it a bit early.  We’ll see how long it is before I commit to 30 days of anything again without having the posts done well in advance (Although I do have a series up my sleeve for the new year that I am currently working on…).

I decided to take the whole month of December off of blogging to make time for the truly important things in life.  I will be busy cuddling little ones (and hopefully big kids too), reading,  tickle parties, cookie baking and memory making.  I will be sharing some posts from the archives while I am away.

I pray you have a lovely Christmastime full of love, joy and peace.  I will be back in time to wish you a Happy New Year.  In the meantime, you can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or send me an email. I would love to hear from you!

You can see all of the Mommy Kudos Gift Guide items here.  If you need some inspiration there are some really great gift ideas for moms, babies and kids each day.  Also be on the lookout for my Ultimate Stocking Stuffer List (updated from the archives).

Blessings to you and yours!!

Some Tips on Getting Great Christmas Card Shots of Your Kids

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?  I love this time of year and really look forward to Thanksgiving.  The problem is that Christmas comes so quickly after Thanksgiving and I find myself needing to look past Thanksgiving a bit to what needs to get done for Christmas.

One of those to do items is Christmas Cards.  I love taking photos of my kids and turning them into our Christmas Cards.  I have to think about it early though and work on getting a great shot to use.

I will usually find a nice day, not too hot or too cold and head to a park.  The best time is earlier in the morning (before 11) or late afternoon.  You don’t want harsh sunlight in your photos so plan for a time when the sun isn’t directly overhead.

Trees, a lake, bushes, a cool looking door, a field or an unused railroad are all great places to take pictures.  Look for places while you are out and about and make note of the ones that would make good photo backgrounds.

Make it a fun time with your kids. Don’t let the stress of getting a perfect shot ruin your time.  Plan a fun time and insert the photo session in the midst of it.  I’m thinking about taking large lollypops or ice cream and cones, handing them out and then snapping away.  This should make for less tears and some great candid shots with the kids true personalities coming out.  Be sure to take lots of pictures!  It’s a great way to find a few that turn out well.

This year I am going to create our Christmas Cards using TinyPrints.  I love the round cards they have this year that double as Christmas ornaments.  It is a perfect new way to display Christmas Cards.

What are your plans for Christmas cards?  Have you found a great location for taking photos in your area?

Disclosure: I am receiving my Christmas cards for free this year from TinyPrints in exchange for this blog post.