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Livin' la Vida Lacy - Just get a gift card
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If you are a stumped and stressed last-minute shopper, I have a simple solution – gift cards. Before you write me off saying “C’mon, that’s impersonal and thoughtless,” hear me out. 

Gift cards are the best present for almost everyone on your list. They’re easy to purchase, they give the recipient some decision-making power and it’s stress relieving because, the truth is, most of us will be unsuccessful when we shop for gifts. In fact, I think my father-in-law has yet to use his 23andMe ancestry kit we gifted him last year.

Technically, this can happen with a gift card, but if you pay attention, it’s not too hard to know where family and friends shop or eat. You can play it safe and show how well you know them by gifting a card to their favorite lunch spot in town or just pick up an Amazon or Walmart gift card.

Picking a thoughtful gift card that offers the recipient a new opportunity — to travel, to try new foods, to expand their wardrobe — is 10 times better than another generic lotion gift set. (I’m guilty of regifting those.) So, gift your bibliophile friend a Barnes & Noble gift card, or your expectant cousin a gift card to a restaurant to appease all her pregnancy cravings, whatever those may be.

That’s what I’ve done anyway. I find gift cards help me stay on budget and focus on being present with my family instead of worrying if they like the material gift I’ve bought. Now, we all know a big ole envelope will give it away so I get creative with my packaging. 

Last year, I spray painted plastic animals metallic gold and tied wrapped gift cards on top like they were carrying cargo. Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve used simple paper bags this year. It’s cheap, pretty and smells nice too! 

Here’s what you’ll need: twine, small brown paper bags, hole puncher and some type of greenery. 

Step 1: Write the recipient’s name on the back in small font. Place your gift card inside of the bag. To make my bag a little heavier and to add to the suspense, I wrapped the gift card in a single piece of tissue paper. Fold the top part of the paper bag down. 

Step 2: Take the hole puncher and make two holes in the center and secure it with some twine tying it into a bow. Add a small twig of greenery. I used dried eucalyptus and lavender from Grandma’s garden. Voilà!

Seriously, it’s been the quickest and cutest wrapping idea I’ve found, but there are tons of other reusable ideas. Do you save your old Southern Standard newspapers? Well, it’s time to use them! Wrap your package in your favorite sections and add some red ribbon for a pop of color.  

Anyway, enough of that. If you don’t like my suggestion, you’re on your own. Just remember, Christmas is about being thankful for Jesus’ grace, the love of friends and family and enjoying all of God’s blessings.

Merry Christmas, readers!

Standard reporter Lacy Garrison can be reached at 473-2191.