Two weeks and two days from now it's Christmas. You might be done getting the perfect gifts for people you love, but if not, I've got two great ideas.
It's always hardest to buy for people who really don't need anything, so don't buy anything. Give something in their names. And if that thought appeals to you, think about giving to the Operation Christmas food boxes.
Co-chairman Ruth Reed says they can always use more food for the Christmas boxes that will be distributed Friday.
"Items such as boxes of cereal, cookie mixes, packages of cookies, hamburger helper type boxes, packages of Christmas candy, boxes of instant potatoes and other non-perishable items," Reed said.
Also, after Friday they'll "start buying at sales for next year's project," she added. "So money donations can be sent at any time to Operation Christmas, P.O. Box 278, Fort Dodge, IA 50501."
This is something, however, that should be done tomorrow or Tuesday to give the Operation Christmas people a chance to fill those boxes to overloaded.
They're in the former Walgreens/Hancock Fabrics space at the Crossroads Mall, with an outside entrance only.
If you don't like the idea of not giving a tangible gift, give your loved one the receipt for the donation for their tax deductions. Wrap it around a big old chocolate bar. Chocolate makes anything good.
If you're looking for something unusual that seems like you've been working on it for months, go downtown to see Margie Fleming. I know Margie as a quilter, but a few months back she opened an embroidery shop in the old Lilyan's building on Central Avenue. It's called Five Star Embroidery and Apparel.
She can embroider anything on jackets or hats, tea towels - any number of items can be used. She can use existing logos or can come up with a new logo or use a phrase or short poem - anything.
This is a chance to get really creative, even if you've not thought about it before. Like a T-shirt that proclaims "Greatest Baker on Earth." Or "Grandma in Waiting." Now that's an idea if you haven't told the family yet of a birth on the way.
See, you can tell all sorts of secrets in a great way. Just keep the video camera running when you give it, and you might be one of the newest winners on America's Funniest Videos.
But, people, remember this: Christmas isn't Christmas because you give or get a gift. Christmas is Christmas because of the birth of Christ and the celebration of that birth. Even non-Christians can get caught up in the shared happiness of the season.
You don't need to give a gift to say "I care." Bake some cookies, offer rides to a grocery store or doctor's office. Fill a car tank with gas or invite someone in to play cribbage or board games.
You might be the best gift you can give to someone.
So long friends, until the next time when we're together.
Sandy Mickelson, retired lifestyle editor of The Messenger, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.