If you tend to procrastinate, you probably still have some people to shop for this holiday season. Well, here are a few gifts that are not only thoughtful, they'll keep on giving, all year long.
If you know someone who loves the arts, a membership to the American Alliance of Museums might be the perfect gift. On AAM-us.org, you'll see that the membership cost for students and seniors is $50, while the cost for professionals is $90.
That's not bad considering that one membership can grant admission to over 600 museums nationwide. Even if they only visit a couple of museums in their area on a regular basis, it will still be cheaper than paying full admission each time.
For your friends and family who love to learn, think about signing them up for some classes. Check out websites like LivingSocial, Groupon and Amazon Local to find classes that range anywhere from $30 to $200 and up. The courses don't have to be formal –- some great subjects include cooking, foreign language, fitness and art.
Finally, if you're still stuck on what to get that special someone, a subscription to Netflix can be just the ticket for your movie-loving friends. These subscriptions range from one month to a full year so there's a gift for any budget.
This Christmas, keep these tips in mind. You'll have amazing, wallet-friendly gifts on hand for the holidays, and you won't have to leave the house to buy them.
7 Hot Toys Predictions for the 2013 Holiday Season
Save on Gifts That Keep on Giving -- Savings Experiment
Elmo was popular when I was a kid. He was popular in the mid-90s, when America went insane over Tickle Me Elmo dolls. And with the toy appearing on all three lists, it looks like he'll be popular this year, too.
Centuries from now, when humanity has migrated to the stars, we'll still give our kids Elmo dolls for Space Chanukah.
Here's another ghost of Christmas shopping past. Kmart and Walmart are both bullish on the latest Furby, which according to the product description "has a mind of its own." It goes on to say that "the way you treat your Furby will shape its personality." Incidentally, you could also describe children this way. Expect to pay around $60 for this one.
Doc McStuffins follows the adventures of a veterinarian who operates on stuffed animals, and the dolls and play centers promise to be popular again this year. All three retailers have this playset on their lists, though it should be noted that Toys R Us exclusively has the "Deluxe" version of the kit pictured here. The Deluxe set has 14 bonus pieces, including a fetching pink labcoat. Note that the Deluxe costs $79.99, versus $64.50 for the standard set at Walmart.
Toys R Us is building tablet mini-shops in its stores, so clearly it expects kid's tablets to be a big market this season. Both Toys R Us and Kmart have the LeapFrog on their lists this year.
The tablets cost $150 and is durable enough to withstand drops, though it's not waterproof. So if your kid is prone to pitching toys into the toilet, steer clear of this one.
The Ninja Turtles are going to be big this year. At Kmart you can find this remote-control "Shellraiser" vehicle, which shoots sewer covers and costs around $45. At Walmart there's the Secret Sewer Lair playset, which costs $80. And at its holiday preview event last week, Toys R Us had classic Ninja Turtles figures and their "party wagon" on display.
Basically, you can't go wrong with Ninja Turtles. (Which, incidentally, is what I tell my parents every year when they ask what I want for Chanukah.)
Both Kmart and Walmart list this one, so it looks to be this season's hot Nerf gun. As the coloring and name make clear, it's a toy weapon being marketed to girls, a rare move for Nerf. We're thinking the popularity of archery-centric movies with teen girl protagonists like "The Hunger Games" and "Brave" account for Nerf's sudden interest in selling to the female market.
We don't recall Princess Merida or Katniss Everdeen using a hot-pink-and-purple bow, but hey, that's toy marketing for you. This one will cost $15.99 at Walmart.
Unlike other fairy dolls, this one actually flies. It must be a real fairy!
No, just kidding, it's just a toy. Get it for $30 at Walmart. It takes six AA batteries, which aren't included.