So, for those of you needing to buy a gift in person, here are some ideas:
A Bag of Makeup That's the Right Color
If you're anywhere near an Ulta or department store, take someone up on the offer to assist you by showing a photo of the person you're buying for, and ask for some recommendations on what products would look nice on her. Then, package it in a cute makeup bag. You can spend a little or a lot this way, and it won't take long to pull together.
Photographer Sitting Fee
No matter if you're single, married, or without kids, a photo session will probably be a welcome gift for your family. Since this can be expensive, it's a great option if you want to collaborate with siblongs.
P.S. If you're in the Dallas area, check out Zoe D. Photography
Better Versions of Old Household Items
I know I'm not the only person with parents still using wedding gifts received in the late 70's. I've eaten on many a plate that's older than I am, and have heard my mom and others wish for an excuse to get new dishes/silverware/towels/small appliances/bedding. That's why I like to just replace it for them, since practical people tend not to get rid of "perfectly good" albeit 32 year old dishes even though they now find them ugly. So, if you know what your mom (in law) or someone else would like, go ahead and surprise her with new Fiestaware or bedding that she can exchange if she wants. One year, I re-did my mom's bathroom with new towels, countertop accessories, and artwork and it was a hit!
A Weekend Away
I don't know many people who would pass up the chance to take a weekend trip with her friend, sister or daughter. If the lady on your list has relatives out of town that she doesn't see often, offer to drive her. Or, book a weekend at a spa or a city a few hours away and do things she likes to do. Even if you have to attend a quilt show or pretend to like scrapbooking, you will survive and it will be worth it to make someone happy. You can design a cute gift certificate to present on Christmas morning, or even gift a new weekend bag with the description on a large luggage tag. Be creative!
image via Inslee.net
Good luck shopping!