There is nothing worse than Christmas shopping in a "normal" year, but add the COVID-19 pandemic and financial hardships to the mix and you have real trouble trying to fill your Christmas list. Here are a few gift ideas that don't cost too much and are easy to get together so they don't add a lot of things to your to-do list:

1. Family photo calendar - I made my family these calendars a few years back with photos of our parents and family gatherings. You can do color or black and white photos and they are a huge hit. After the year, the photos can even be framed if you want. I got mine at Walgreens, but there are a lot of online options for photo calendars.

2. Website membership - How many times do you click on a link to a story on Twitter or Facebook only to find that you've exceeded your 3 free stories for the month? I hate that and if you have a family or friend who loves a certain website, get them a year's subscription. It's so much better than the fruit-of-the-month club, trust me.

3. Plastic wine glass or beer mug - There is nothing better than a cold beer or a glass of wine in the shower but soap and glass don't mix. Get a really nice plastic wine glass or beer mug and your loved one can enjoy an adult beverage while washing the day off without worrying about dropping it.

4. A really long phone charging cord - When I was recovering from surgery a few years back, Darren got me one of the most amazing things I never knew I needed, a 10 foot long charging cord for my phone. It changed the way I lounge on the couch. Whoever came up with those stupid short charger cords should be ashamed of themselves. Get one, I promise it will be the best gift you've ever given.

5. Anything cool from our local shops - There are so many local shops that could use your Christmas dollars. Restaurants, clothing stores, salons, and just about any other business you could think of are just a Google away and will help out local vendors.

Merry Christmas and happy shopping.

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