You've done all the Christmas shopping weeks in advance — then the neighbour shows up and hands over an unexpected present. Avoid social embarrassment and eventual shunning by making sure you keep an emergency stash of gifts. Here's what we recommend.
Gifts picture from Shutterstock
The ideas in this list are non-perishable, flexible and generally well-received, but that doesn't mean you can just grab any old item and hand it over. You still need to consider your audience.
Red gift bags and boxes
Bags and boxes mean you can "instantly" wrap something rather than messing around with paper and tape. The genius of red is that you can use it outside of the Christmas season as well, if there are other emergency gift situations.
Bottles of wine
Yes, it's a little obvious that you might have just had a bottle of wine sitting around (don't grab one from the fridge!) But that doesn't mean it won't be welcome to most people.
iTunes/Google Play gift cards
If you buy these on special, you'll save a little. Obviously, you need to target these to the recipient: an Android owner probably doesn't want iTunes cards.
Classic card games
These can work for a wide variety of recipients. A generic pack of cards looks cheap, but any more specific game is a solid choice.
Small boxes of LEGO
These are always a good emergency gift for small kids.
I favour these rather than chocolate: less likely to melt and less likely to kick off an alergic reaction.
What items would you add to this list? Share your thoughts in the comments.