Last Minute Elf 2013: Monday

The Last Minute Elf“It’s the thought that counts.”

Ugh. How many times have I heard that expression. Usually, it means, “Way to go, bonehead. I really didn’t need a Pepe Le Pew key chain for the holidays, but wow, you must have really been desperate to find a last-minute gift at the local gas station before you stopped here.”

It's Pepe LePew!Yeah, I’ve done stupid stuff like that.

But, I can also tell you that while getting something you may not want could be a disappointment, not getting anything – when others around you are receiving gifts – can really be a blow. That says that, yes, it’s true, that no one thought about you. It’s happened to me a few times, and it did not feel good…

That’s part of the reason why I enjoy building gifts for friends and relatives. It doesn’t only show that yes, I thought of you, it also shows much more importantly that not only did I think of you, but I carved hours out of my free time to make something especially for you.

Christmas Boxes, 2003The first year I built holiday gifts was when I made some mitered boxes for my parents and my in-laws. No, they weren’t all that great. I can still remember trying to figure out how to hide some gappy miter joints after I had assembled the pieces. And, there were more than a few puzzled looks on the faces of the recipients when they got them.

But, ten years later, when I walk into my mom’s or my in-law’s homes, I can see those boxes still out on display. I know that they are still being appreciated.

So, if you have never built a gift for the holiday season, give it a go. While you may not think the project is a big deal, it may be a huge deal for the person who receives it.

Yes, it certainly is the thought that counts.

Today’s winner?  Well, when you get an entry from someone known as The Woodfather, it’s an offer you cannot refuse, capisce?  That’s what happened when Mario Cappellano sent me the plans for his children’s picnic table.

The Kids approve of this table!Mario – I’d say the kids are liking that table. And, when the weather gets warmer, it will be a great place to gather with friends to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine – and a good snack!

For being today’s winner, how about Fine Woodworking’s Basic Box Making DVD with Doug Stowe?

And, here are some Last Minute Elf links for some really cool quick holiday ideas.

Remember, if you have posted a Last Minute Elf idea on your site, or see one posted somewhere, be sure to send me the link at so I can post it here this week!

3 thoughts on “Last Minute Elf 2013: Monday”

  1. Hi Tom!
    Wow, Thanks so much, didn’t expect that at all!
    I can’t wait to see the full collection of LME gifts, as someone who is not exactly blessed with the power of forward planning, some nice & quick projects are exactly what I need over the last few weekends before Chrissie!
    Thanks again,
    All the best and have a very Merry Christmas!
    Mario (TheWoodfather)

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