Okay, so maybe you’ve been too busy meeting deadlines or chasing that new client to get ready for the holidays, and now gift-giving time is just days away. No worries. Before you scramble to an over-crowded store in a panicked search for gifts that are fun and won’t break the proverbial bank, we have some ideas/inspiration to help make your quest easier, and the results more satisfying.

This year, your holiday gestures can be happy-making but they can also be meaningful expressions of mutual support.

Sharing shouldn’t end with the holidays

Give a friend or colleague a membership or gift certificate to a coworking space. They’re a great way to connect with a community of creative, entrepreneurial freelancers, to learn new skills – and maybe even find new work partners or clients. Check out 3rd Ward, Office Nomads, Collective Agency, and NextSpace.

It’s the craft that counts

Give an Etsy gift card. There are literally thousands of handmade and vintage items to choose from. Your recipient picks what s/he loves, and you support independent business. http://www.etsy.com/giftcards

A little extra green(s)

Buy friends or loved ones a membership to a CSA or food co-op in their community. This is a great gift for someone who loves cooking, cares about fresh, local food, and thinks supporting independence in others is good for us all. Not to mention, it will help them save some $$ on their grocery bill. http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

What are you doing for the holidays?...Oh, just staying local.

Before heading to the supermarket, grocery list in hand, try creating a holiday meal or party with locally sourced, fresh foods and ingredients from independent businesses and agriculture. Sounds nice, but who has the time, right? You do. Here is a resource to make it a little simpler to track down the perfect ingredients in your town: http://eatlocalgrown.com.

*The gift that keeps on giving… *

Many of us want to help others in need at this time of year, but how do you decide which organization to support? Why not make a donation to a Kickstarter project that’s dedicated to an issue you care about? You’ll be contributing to a good cause and helping an independent like yourself put his or her talent to work for that cause. http://www.kickstarter.com/

*Still no idea what to do for NYE? *

Be the boss you wish you had last time you worked a full-time job and give yourself the holiday off. Now, how should you spend that free time? Try airbnb.com. It’s a great way to find an affordable getaway nearby – or even to spend a stay-cation in a new neighborhood in your own city.