'Twas the week before Christmas, and this author was quite broke. The rent was past due and the price of raw goods was certainly no joke. But being 25, he realized, was no good excuse, for not delivering gifts to those for whom he cared most. So he dashed to the internet, credit card in hand, and found 5 cheap gifts --that to him-- were quite grand:

5. The L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag, $32.95! For Mom

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Go large with long handles and don't forget to monogram something memorable and classy, like Big Mommas Bag o' Tricks!

4. Princeton Tec Fred Headlamp, $29.95, for Dad

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Safety first, style last, that's why I love the headlamp. Whether you're walking the dog at night or trying to cut down the electrical bill on your twilight exoduses to the bathroom, a headlamp is the solution to most of life's problems. The designated red LED is essential. You can use it on the boat at night without distracting the operator. You can use it to freak out your neighbor on their late night trips to the fridge. Enjoy.

3. Nautical Jewelry on Ebay, less than $5 for Sister

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I have no idea if my sister would ever actually wear this stuff, but try searching 'nautical jewelry' on ebay and behold a pirates trove of cheap accessories. Remember, it's the thought --and price-- that counts.

2. A Retro-Styled Nautical Flask, $18.95, for Brother

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I found this thing on Etsy.com, and it's great. In fact, it's one hundred times better than the boring rabbit flask I bought for my brother this Christmas! Buy it on Etsy and you know you're supporing a small business. It'll look great on the boat (just don't drink and operate). Don't know anyone with a boat? Bring it to the docks and make some new friends!

1. A Handle of Mount Gay Rum, $29.99, for whomever you owe a special thanks

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Let's be realistic. Someone, or more likely, a group of people, did you a huge favor this year and didn't ask anything in return. Maybe they bailed you out of a flat tire, a bad battery or out of jail, just don't forget to show your appreciation. There's no question that a handle of Mount Gay Rum is the the ultimate, simple --yet sincere-- holiday gift. And it's available at a package store near you.

Don't forget the tonic and lime. Have a Safe and Happy Holiday!