Got a ticking clock on your holiday shopping? Think of it as an opportunity to be efficient. Just pick out a few easy holiday gifts based on where you are on our countdown to the holidays.
You planned ahead, but you still find yourself scrambling for last-minute holiday gifts. Maybe a friend just surprised you with an unexpected present and now you feel obligated to return the favor. Maybe the gift you ordered for a family member arrived damaged and the replacement won’t arrive in time. Or you received a sudden invitation to a holiday party and don’t want to show up empty-handed.
No matter how prepared you think you are, you’ll likely need to do some last-minute holiday shopping. These last-minute holiday gift ideas can help.
If You Need a Gift in Two Days:
Repeat to yourself: You still have time. The good news is that many stores stay open late during the holidays. You can also shop online and pay extra to have your gifts shipped overnight (but check closely to make sure that their overnight shipping option is, in fact, still available). The trick with last-minute holiday shopping is making sure the gift doesn’t feel like you waited until the eleventh hour by including a note that explains why you thought this gift was perfect for them.
Before you hit the store, spend just a few minutes thinking about the person. What do they like to do? Where do they work? Do they have kids? What are their hobbies? Brainstorm some thoughts before you head out to shop with the last-minute holiday crowd.
Electronics stores in particular offer a range of low-cost, yet highly appreciated gadgets and other products that can be great holiday gifts for someone on your list. Think of something they wouldn't buy for themselves. It could be something small, like a TV streaming stick or a Bluetooth keyboard, or something more substantial, like wireless speakers or a small drone.
If You Need a Gift Tomorrow:
You can’t rely on shipping at this point, but you still have time for some last-minute holiday shopping. You just might need to be a little creative.
Tickets to an upcoming event are easy holiday gifts that most people would love to unwrap. Enhance the gift by printing out the tickets and buying a nice card to place them in, perhaps accompanied by an American Express® Gift Card to cover a dinner or cocktails before the event. If you don’t have time to go out and buy a card, make one.
If You Need a Gift Today:
Wait, it's the day of _____ already? Store hours can be questionable on a holiday. When it comes to grocery stores, however, you’re in luck as most grocery store chains remain open during the holidays.
Many grocery stores have a gift card rack , which often includes the American Express® Gift Card. You can add a personal touch to the card by suggesting it be put towards a date night or vacation.
If you want to get creative, make a holiday gift basket with all the ingredients needed for their favorite cookies. If you don’t know their favorite cookie, pick a holiday-themed dessert, such as sugar cookies, pumpkin bread or peppermint bark. You can find the ingredients, gift basket and ribbon at the grocery store to save time and money.
If You Need a Gift Now:
Out of shopping time? If you know about the receiver’s entertainment tastes, streaming services are great last-minute holiday gifts, sure to bring pleasure all year round. Whether the person is a movie buff, music junkie or bookworm, you can sign them up for various streaming services that cost less than $100 a year. The purchasing process for this type of gift is simple and can even be done from your smart phone while you’re on-the-go.
If it’s truly last-minute, and you’ve missed store hours, you still don’t need to lose hope. As you can see, there are many last minute options available that go beyond needing a physical store to purchase a thoughtful gift.
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