7 Last Minute Christmas Shopping Tips

7 Last Minute Christmas Shopping Tips


With Christmas at the door, maybe your presents aren’t. In other words, you still have a few gifts to buy and send which means you’re almost out of time.

Christmas CartLast minute shopping means last minute shipping, a costly, but possible endeavor. Indeed, even the United States Postal Service (USPS) can deliver a package on Christmas day, but for a price. A steep one at that.

Don’t let the lateness of the shopping season distract you – you can still finish up in time to make sure that your gifts are found under faraway trees on Christmas morn. (see The New York Times | Last-Minute Help for Those (Mostly Male) Holiday Shopping Slackers)

1. Shop Today – Yes, today is December 21st which means that most retailers use this date as the cut off for when items can be purchased, wrapped, packed, and shipped. Choose two-day delivery to assure enough time for your gifts to be processed and sent. Don’t bother choosing back order gifts at this point because they won’t ship until after Christmas if ever.

2. Christmas Cheer – If your gift recipient enjoys wine, you can stop by your local wine seller, pick up a few bottles and hand deliver them. If they live faraway, you may be able to ship these items from the store or you can ask them to package everything and take it to the USPS for delivery.

3. Holiday Home Baking – Your prized Christmas cookies are the delight of your family and friends. Why not whip up a batch of cookies, place them in a festive cookie tin, and send these off at once? These days, so many people don’t take the time to bake. Your gift beats out store bought any day.

4. Tickets or Passes – Tickets to a play, opera, or movies can be a nice gift to give. Also, consider passes to a ski resort, theme park, or museum. Some places allow you to order your tickets by phone or internet and can be picked up by the recipient on the day of the event. Find out if they’ll send a confirming e-message to your recipient too. (see Kiplinger | Give the Perfect Last-Minute Gift)

5. Magazine Subscription – Why not give the gift of reading this Christmas? Magazines are welcome especially for shut ins. Discount sites dominate the internet, making it possible to send a three year subscription for the price of one year. Most will send out a subscription card announcing your gift too.

6. Gift Cards – You know who their favorite retailer is, but you have no clue what this person wants. Besides, you can’t imagine yourself rubbing shoulders with influenza influenced shoppers this time of year. Instead, head over to the website of their favorite retailer and order the card online. Macy’s, for example, allows customers to order and customize cards right online. Add a photo if you like or order an e-card as late as December 24th (1 p.m.) to arrive in time for Christmas.

7. Cash – Some people think that giving cash or writing out a check is tacky, while others are grateful for your generosity. Teenagers love receiving money because that means they can decide what they want to buy and where they’ll buy it. It sure beats receiving an unwanted or inappropriate toy!

In the event that the weather socks you in or you just can’t get to the store today, go ahead and contact the USPS, UPS, and FEDEX for their last minute shipping options. You’ll pay more, but at least your package will arrive in time for Christmas. (see The Wall Street Journal | Holiday Shopping Tips)



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Categories: Consumer Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".