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Every holiday season, there is, at least, one (if not more) instances of “Oops!” occurring not so much from oversight, as from hopeful avoidance. There is no one who complains of having an insufficient number of recipients on their holiday gift-shopping list, and most folks do their best to make sure to include all of the insiders, along with certain key peripherals. At some point, there just has to be an end to the whole process, and who is the ONE PERSON you managed to leave off the list? Why, it’s the one person who called just minutes ago to announce that he’ll be in town after all, with plans to swing by your place in two hours. The specific details may get changed around per instance, but what emerges is your need to come up with a solution. You can prevent such a last minute call from adding calamity to your already maxed out holiday stress level.
A last minute gift hunt automatically excludes any internet shopping that involves S&H, rush options and such. No, uniquely, last minute gift procurement requires shopping locally–locally, in terms of the store being in close proximity to the recipient, if that is not where you happen to be. Certain delivery channels remain a possibility when the merchant is in the recipient’s local vicinity and is willing to deliver. Depending on how desperate you are, you could always arrange a courier service or taxi delivery, but that’s certainly an extreme. While the old standby of a gift certificate might seem appealingly easy–surely you can do better than this. Now, assuming you and the recipient will be in the company of one another at the time of gift exchange. This opens up a whole realm of shopping possibilities.
Gifts can be classified as personal, generic, for the home, for the job, for the car and for the yard. If it’s a last minute gift relationship, you probably want to cross off “personal” from your options, and if you are not absolutely sure of the recipient’s living and/or work arrangements, stay clear of gifts that make inappropriate assumptions. For instance, a rake wouldn’t be a good idea for someone who resides in an apartment or on a boat. Unless you really understand his or her job protocol, omit job things, like innovative desk doohickeys and gadgets. He or she might drive a delivery truck for a living. Car-themed gifts can be grouped in with those harder to pinpoint–your best bet is to go generic.
Pick a Few Good Locations
Select a few retailers or service providers that are convenient and offer variety. A last-minute gift shop during business hours allows you to include a number of services you could present to the recipient. Among some of the more popular ones are self-pampering services that a high-quality spa offers. Massage therapies, pedicures, clay body masks and many more options exist to let someone know you care. A food type gift certificate to a really nice restaurant, or if the recipient would enjoy, one for Starbucks would be fine. Purchase him or her a generous deal from a local pizzeria or a gas card from a national company for as many fill-ups as you can afford. All of these type gift certificates are very practical and useful.
Your Pre-Game Day Plan
While you’re out shopping for the folks on your list, try to pay attention to a bigger variety of possibilities just in case a last minute procurement pops up. If necessary, jot down some details about store and price and location within the store. At this time of year, a lot of stores will stock a lot of great last minute gift ideas right around the registers. Make sure to check these out, as well. Then, when and if a “need-a-gift-quick” occasion arises, you’ll be set.