For shoppers who still have gifts to buy, it’s not so much about thoughtfulness. At this point, it’s full-on damage control. Christmas is in two days — a reality striking fear in the hearts of procrastinators everywhere.
At one week before Christmas, about one-third of gift-buyers had yet to buy a single gift, according to a Consumer Reports survey last season. At one week out, only 13 percent of shoppers had checked off everyone on their lists at that point.
Men and millennials are the biggest offenders, the survey found.
With that in mind, one local clothier and accessory shop owner has some sage advice for men.
“I always say if you’re not sure what to get, always get a small token-type gift, and a fabulous gift certificate,” said Pierre Mancuso, co-owner of Pierre’s Fine Clothing and Accessories. “Like gloves, scarves, things like that. A girl always wants something to open up.”
In his experience, men don’t care so much about having a gift to open. So women procrastinators: You can skip the token gift and go straight for the gift card rack.
Useful ideas for last-minute gift givers
Have a backup plan: Most retail stores, including the shopping malls, are open Christmas Eve with limited hours. A mall or department store will have a larger selection of items, but show up with a plan. Pin down your gift ahead of time and use the store’s website, if possible, to make sure it’s in stock. Make a Plan B in case you can’t find Plan A or it’s out of stock.
Buy something digital: Subscription-based gifts like a Netflix account ($13.99 per month) or Amazon Prime ($99 per year) offer a host of things, including free two-day shipping for Prime holders who shop on Amazon. An eBay or Amazon gift card, available at most grocery and department stores, opens up a world of consumer goods to pick from. Other subscription ideas include a Spotify, Apple Music (both $9.99 per month each) or Pandora ($4.99 or $9.99 per month) music streaming service account.
Give an experience: Pick a restaurant you both enjoy and give a gift card coupled with one for the movie theater. For a significant other or a special friend, book a night away. Procrastinators can plan this one without leaving the couch. It doesn’t have to be far, just far enough off the beaten path for both of you. The Poconos, the Finger Lakes and New York City are all within a few hours drive from Northeast Pennsylvania. Find a live show, a museum or attraction you can see together when you get there and get tickets. Here’s where presentation matters. For example, don’t just print out some confirmation numbers. Wrap the itinerary in a box. Write a letter. Make it special.
Gift cards: OK, we’re hitting the gift cards pretty hard. But you’re the one who waited until Christmas Eve. Options couldn’t be thinner. Gift cards, especially ones to specific places like the book store or a clothing store, are better than cash. Using them in the store is part of the experience, and they won’t get lost in the billfold with other money.
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570-348-9131; @jon_oc on Twitter
Source : http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/you-waited-until-the-last-minute-for-christmas-shopping-now-what-1.2282611592