How to Find a Last-Minute Christmas Gift That Doesn’t Look Like a Last-Minute Christmas Gift

Originally published by Brad Tuttle on Money.

7 tips and tricks to find last-minute holiday gifts.

Last-minute holiday giftsIt’s the week before Christmas—too late to ensure standard delivery of online purchases will arrive in time, and perhaps too crazed a period to hit the mall and wander in hope of inspiration. Even so, there is still plenty of time for last-minute shoppers to make the holiday dreams of their loved ones come true, or at least avoid deep disappointment on December 25.

Here are some smart ideas for where to shop, what to buy, and even how to get the most bang for the buck as you’re scrambling to pull off some last-minute Christmas shopping miracles. As a bonus, with most of the suggestions below, shoppers never have to physically “go shopping.”

Gifts Sent Via Email
Another gift option that doesn’t require you to leave the house or dare risk any personal contact is the e-gift. The most common form is the simple e-gift card, which is just like a normal gift card only it’s virtual and can be redeemed via the web or a scan of a smartphone. They’re available for hundreds of retailers—Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, and beyond—and the most interesting products come with tempting bonuses around this time of year. Panera Bread, for instance, gives a free $10 bonus card with the purchase of each $50 card, and the deal applies no matter if you’re buying a physical or electronic card.

For a virtual present that feels more personal, consider the new gifting service from Nordstrom. The new service is the result of a partnership with CashStar, in which the recipient receives an email featuring a present picked out by the giver. Before the item is actually shipped, however, the recipient can tweak the color or size, or even pick another gift or choose to simply take a digital gift card instead.