Last Minute Holiday Shopping

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If you haven’t started your Christmas and Holiday shopping yet…well, you’re a little behind. But don’t fret! You still have time. Thousands of last minute holiday shoppers pile into the stores in the last few days leading up to Christmas. If you’re one of those shoppers, there’s a couple things to keep in mind as you make your final quest to find the perfect gifts. Follow these tips and your last minute holiday shopping should be a breeze.

Photo credit: ISO_40 via Foter.com / CC BY

Last Minute Gift Ideas

When you’re down to the wire, time is of the essence. You need to find the perfect gifts and you need to find them fast. If you’re stumped on what to buy, here’s a few easy ideas for fast delivery and quick turn-arounds:

  • Amazon Prime: There’s a few different ways you can utilize this idea. First, you could purchase one-year membership to Amazon Prime for the frequent shopper in your family. Or, you can utilize your own Amazon Prime membership to get one-day or two-day express shipping for last minute gifts. Whatever you’re searching for, they have it on Amazon. Be sure to take a look at their Holiday Deals section for specific items and gift ideas.
  • Gift cards: While gift cards aren’t always considered the most thoughtful of gifts, they are easy to find and easy to use—and, most people are generally happy to receive a gift card. You can buy them online and send them out via email, or you can find them in stores—even your local grocery or convenience stores have a full section of gift cards for you to choose from, including cards to restaurants, shopping stores, online stores, movie theaters, and even general Visa gift cards that recipients can use wherever they please.
  • Subscriptions: Do members of your family love wine? Cheese? Reading? Beer? Beauty products? Movies? The list could go on and on… These days you can purchase monthly subscriptions for just about anything. So, think about something that your loved one really likes, then find a way to get them a monthly subscription related to whatever it is. You can pay for the whole first year, then once the year runs out they have the option of renewing the subscription themselves or canceling their membership—or, maybe you can make this an annual gift to pay for their subscription.
  • A Donation to Charity: Everyone has that one person they know who is just not interested in material goods and fancy presents—they’re much more into the idea that it’s the “thought that counts.” For the sentimentalist in your life, consider making a donation to their favorite cause or charity. Not only will you make them happy, but you’ll also be contributing to a good cause. What’s better than that?
Photo credit: Another Pint Please… via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA
  • Alcohol: When in doubt, give them alcohol. A case of their favorite six pack, a nice bottle of wine, or a handle of their favorite liquor. Of course, make sure they’re of age first. This is one gift that is bound to make someone happy. And the best part is, they’ll feel compelled to share!
  • Food: Are you getting ready to head to a Christmas party and you find yourself without a gift? Well, refer to the idea above OR pick up a tray of baked treats from your local bakery. If there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s food. From offering to buy the holiday ham, to preparing your own homemade dish, or picking up a tray of cookies, any contribution to the Christmas spread is usually widely accepted and happily welcomed. If you feel like creating a homemade treat, check out our article, The Best Texas Christmas Recipes for some inspiration.

The Best Places to Shop in San Antonio

Merchant Square – El Mercado. Photo credit: Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

You may have read our article, Shopping in San Antonio: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Special, that outlined some of the top shopping locations in the area, from shopping malls, boutiques and little markets. If you’re looking for additional stores to do some last minute holiday shopping, check out these festive stores that were featured in USA Today’s Top 10: Christmas Shop in San Antonio for Fantastically Festive Gifts:

  1. Sloan-Hall: small, high-end boutique offering fine jewelry
  2. Bass Pro Shop: large outdoor and recreational retailer
  3. Brick Marketplace at Blue Star Arts Complex: restaurants, bars, and galleries in the Southtown Arts District
  4. Julian Gold: major department store offering top fashions
  5. The Rim: over 100 boutiques, shops, and stores to find just about anything you’re looking for
  6. Market Square (El Mercado): as mentioned in our Shopping in San Antonio: Black Friday & Cyber Monday Special, this unique market offers handmade gifts and cultural items that provides the full San Antonio flavor
  7. Caliente Hot Glass: glassblowing studio known for their beautiful glass art pieces
  8. Melissa Guerra: Latin Kitchen Market: little shop filled with treats for family and friends
  9. Shops at La Cantera: this outdoor mall provides over 160 store options
  10. La Villita: this “little village” located in the Historic district is filled with tradition, art, and authentic crafts

Dos and Don’ts of Last Minute Shopping

Photo credit: Mr.TinDC via Foter.com / CC BY-ND

With a limited amount of time to get things done, you need to stay focused on the task at hand. To do this, take a look at these Dos and Don’ts of Last Minute Shopping from U.S. News & World Report:

  • Do: Ask about free gift-wrapping services.
  • Don’t: Go Shopping without a list.
  • Do: Check the store or shopping center schedule.
  • Don’t: Forget about your local grocery or convenience stores.
  • Do: Make use of smartphone apps for last-minute deals.
  • Don’t: Worry about Christmas Eve crowds.
  • Do: Consider food gifts

We hope our tips help to make your last minute holiday shopping trip just a little less stressful and a little more successful. If you have additional ideas for last minute gifts, we’d love to hear them! Feel free to share your own tips, videos, and pictures on our San Antonio Daily Sun Facebook Page.