Posted by: nichemarketplace | December 17, 2008

Last Minute Holiday Shopping Quick Tips …

last-minute-holiday-shopping
Caption: LAST MINUTE HOLIDAY SHOPPERS RECHARGE THEIR BATTERIES!

For all of you last minute holiday shoppers, the clock is ticking down and it is really crunch time now. Never fear, glory awaits those who keep the faith! To assist you in your quest, here is some expert advice culled from sources across the Internet.

Buy in bulk or shop for lots and repackage them into gift sets or gift baskets. This suggestion comes from terrific Seattle online writer Kristina Jensen. In an article entitled How to Give Christmas Gifts in a Recessionary Economy, she remarks that “Buying Christmas gifts in bulk is cheaper and you can usually get [better] quality products.” eBay, warehouse clubs, discount or liquidation outlets, the clearance sections of chain stores (like Walgreens or Target), even the local dollar store are great sources for decadent treats, unusual products, and cool stuff that can be grouped together to make a gift package fit for the most discriminating family member or co-worker. Think about the gift recipient — is he or she a chocoholic? A coffee or tea lover? A student? Group the items around a particular theme, add a dash of creative presentation, and … Ta-Dah — you’re good to go!

Smell that holiday spirit! There is a strong relationship between the sense of smell and human memory. The smell of turkey roasting on Thanksgiving or cookies baking in the oven is bound to bring a flood of childhood memories. Aromatherapy candles and gifts not only spread holiday cheer, they are known to reduce stress. eHow author and expert gift giver Kristina Jensen, also recommends buying fragrant gifts, especially anything scented with apples, spices, cinnamon or pine. Personally, I find the fragrance of vanilla, citrus, berries, and eucalyptus very festive. A cautionary note — some people are extremely sensitive to strong fragrances. If the proposed recipient has a sensitivity to smells or is highly allergic, you might want to try a different track.

Think Green, Save Green! Recycling and reusing resources helps the planet and your budget. Green holiday gift giving can be accomplished in a variety of ways. Kristina Jensen offers a range of suggestions for environmentally conscious, cost-saving gift giving. Online greetings cards create no waste. Cut down on the expensive gift wrap and use simple tissue instead. Even better, consider saving and reusing gift wrap, gift bags, and ribbons. Remember how your mom or grandma used to save and reuse gift wrap? It turns out they were smarter than you thought! Last but not least, there is regifting. Regifting saves energy, saves precious natural resources, as well as saving money. The key to successful regifting is to think before you give. Ask yourself this question, “Does the regifted gift complement the interests and lifestyle of the proposed recipient?”

Get Personal. Personalized gifts are always appreciated. As Kristina Jensen rightfully observes, “Photos are always personal and meaningful.” Current or vintage photos of family members, beloved pets, favorite vacation spots, or other shared memories presented in a lovely frame make thoughtful and heartfelt holiday gifts. But you don’t have to stop there, we live in an amazing digital universe — greeting cards, gift cards, T-shirts, tote bags, coffee mugs, mouse pads — you can add a digital photograph, custom colors, and a personal message to almost anything you imagine.

Give group gifts, instead of individual gifts. This suggestion comes from frugal gift giving maven strvnwriter (another talented online writer who writes under a screen name). In an article entitled How to Give Frugal Christmas Gifts, she duly notes that you can save both money and time by buying a single gift for the couples or even entire families on your list. Her recommendations for great couple’s gifts include a pair of movie tickets, a pair of wine glasses or champagne flutes, or a bag of gourmet coffee and some chocolate spoons. Suggestions for family gifts include a Blockbuster gift card put together in a gift package with microwave popcorn and movie-size candy or a fun family board game. DVDs of family movie classics — from Shirley Temple to Shrek — also make great family presents.

Gift Card Do’s and Don’ts — strvnwriter insightfully points out that, in general, gift cards and gift certificates can cause a person to spend more money than one might otherwise spend. With a little creativity, a frugal shopper can design a fabulous gift package for $10, but one might be reluctant to give a gift card in such a small denomination. There are exceptions to this rule, however. Gift certificates and gift cards are simple, convenient, perfect for family and friends at a distance, and eminently Green. The key is to choose a restaurant or service that the recipient actually uses on a regular basis. If you have a co-worker who buys a coffee every day from the local espresso stand, then a $10-$15 pack of Latte coupons would go a long way.

So now that you’ve received a transfusion of gift giving wisdom, your shopping batteries are recharged and you’re ready to make the final assault on the mall. Just keep your eye on the prize and you’re sure to go the distance!

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