If you’re shopping at the last minute, be prepared to brave the crowds, and keep these tips in mind:
• Avoid large, bulky items. Gifts like home appliances, large-screen TVs and furniture may sound great, but it’s too late to have them shipped.
So unless shoppers are prepared to cart them to the recipient personally – and install them over the holiday – large presents may be more trouble than they’re worth.
• Similarly, customized gifts present too many traps a day before the holiday. Engravers, for example, may not be able to get their work done on time – or worse, there will be no time to correct any errors. The same is true for monograms and other personalized features.
• Online shopping is great if you have the time – but considering that it’s already Christmas Eve, there’s no way that the gifts will arrive by Tuesday’s holiday.
One exception: some online sites allow shoppers to order electronically, then pick up their purchases at a brick-and-mortar store. That’s an option that could actually cut down on the last minute hassle – if the online site moves quickly enough to allow for same-day pickup.