Time, friends, is almost up.
Not time on Earth (we hope). Time to shop. Christmas comes Monday, leaving you only a few short days. I remember working in retail and the wrath that the last Saturday before Christmas wrought.
But you’re good, right? According to recent surveys by market research firm the NPD Group, more and more shoppers are getting a jump on holiday transactions rather than waiting until the last second. You’re all set?
Oh. They missed you on that survey. Well, we have some help ahead. Some suggestions for stragglers.
BARNES AND NOBLE
Here’s a nifty idea. Barnes and Noble has recognized that sometimes, despite best intentions, people return gifts, and that this can be a hassle for both parties. With the store’s SmartGift feature, you select a book you’re pretty sure Aunt Tiff or Cousin Bobby will like. They get a link with the choice and can decide to keep it or exchange it for something of the same price or lower. You don’t pay until they decide. They don’t get something they don’t want. Use it at bn.smartgiftit.com.
There’s no friend like Target in trying times. Place online orders for free same-day pickup until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and stop in any time before closing. Target stores will open at 7 a.m. local time and close at 10 or 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve (please wear protective gear). Check your local store for precise times.
Christmas Eve is the last day for same-day delivery, free for Prime members, if you order by 9:30 a.m. or earlier. Also, you may have heard of Prime Now, Amazon’s effort to bring stuff to your door within two hours. For now, it’s only offered in certain zip codes. Prime members can get free two-hour delivery from Prime Now on Christmas Eve, but order by 9 p.m.
Sign someone up for a fun delivery and sprinkle joy throughout the year. These days, there are boxes with everything from bacon to beer to socks. Birchbox and Ipsy are beloved for beauty products. Gift someone who doesn’t like to grocery shop with a couple months of Blue Apron or Hello Fresh.
Experiences are more memorable than candles. Check Groupon, LivingSocial and Travelzoo for vouchers from everything from massages to pedicures to winery tours to vacations. Or snag tickets to concerts, plays and museums. Please, whatever you do, make the printed voucher look nice. Wrap it in a box. Draw a picture on it. Don’t hand someone a crumpled piece of paper. As is the mission of this issue, have a heart this year.