Last-minute gift ideas

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With Christmas right around the corner, the mad dash to the mall is on. For many it is crunch time to check off the final items on their gift list, wrapped and placed under the tree or delivered in time for December 25. The holidays usually present a shopping frenzy, which is why it is understandable many people put off the madness until the last minute.

One up side to procrastination is many retailers offer great last minute deals. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), American consumers will spend an estimated $688.87 billion on holiday gifts this season, so the extra discounts are well worth the wait.

Finding the perfect gift at the last minute may be difficult, but the experts at Money Management International are here to help ease the tension with the following gift ideas.

Buy gift cards - Gift cards are great gift options for all occasions. You can either choose a gift card from the recipient’s favorite store or a generic gift card such as VISA or American Express. Gift cards give recipients the option and freedom to buy something they’ll love. Just be sure to check the store’s policy before you buy. Most gift cards are invalid after a certain date and cannot be redeemed for cash. For more gift card ideas visit, GiftCardMall.com.

Create personalized gift certificates - A great gift isn’t always something tangible. Sometimes giving someone your time is the best present. Get creative this holiday season and create free personalized gift certificates. You can create a gift certificate good for 20 hours of free babysitting or free cleaning services for a month. Visit Regiftable.com to create your own personalized gift certificate.

Offer homemade treats - Give your loved ones a heartwarming treat from the oven. Bake homemade sweet bread, gingerbread cookies, or mini raspberry cupcakes. Deliver the treats in festive containers. Your family and friends will be pleasantly surprised with the edible delights. For recipe ideas download the free Cheap Eats eBook.

Regift - Sometimes you don’t have to travel far to find great gift ideas. Sometimes it’s as nearby as your own closet. Skip the crowded malls and high prices and consider regifting this year. Acceptable regifts include any unused gift. For successful regifting, make sure you don’t regift to the original giver and give a regift that someone would actually enjoy. For more tips and ideas on regifting, visit NationalRegiftingDay.com.

The holiday season is a time to spend with family and friends and nothing shows affection more than something meaningful from the heart. Great gifts don’t have to come packaged in decorative holiday wrapping. Consider making a charitable donation to a charity in the recipient’s name. Choose an organization that has the most meaning to the recipient.