This holiday season you may find it hard to get gifts in time for Christmas because of supply chain constraints, or maybe the pandemic has caused you to get behind in your shopping. But there’s still time to find things that will delight friends and family.
That may mean, however, shifting your perspective away from tangible objects to experiences like concert tickets, a pass to play a round of golf, a spa day or an outdoor activity. Or think about gifts that are alternatives to items and materials that might be delayed or unavailable due to pandemic constraints.
“With these times we just have to continue to be creative and kind of think outside of the box for our loved ones. It doesn't take anything away from the Christmas spirit,” says Julie Kenney, founder and chief executive officer of the Gifting Experts. “You can still be creative and surprise your loved ones.”
Here are three ideas for last-minute gifts that won’t have you worried about shipping.
Use technology to give
One of the fastest ways to give gifts instantly to loved ones is through your smartphone or computer.
Kenney recommends using mobile apps, like GiftYa, that allow people to send gift cards with personalized messages and videos to loved ones. She gave her niece a $21 gift card to iHOP on her 21st birthday using GiftYa, along with a personal video wishing her a happy birthday.
Gyft is another mobile app and website for sending gift cards. Consider cards to popular eateries, such as Starbucks and Panera, or, for a dad, grandparent or DIY buff, opt for one from Home Depot or Lowe's.
If you’re already doing last-minute online shopping on Amazon and Target with hopes of getting gifts in time, these major retailers offer digital gift cards that you can send to the recipient by email.
Make sure to be cautious about purchasing gift cards online, however, and never purchase them for people you don’t know who reach out to you by phone, email, text or social media. In a 2021 AARP survey, nearly 1 in 3 adults said they or someone they know had been asked at some point to purchase a gift card to pay a bill, fee or some other debt or obligation, or to claim a prize.