Shopping Zen: Last Minute Gifts that Avoid the Mall

Shopping Zen: Last Minute Gifts that Avoid the Mall | thegoodstuff

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We’ll soon be entering that “last-minute” territory for holiday shopping, and you know what that means: the malls will be slammed. Frenzied shoppers trying to finish up their lists, parking madness in overrun lots, long lines at the checkout (and even longer at Starbucks)—who wants to deal with all that?

Wrap up your shopping with these gift ideas that will help you avoid the mall and find a little peace on earth.

Discover great ideas for all the members of your family and even your best friends with our ultimate 2015 holiday gift guide!

Last Minute Gifts that Avoid the Mall

1. Gift cards

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They get a bad rap sometimes, but let’s be honest—everyone loves gift cards. It’s like getting money, and if it’s to a store you really love, it’s like receiving a “forced” shopping trip. Oh, darn. .

If you pay attention right now, many restaurants are offering BOGO deals, like “buy a $50 gift card, get a $10 gift card for yourself” (Benihana and Buca di Beppo, to name a few). And perhaps even better, some gift cards are being sold for less than their value. Check out the product deals that are updating constantly!.

2. Seasonal flowers


For the person who not only has everything, but buys what they don’t have themselves (making it super hard on gift givers), try something different this year. How about a Christmas arrangement for their dinner table? Beautiful flowers to brighten their day at the office? You’ll find great deals on holiday floral arrangements here. 

3. Subscription box services


From Birchbox (beauty samples) to Stitchfix (clothing) to Naturebox (good-for-you snacks), subscription boxes are still all the rage. There are hundreds to choose from, for foodies, fashionistas, pet lovers and more, and it’s kind of like giving the gift of Christmas year-round. With a subscription box, your recipient will receive a package in the mail each month of new things to sample, munch on, wear, listen to—whatever their fancy. Here’s a fairly comprehensive list of services to choose from.

4. Get creative at your local drugstore


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You do have to leave the house for this idea, but you won’t have to fight the mall crowds. Have you ever looked past the pharmacy or personal care items at Walgreens, CVS or another local drugstore? Many of them have great gifts, especially if you use a little ingenuity. For example, how about wrapping up some microwave popcorn, a few sodas, a box of candy and a Netflix gift card? Or maybe assembling a spa basket with body lotions, bubble bath, a scented candle and other little luxuries? And good news: You can find Walgreen coupon codes right here.

5. A donation in someone’s name


Good will toward men—that’s a gift that never gets old, right? When you give someone a GlobalGiving gift card, it’s like giving the gift of giving. With a GlobalGiving gift card, your recipient can choose the project(s) he wants to support and then see how his money has been put to work through regular updates from the field. You can choose to buy an e-card, a print-at-home card or a card via snail mail, and your recipient can then go online and select a project he wants to support. See how it works here.

6. Food or wine for an upcoming holiday party

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Why not help someone out with the cost of entertaining? Maybe you have a family member hosting a large group this season, or a neighbor who throws an annual bash. You can order everything from cakes to cookies to chocolate-covered strawberries online and have it shipped to their home before their event. Bonus: Here are a few cash-back offers you can use for a purchase from

7. Your time


At the risk of sounding cheesy, the gift of your time and services to someone could prove invaluable. Do you have any single parents on your list? Offer a few evenings of babysitting. Are you handy around the house? Offer to help someone you know in need of home repairs. Do you know someone who’s not keen on car maintenance? Offer to take their car in for an oil change and car wash. If you’re a great cook, offer a catered evening meal to a busy professional. Serving someone in a way they would appreciate could be one of the most valuable gifts you could give.

8. And, of course, never forget Amazon


The king of online retailers has just about everything for everyone, and if you have Amazon Prime, the shipping is free, of course. What better time of year to get your money’s worth than now? Here are their latest promos and coupon codes to get you started.