BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Twelve days left to shop. There is always so much to do this week.
Shopping online may be the answer for those last-minute gifts. The Free Shipping day is this Friday December 15th. If you can find a few quiet minutes to sit down at the computer, you can get all your last-minute stuff done and get free shipping. Check our website to link to almost 700 participating merchants.
Think about picking up some gift cards. But be sure the gift card is one the recipient will use. According to Marketwatch, $1 billion in value on gift cards goes unredeemed annually.
Head to the bookstore. This is my go to place for last minute gifts. I can always find a book for everyone on my list. Cookbooks for my sisters, novels for my daughter-in-law, a gift certificate for my granddaughter and puzzles for my husband.
Buy some plants or flowers, decorative containers and some bows and voila` you have your hostess gifts, kids’ piano teacher and Sunday school teacher taken care of.
Head to one of the big discount stores that sells baskets. You can fill them with small gifts and make a big impression.
Do a theme for each basket. For tea drinker, consider a teapot and some mugs, a variety of teas, a jar of honey, a honey dipper and some imported shortbread cookies.
You can fill the baskets before you leave the store. Then when you get home all you have to do is remove the price tags, add a bow and some candy canes for color.
If you still have people on your list give them IOUs. Make up gift certificates for them. Promise your niece a trip to the mall after Christmas to pick out the clothes she wants when they are on sale.
It is truly better to spend time with your family this week baking cookies than it is frantically cruising the mall. And probably cheaper, for you spend so much more when you are in a rush to get something.
You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m. and 3:55 p.m.