It’s already December and the holidays are just around the corner.  Have you finished buying for everyone on your gift list yet?  If you’re like most people, the answer to that is no!  In fact, many people haven’t even started shopping.  However, this is no cause for panic.  There is still time to do your last minute gift shopping and there are plenty of local businesses who are here to help you!

On-line Shopping

When faced with last minute shopping, many people turn to the internet and it’s easy to see why.  You can do it at home in your pajamas after the kids have gone to bed and don’t have to fit it into your already busy schedule.  However, if you are thinking about doing some shopping online, remember that anything you purchase from out of state (or out of the country) will not do anything to help support your local economy.  In addition, the customer service at many online stores is not reliable, which can make it difficult if your shipment is delayed, you receive the wrong merchandise or if the recipient would like to make an exchange or return.  If you really want to purchase some gifts online, check out some locally owned stores that have websites you can purchase from.
“Shopping has never been easier!” says Ruth Hamlin with Miche Nebraska says.  “Pour a good cup of coffee and browse through the hundreds of items on our website,  Once you have made your selections, for a small UPS charge you can have items shipped directly to the address of your choice or you can pick them up at the Miche and More store at Nebraska Crossing Outlet Mall in Gretna.”

Janet Lynn Klein with Lynn Klein Massage and Skincare adds, “I have gift certificates available both at the office and I have a purchase online option on my website.  There are several options available.  They may purchase a specific service or a general dollar amount.  All transactions are processed safely via PayPal or other arrangements can be made as well.”

The best thing about buying from a locally owned store is that you can be assured you’ll have the customer service to back up your purchase in case the recipient wants to exchange or has any questions.

Tips on Shopping

Just because you don’t have much time to get your shopping done doesn’t mean you can’t still fit it into your schedule.  Here are a few ideas:

–Go shopping on weekdays.  Most people will be trying to get their shopping done on the weekends or after work, so you’ll be able to avoid the rush and the lines if you’re able to go during the day.

–Get a sitter for an evening.  If you have kids, especially younger ones, you may find it difficult to haul them to the busy stores during the holiday shopping season.  Consider having grandma and grandpa, a friend or a sitter watch them for an evening so you can wrap up the rest of your shopping without having to worry about losing your kids in the crowd!

–Make a list.  Lists aren’t just for Santa!  If you want to be your most efficient, make sure you have a list in hand before you head out the door to complete your shopping.  You don’t want to set aside time and spend a few hours completing your shopping only to return home and realize you forgot someone.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Salon and Spa Gifts

“Giving the gift of professional hair and skincare products and services is the perfect solution for everyone on your holiday list,” says Lisa from Salon Capelli.  “Loved ones to colleagues, everyone needs hair, skin and nail services and a basket of professional products are guaranteed not to be regifted! Stop in to Salon Capelli and pick up quick and easy gift solutions including gift certificates in any denomination, and choose from a variety of products including Pureology, Moroccanoil, Aquage, American Crew and more. Whether you are giving Salon Capelli’s expert salon and spa services or stuffing stockings full of great beauty and grooming products, Salon Capelli makes giving easy and receiving beautiful!”

“If the person you are giving to enjoys and appreciates pampering spa treatments, then gift certificates are the way to go,” suggests Janet Lynn Klein with Lynn Klein Massage and Skincare.  “Because I am a dual licensed professional for both massage and skincare, it’s nice to receive both services in the same visit by the same provider!  I have a unique style of massage techniques I use and the skincare treatments and products use provide great results.  It’s often the simple things people enjoy and I know that for some, just a chance to get away from everyday life for an hour for a massage or facial does wonders for stress reduction.   So if anyone wants to treat that special someone to a mini-vacation from life, then gift certificates for spa services are a great idea.”

Handbags and Accessories

“At Miche Nebraska, we have gifts for every girl on your list,” says Ruth Hamlin with Miche Nebraska.  “With four sizes of Miche bags from Petite to Prima and a full selection of wallets, coin purses and purse charms, you can’t go wrong by selecting a gift from Miche Nebraska.  Don’t have time to shop?  Not a problem, our Miche representatives will assist you in making your selection and deliver it to your door.  Need it gift wrapped?  We can even handle that for you.”

“We usually wait until the last minute because we are not sure what to buy for the person,” Ruth continues. “Our Miche representatives can help you make a selection of just the right item in just the right price range.   You can select a designer handle or new shell for the woman who already has a Miche Bag, or how about a hipster bag or backpack for your teen or maybe a new wallet.  Got a little princess on your list?  Our Petite Miche is the top of the list for those fashion forward girls!   My favorite gift idea came from a gentleman who purchased his wife a black clutch wallet and put two tickets to a concert inside!”


What girl on your list wouldn’t love a great outfit from a local boutique under the tree this year?  There are a number of locally owned boutiques in the area who would be more than happy to help you pick out the perfect gift for the fashionista on your list.  If you know the person’s size, you can get a full outfit complete with pants and a top or a dress with matching boots.  If you’re not confident on size, stick with items like jewelry, scarves, ponchos or other selections that don’t have to be the exact fit.  Of course, you can also get a gift certificate to a boutique and let the recipient come in and choose their own outfit for the new year!

Gifts of Food

You can’t go wrong with gifts of food this holiday season!  Whether you’re looking to just put some candy or chocolate-dipped potato chips in your kids’ stockings or you want to surprise your mom by bringing a fruit bouquet to Christmas dinner, gifts that can be eaten are always appreciated!

Food gifts are also great for corporate gifts.  You don’t want to forget your valued clients this year and gifts of food are great for last minute gift giving because you don’t want to purchase too early anyway or they won’t be fresh.  The key to giving edible gifts to clients is to deliver them in person when possible (this may not work for out of town clients, but you can certainly take an afternoon off and deliver to your local clients).  This gives you a chance to talk to your clients in person and thank them for all their business this year.

Hobby Gifts

“If you have a woodworker on your list, we’re your one-stop gift shop with thousands of items in stock,” states Gerry Phelan with Midwest Woodworkers.  “If you are not sure what to give, we can help.  We’re woodworkers and we can offer gift suggestions and answer your questions.  Just let us know what your favorite woodworker’s interests are and we’ll go to work for you.  You can check our website for ideas and if you don’t see that perfect gift, just email us and we will research it and get right back to you.  Or, if you’re not sure what your woodworker needs, a gift certificate can’t miss!  We offer gift certificates in any amount that never expire and have no service charges.”

“We have a number of reasonably priced items that would appeal to any woodworker,“ Gerry continues.  “Some ideas might include digital protractors and calipers, Wixey angle finders, Incra rulers, bench cookies, and of course clamps.  A woodworker can never have too many clamps.  We also have a huge selection of books and magazines covering many different woodworking topics.  If you need a gift for someone who is just starting out, how about giving them a class?  We will be happy to provide a gift certificate for any of our classes.”

“I think woodworking is a great outlet for anyone who likes to works with their hands and needs a creative outlet,” concludes Gerry.  “And it’s not just for guys.  We are seeing more and more women getting into woodworking.  A gift certificate for a class is an easy and fun way to try it out.  Bring out the inner artist in that special person by getting them involved in woodworking.”

Gifts for Vehicles

Gifts for vehicles are a great idea for any adults on your list who own a car or truck.  If you just want to add some bonuses to a vehicle, consider installing some seat heaters.  Jones Automotive can install seat heaters in most vehicles whether it has leather or cloth seats.  Another great gift idea is remote car starters.  These are perfect for the winter months so you can warm up your car from the comfort of your home and not have to worry about getting into a cold car or scraping windows.  They are also good for cooling down a hot car in the summer months.

If you really want to treat someone this year, consider taking their car in and having it ‘winterized’.  This is a gift that will not only be appreciated, but will also help your loved one stay safe while driving in the upcoming adverse weather.  Cold temperatures bring out a number of lack of maintenance issues and taking care of these issues as a gift is a great way to show you care and is perfect for children, elderly parents or others who you worry about on the road.

Gifts for Fitness

Got someone on your list who wants to get in shape or enjoys trying new things to stay in shape?  Why not consider getting them a membership to a gym or a workout package for lessons in martial arts or another form of exercise?  This is a great gift for siblings or children and you can make it even more special by getting yourself a membership as well so you can work out together.  Gifts of fitness memberships can be used all year long and can help those on your list get back on track after the hectic holiday season!

Even though your shopping days may be getting short, that doesn’t mean you can’t still get all your shopping done and pick out some wonderful gifts that will be loved and appreciated!