December, 2011 – Last-Minute Holiday Shopping


Last Minute Holiday Shopping, Not a Good Idea


By Lynda Saltz


Is it the 24th of December and you forgot to get gifts? And your recipients live up north? You are in so much trouble. When you ordersanta-timer the wine online, I suggest that you send it to yourself. And drink it. The gift may cost you 20 bucks, but the delivery will be 100 bucks in this economy. So here I am in Florida; the idea of Xmas and New Year’s seems to have eluded me. Chocolates, you think? If you assume that you can ship them out of state at a reasonable rate, then you are either out of your mind or very wealthy. The online solution was not the best idea that I ever came up with. You’ll get a popup on the website that says, “I don’t think so, loser.” Do I have a solution for you? Well, yes. But you’ll have to read to the end of my whine.


There are a few popular websites that really deliver precious goods. The flower website. You know the one. This week for delivery was blacked out on the calendar. What about buying a gift yourself and going to a post office? Forget it. Unless someone left you a huge inheritance, the shipping is exorbitant.


Chocolates-are they fresh? Then you can forget that option. Toys? That was a good one. It seems that the best stuff was sold out two weeks ago. But, you know, I live in my own world. When it comes to my life, I really put the pro in procrastinator. (I stole that line from a t-shirt.)


And then the light dawned on me. Why would I call the 800 number? Find out where the local branch in the neighborhood is. Dial the local number in the recipient’s neighborhood and see if they will deliver it on the 24th at a standard fee. And they probably will. Problem solved! Will the gift be perfect? Listen, I can’t solve all of your problems. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.


Lynda Saltz is a freelance writer and former Managing Editor of The Newbury Street and Back Bay Guide in Boston and writes for newspapers in the Boston area when she is not buying gifts for her family and friends at the last minute.