Holiday Gifts & Lifestyle

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Great last-minute gift ideas

Tradition is a hallmark of the holiday season. Religious services, family gatherings and trips to see Santa Claus are just a few of the many traditions people adhere to during the holiday season.

Many holiday shoppers also adhere to the time-honored tradition of last-minute shopping. The perfect gift can sometimes prove elusive, especially as the sand in the holiday hour glass keeps dwindling. These last-minute gift ideas may be just what shoppers need to put smiles on the faces of their loved ones this holiday season.

• Books: Books are often overlooked, especially now that so many readers use e-readers. But books can be an ideal gift and especially convenient for last-minute shoppers, who can even gift e-books. For example, Amazon, which has thousands of e-books in its online library, makes it easy for shoppers to gift e-books to Kindle users, who will simply receive an email on Christmas morning informing them that their books are ready to be downloaded to their devices.

• Experiences: A 2017 survey by the global research firm NPD Group found that roughly 40 percent of holiday shoppers planned to give experiences as gifts last year. Experience gifts open up a host of possibilities for last-minute shoppers stuck on what to give those loved ones who seemingly have it all.

• Food/beverage: Television channels such as The Food Network have changed the way many people look at food. When gifting the family foodie, last-minute shoppers may not need to look further than the latest hotspot restaurant or specialty grocery store for the perfect gift. Take them out for a night on the town or give a gift card they can use at their convenience. The craft beer boom has created a host of devoted and knowledgeable beer drinkers, so a gift card or growler from a local craft brewery is sure to please people who love hoisting frosty pints.

• Streaming service subscriptions: Many people are cutting the cord with their cable companies in favor of streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu. Subscriptions to such services can make ideal and affordable holiday gifts. A six-month or yearlong subscription likely won't break shoppers' budgets and will provide months of entertainment to loved ones.

Last-minute holiday shopping is easier than ever, especially for shoppers willing to think outside the box.

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