I've done it. Don't pretend you haven't done it.
I'm talking about waiting until the last minute to finish Christmas shopping.
Every year, my holiday preparations start off in November – or even earlier – with lists, sales flyers, catalogs and websites. And plans. So many plans.
I shop and I buy and I wrap. Then, the pretty boxes all go under the tree in an attractive display. Hooray.
But that typically accounts for only about half the people on my list. Some people are almost impossible to buy for.
When my dad decides in July that he wants new grilling tools, does he wait until Dec. 25 to see whether someone got him some? No, he goes out and buys his own. Socks? Ditto.
Cologne? He already has enough to make all the competitors in next year's Kentucky Derby smell heavenly. And I'm not talking just about the jockeys – horses, too.
The last resort of last-minute shoppers like me is gift cards. And I'm thankful that they're so popular.
A WalletHub survey has found gift cards are actually the most popular gift this year – the 15th year in a row in the top spot.
The personal finance website recently released a list of the five best gift cards. Among the criteria were popularity with recipients, how much people like the retailer and shipping fees.
This year's top recommendations are:
Starbucks, Target, Nike, Chick-fil-A, iTunes. Yes, you can typically buy gift cards up to and including on Christmas Eve. And, no, your Aunt Louise won't know whether you picked it up weeks before the holiday – or mere hours.
So, I'll see you in the checkout line on Dec. 24.