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December 23, 2011

6 last-minute holiday gifts

Yup, you waited until the last minute. So now what?

There's still time to get a gift that's personal, but won't break the bank. Try these crunch-time gift ideas for friends or family:

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Jewelry: Go with something classic. Sterling silver earrings, bracelets, necklace and pendant. Most department stores have sales on fine jewelry right now, so you'll get a bargain and please your lady, too.

Activity coupon: Find an activity your loved one likes or wants to try, such as a cooking or wine-and-painting class.

Local deals can be found on this shopping blog, Groupon, LivingSocial and other online shopping sites. It's as close as your computer or iPhone.

Movie gift certificates: Not sure what to get a teen-ager? Get them out of the house and to the movies with a coupon book. Local choices include Cinemark, Muvico and Regal.

2012 calendar : Find one in your local bookstore or mall that reflects the person. I bought a daily shoe calendar, for example, for a girlfriend who is a shoe aficionado.

Filled stocking: Buy a plain stocking and use a glitter pen to write your loved one's name on it. Fill it with small toys, holiday chocolates or other goodies, and something practical, like a toothbrush.

Bottle of wine: Not sure what to buy? Here are my recommendations for some better-than average wines under $20. For red-wine lovers: Joel Gott cabernet sauvignon, Cain Cuvee Meritage, Aymura Carmenere. For the white-wine preference: Clare Hills Riesling or Frog's Leap Sauvignon Blanc.

Or ask your friendly wine store owner for a recommendation. Slap on a bow or buy a wine gift bag, and you're done.

So don't sweat these last two days of Christmas shopping. And Happy Holidays!

POSTED IN: Christmas (51)

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About the authors
Doreen Christensen has never paid full price for anything. If there is a way to save on something, she will find it and share how you can save, too. Doreen is a senior reporter covering consumer news, health, beauty and features for the online and print editions of the Sun Sentinel. A 32-year veteran of the newspaper, she previously was a senior copy editor on the universal copy desk. Doreen spends her time off hunting bargains, clipping coupons, gardening and traveling.

Justine Griffin covers retail and marine business for the Sun Sentinel. She is a Tampa Bay native who graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010. After spending a year covering crime in St. Augustine, Fla., she moved to Fort Lauderdale and made the switch to business journalism. When she’s not writing, she’s riding horses and spending time with her whippet puppy, Josie.

Marcia Heroux Pounds is the Sun Sentinel's workplace columnist when she's not shopping for shoes. She also writes about small business, which allows her to visit many of South Florida's unique shops and boutiques.

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