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Perfect procrastination: Why last minute gifts hardly unfulfilling

The holidays are inching ever so close, and the malls and shops will be packed even hours before Christmas Day as shoppers begin to finalize their lists at the 11th hour.
And with that procrastination, comes the most common phrase you'll hear as it pertains to the holidays.
"Last minute gift."
Now in the past, you would assume this phrase was negative or carried with it a stigma that was anything but positive. But the truth is two fold: sometimes you can't find just the right gift for someone special or you've forgotten someone important on your list.
So what exactly constitutes a good last minute gift?

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The great last minute gift equalizer easily is the gift card. Now, the argument about gift cards is that they're impersonal and look as though you just decided on a whim to shovel over an Applebee's or Best Buy gift card with no thought behind it and with little effort on your part.
But what about the thought counting? Doesn't that sentiment still exist? The fact that you remembered is good enough, and no one is going to turn their nose up on a free dinner out at a favorite restaurant or the opportunity to buy a DVD so that they can enjoy a movie night that isn't going to cost them anything.
Furthermore, and beyond gift cards, you can't go wrong with lottery tickets as a means to say Happy Holidays when you pair them with a nice card with an equally sentimental message as part of the gift and in conjunction with the lottery tickets.
Lottery tickets suggest that you didn't forget someone, but should be given as more of a gesture to someone who you don't know all that well, but wanted them to know you're thinking of them this time or year. The mailman or perhaps a distant cousin, aunt or someone you don't really see all that often except for maybe at Christmas dinner or a holiday party annually.
You can't underestimate the importance and appreciate that is associated with giving money, too. Whether that's in the form of a pre paid card or just money in an envelope, some people just need the money for this, that and the other thing, and don't necessarily have the need for a trip to a restaurant or retailer. Instead, they just will spend it on what they want. Again, cash is more impersonal, so keep that in mind when you think of it as a gift.
The idea of giving a gift has always centered on not wanting anything in return or doing it for any other reason than showing someone you've got them on your mind during this time of year.

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