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Best Last Minute Gift Ideas

Six Gifts You Can Pick Up or Order Today in Phoenix

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Movie Money!

© Judy Hedding

Did a special occasion just sneak up on you? Did you procrastinate until it was just a bit too late to order something online? Whether it's the day before Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, or your assistant's birthday, there are plenty of places where you can get lovely last minute gifts, and they are located in your own backyard.

Here are six easy gift ideas that you can pick up around town. The great thing about these gifts is that they come in all price ranges--you don't have to dip into your retirement savings to buy them.

Last Minute Gifts in Phoenix

1. Movie Money
The two major chains in the Phoenix area, AMC and Harkins, both have movie gift certificates available. The AMC Entertainment Card is available in dollar increments from $10 to $100, and can be used for both movie tickets and concessions. Harkins Theatres has a variety of options, including a tee shirt that allows the wearer free popcorn on every visit, VIP movie tickets, and gift cards. You can purchase these gifts at any movie theatre during the box office hours that they are open.

2. Tickets to Shows and Exhibits
There are Broadway shows, local theatre, youth theatre, art exhibits, opera, ballet, festivals, poetry readings, museum exhibitions--you name it, we've got it.

Check out these listings for upcoming concerts and shows in the Phoenix area. Many of these are likely to sell out, but if they haven't, you might find discount tickets at Goldstar.com (Buy Direct) or ScoreBig.com (Buy Direct). Read my analysis and comparison of those two programs.

3. Tickets to Sporting Events
In December, many of the 15 teams of that play Spring Training Baseball in the Phoenix area have tickets on sale. You might also consider tickets to the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction, tickets to The Phoenix Open, tickets to Phoenix Suns games, tickets to regular season Arizona Diamondbacks games or tickets to NASCAR events at PIR for your Arizona sports fan.

4. Gift Baskets
A gift basket of edible merchandise is always a thoughtful gift, especially for those people who don't need more stuff. Some of my favorite places to get a gift basket is AJ's Fine Foods (locations in Chandler, Scottsdale, Phoenix and Glendale), Harry and David (Scottsdale and Chandler), Costco (locations valley-wide, membership required), Cookies in Bloom (Phoenix) are just a few places where you can be sure to find an appropriate gift. Preceding holidays, just about every grocery store offers gift baskets in various price ranges. Related to this category, see chocolates, below.

5. Chocolate
Almost everyone loves chocolate! Here are ten places where you can get that perfect gift of chocolate for that special someone. Many of these chocolate stores can also provide No Sugar Added or Sugar Free chocolates and candies, kosher items, and other specialties. My favorite is Cerreta Candy Company in Glendale. Why? Because it is a locally owned, wonderful business. Visiting Cerreta Candy Company is like a visiting a small chocolate Disneyland!

6. Wine
Wines are incredibly popular, and there are plenty of places in the Phoenix area to get a nice bottle of wine. There are dessert wines, wines from certain regions of the world, everyday wines and special occasion wines, wines for every taste and wines for every budget. Here are several places in the Phoenix area where you will find a nice selection of wines, as well as knowledgeable people to assist you in making just the right choice.

7. Gift Cards
Gift cards are easy to shop for. You can generally pop into any business that offers a gift card and be out in a few minutes. You can get them at grocery stores and pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens. Some businesses offer e-gift certificates online, too, if you don't have time to get your gift card in the mail. Make sure you know what the restrictions are on the gift cards, such as expiration dates or non-usage service fees. Best of all, during the holidays many restaurants and other businesses offer gift cards with a bonus gift.

All prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.

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