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Even if you start your holiday shopping early, you may still find yourself without gifts for a few people as Christmas Day approaches. What to do? You may want to consider buying an online gift card or gift certificate which can be downloaded or emailed immediately after your purchase.

Not that long ago, giving a gift card designed to be redeemed online might have been a risky move, as many people were uncomfortable shopping online. Today most people have made a purchase online, so your gift is likely to be well-received.

Online gift certificates and gift cards are great presents for almost anyone of any age, whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts for dads and brothers, Grandma Christmas gifts, presents for coworkers, gifts for kids or Christmas presents Mom would enjoy. Kids will enjoy gift cards for toy stores or video stores, while cards for clothing or jewelry shops are great for women, and certificates for sporting goods stores are often popular with men. And if you can’t decide, you can select an all-purpose Christmas gift card that the recipient can use at the store of his or her choice. For instance, SuperCertificates from GiftCertificates.com can be redeemed at any of the 200+ online stores featured at GiftCertificates.com. You can also create personalized photo gift cards at GiftCards.com or get discounts on gift cards at PlasticJungle.com.

You can print some online gift certificates from your printer so you have an actual certificate to put inside a Christmas card. Other types of online gift certificates are emailed directly to your gift recipient, but you can usually add a personalized message.

If you need ideas about a specific Christmas gift card for friends and family, here are some options: