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Radio Tour: Last-Minute Shopping, Tipping Advice

Haven't finished your Christmas shopping yet? You're in good company.

Radio Microphone
Radio Microphone

I just finished a round of radio interviews and last-minute shopping was a hot topic of discussion. That shouldn't be too much of a surprise, after all several surveys have found that the majority of consumers still have about half of their shopping leftto do.

But have no fear, I had a lot of advice and some tips to share about how to tackle the gift list in time for the big day.

The first thing I pointed out is that retailers are sponsoring more sales and promotions both in the store and online to sweeten deals for shoppers. For example, Friday is "Free Shipping Day."This event features more than one thousand retailers who are promising that if you order gifts online, not only will they get there by Christmas, the shipping is free (and sometimes there are other incentives as well.) Think of it as a Cyber Monday for the procrastinator.

Another date for the calendar is Dec. 23. That's for the diehard, last-minute shopper. About 50 retailers and restaurants are participating in an event called "Click It To Gift It"to promote egift cards, which are gift cards that get mailed to their recipients. These emails can often be personalized with photos, videos and messages. And for that day, the participating companies are throwing in free gifts and charitable donations as a special incentive to buy.

Consumer Nation - Holiday Central Edition - See Complete Coverage
Consumer Nation - Holiday Central Edition - See Complete Coverage

But if online shopping isn't your thing, you'll have plenty of company at the stores as the days count down to Christmas. Our holiday special has a lot of gift guides, and some great tips for what to look for when youbuy gift cards, host a party, or bring home that new gadget.

When we talked with WIL's "The Cornbread Show," they were in the middle of chatting with their listeners about holiday tipping, so I shared with them some of the advice we've gathered from etiquette experts about how much to give and who gets tipped.

One of the burning questions was: do you tip the garbage collector? (The answer is yes.)

And with WVHR's "The Farm" we discussed the touchy subject of regifting, which is becoming more acceptable—as long as you do it with tact. (Rewrap the gift, please. Oh, and pass it along to someone who will actually appreciate it.)

So thanks to WKFS, "Mancow," KAZR's "Moose, B-Sox & Amy," WOCM's Bulldog, WVHR's "The Farm", WDBM, WIL's "The Cornbread Show", Blog Talk Radio's "Film Festival Radio Show," and WSVU. It was great talking with you.

And in case you're wondering: No, I haven't finished my Christmas shopping. I have a few more items to pick up, but thanks to all my research I know exactly what I want and where to get it.

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com