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Last minute green gift ideas that won't put you in the red

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Let's do a little holiday math shall we.

Today is Monday + Christmas is on Wednesday - all the gifts you haven't purchased yet = you are in trouble my friend.

Waiting to the last minute to buy Christmas gifts leads many people to make less than stellar decisions. The gifts are often more costly since they're bought at the last minute, and they are rarely green in nature.

So, to help you avoid that trap this year the final installment of the Green Gift Giving Guide is here with some last minute green gift ideas. So, read on for some tips on how to keep your gift giving a happy shade of Christmas green, while keeping your checkbook out of the red.

Gift Idea #1: Give a gift donation in the recipient's name.

All of our local animal shelters are always in need of donations of various kinds. The Animal Friends of the Valleys here in Wildomar is no exception, and it has recently set up a PayPal account to help make giving even easier. As an added incentive there's a giving promotion going on through Dec. 31st, in which all donations will be matched up to a total of $4000. All you have to do is mark the donation as a "Matching Gift" so it will qualify for the promotion. To give this gift simply follow the PayPal link, and don't forget to note that it is a "Matching Gift" so your donation amount will be matched.

Gift Idea #2: Gift Certificate to Earth Bistro.

This local Temecula restaurant serves up fresh, natural, pure, and organic food everyday, but this holiday season they are also offering up a tasty gift option as well. If you go to their website, myearthbistro.com, you'll find that one of the promotions being offered is a bonus $5 offer, with any $25 gift certificate purchase. Now, this isn't the typical $5 bonus that you'll find at other restaurants, as this one turns your $25 certificate into a $30 one instead. According to Earth Bistro's manager Nima, there's also a recently added option which allows you to swap out the bonus $5 for a free cheese pizza (a $7 value, but you'll need the phone number of the certificate recipient for this one, so they can access the pizza coupon later at the restaurant.) The coupon can either be printed out from the promotion section of the website, or to be extra green you can also show them the coupon on your phone or tablet. This deal is good through Dec. 31st, so those of you who need late gifts can partake of it as well.

Gift Idea #3: Send a SitStay pet gift pack.

If you need a gift for a pet lover who near or far, you can find various options at SitStay.com, which can be shipped directly to the recipient's door. Not only do they offer a wide variety of toys for our furry friends, but they also have a selection of healthy, organic, and made in America treats. They offer several gift packages that come in a cute Christmas themed sack, so you don't have to worry about it being wrapped. They are offering next delivery by Christmas Eve, as long as you get your order in early enough on Monday, check with them for details. They are also offering a 15% discount on holiday orders, just use code ENJOY15 at checkout.

Gift Idea #4: Gift Cards/Certificates for healthy food.

Organic Roots Market in Temecula has gift cards, and The Farmstead Market in Murrieta has gift certificates for sale. You'll need to visit the store to purchase them, but if your not sure what to buy your green friends, either of these options will give them the option of getting what they want, as a store you know they frequent.

Gift Idea #5: Help save a horse this Christmas.

Villa Chardonnay Equine Sanctuary is still seeking donations to help make up for their cancelled Fall fundraiser. If you would like to help save the life of a horse this Christmas then take a look at the PayPal donation link on the Villa Chardonnay website.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you get your gift shopping done in time, while still being green. Merry Christmas everyone!!!

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