If you like waiting until the last minute to do your holiday shopping well congratulations, you've done it. Christmas Eve usually means the traditional dash to the store one last time for something that might have fallen through the gift giving cracks. Or, if you're a  man, it's the day you start Christmas shopping and many  men will tell you there is one gift that never fails to please.

You try to get a gift card that's related to some of their interests. And it shows that you put at least a little thought into it, that you do understand them, but you don't want to get the wrong model or type of gift.

That's LSU Assitant Professor of Marketing Dan Rice explaining to the Louisiana Radio Network the strategy behind being a good gift card giver.

While some might scoff at the idea of giving a gift card as showing a lack of thought and preparation the truth is this. Gift cards top the list as the most preferred Christmas Gifts.Gift cards are easy to buy, they're easy to  use and while it's one of the few gifts that most people would love to see bought too big, they're always the right size and seldom get returned.

Since you can purchase specialize gift cards at many outlets other than the actual retailer Rice says gift cards make an excellent option and you can really put thought into the gift.

If they really like to go out to different restaurants then you can get gift cards to those places and chances are they will really appreciate that. If they are really technically inclined then they would like a Best Buy gift card to get the exact type of merchandise they want.

According to Card Hub the most popular gift cards are from Visa, Amazon, and American Express. If you love over priced and over hyped coffee you can join the herd and go for a Starbucks gift card, last year that company loaded over $5.1 billion dollars on to tiny pieces of plastic so consumers could enjoy an arrogantly brewed and pretentious cup of java.

So don't fret, even if time is running out and there's nothing left at the drug store in the As Seen on TV aisle you can always go for a gift card. They will love it and it will look as if you actually went out and shopped.

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