by Joe Henry | December 05, 2016
You vowed this year would be different -- that unlike every previous holiday season, you would complete your holiday shopping, including corporate gifts, in a calm and timely manner. And yet, here you are, and the clock is ticking toward that last minute and your blood pressure is getting dangerously high. 

Not to worry! This year, you've got a lot points to redeem, and incentive merchants have a bunch of excellent ideas on items that you can gift.

Paramax CEO Jeff Dalton noted that the hottest category this year is small appliances, followed by an assortment of electronics. 

In the first category, Dyson hand vacuums are selling rather well. The V6 Trigger vacuum looks like a rifle and packs a similar punch. These products are particularly known for the power of their suction. 

Speaking of suction, Cusinart SmarTrack food storage containers are also hot sellers, said Eric Anderson of Almo. It's a pretty straightforward, though highly useful system. Each container has a barcode. Users simply scan it with their smartphone and enter the food they're storing via the SmarTrack app.

"The phone will remind you when the leftovers are expiring," said Anderson. "To me, it just screams Millennial."

In electronics, Fitbits continue their run of popularity, according to Dalton and Hinda director of merchandising Jim Valenti. The Flex -- a combined activity and sleep-tracking wristband -- is one of Fitbit's most versatile models. 

"Fitbits roll right into resolution time of the new year," Valenti says. "The brand and [fitness tracker category] is on fire."

For the music lovers in your life, both Beats and Bose have hot new offerings to inspire the spirit of gift giving. The Beats Solo2 On-Ear Wireless Headphones are big this year, notes Dalton. 

And the newest Beats product, the Powerbeats3, come equipped with a new chip from Apple designed to drive greater battery life. Hinda is already seeing a lot of demand for the product, Valenti says: "They'll become available in the next week. We put them online and we're taking a lot of backorders."

Valenti adds that Bose is also a perennial holiday favorite. The Soundlink Color Speaker II is designed for portability and durability, as it's designed to be rugged and water-resistant. It also has voice prompts so that users can control it easily. 

For a gift that will have recipients seeing stars, the Astroscan Millennium Telescope from ScientificsOnline.com gives recipients a chance to enjoy the beauty of the galaxy (and take their eyes off their smartphone for a few minutes). It's portable, with a carrying handle that makes it easy for repositioning, and includes a powerful lens for deep-sky viewing -- not to mention a tar and planet locator.