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Dec. 17 is Free Shipping Day

Procrastinators rejoice: You can still find great deals buying gifts online, with free guaranteed Christmas Eve delivery.

It's not too late to do some online holiday shopping, and Free Shipping Day -- Monday, Dec. 17. -- will feature special deals.

On Free Shipping Day you'll find plenty pre-Christmas deals online, with free shipping with guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve. Many stores that always offer free shipping will lower or eliminate the minimum purchase amounts required for free shipping.

FreeShippingDay.com has a list of 1,173 merchants participating this year, from Kohl's and Home Depot to Best Buy, Tiny Prints and Red Envelope.

Here are the 2012 holiday shipping dates

You can try to plan ahead and put off making purchases from participating retailers until Free Shipping Day, but know that some stores won't reveal their participation until Dec. 17. If you want the news sooner, contact customer service of the store directly, or connect with them on Facebook or Twitter.

On Free Shipping Day, some of the stores that offer free shipping will also throw in additional savings and discounts, but not all merchants will offer free shipping on everything on their websites.

The one-day online shopping event is in its fifth year, and gives holiday shoppers one last chance to snag deals online and still get their gifts in time for Christmas. It also gives retailers an opportunity to lengthen their online holiday shopping seasons. In 2010, online shoppers spent $942 million on Free Shipping Day to make it the third-highest spending day of the holiday season that year.

Free Shipping Day was created by Luke Knowles and his wife in 2007. According to FreeShippingDay.com, Knowles understood the impact last-minute gift shopping has on the holiday retail season, but knew that online merchants' early December cutoff for Christmas delivery discouraged last-minute shoppers from heading to the Internet.

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