By Ashley Steel
Uh oh! It’s Christmas Eve and you’re not done with your Christmas shopping.
Don’t panic — for starters, you’re not alone. Many Americans (cough, cough, like me) get caught up with busy work schedules and ever-growing shopping lists. Between heavy crowds and tight budgets, finding Christmas gifts can be a real headache for the last-minute shopper. But don’t worry; we’re sharing our best tricks of the trades to help you find some great last-minute Christmas gifts.
Don’t Order Online
It’s too late to ship anything by Christmas. Even when you pay big bucks for an overnight shipment, there’s no guarantee it will arrive in time for the big early-morning reveal. Order processing times and the time of day an order is placed could both delay shipment. Even though it’s easy one-stop shopping, skip the likes of Amazon this year in favor of in-store shopping.
Search Store Hours Online
Christmas Eve hours differ drastically by retailer. While some stores close entirely, others are open for reduced hours, usually in the morning and early afternoon. Check the hours for your local retail giants like Target and Walmart, as well as small local businesses. Each type of store has different gift options to offer.
Scour Major Retailers
Major retail chains will offer a wide array of products across most genres of goods from electronics to cookware to sports. At this point in time, it may be difficult to get intensely personal with your gifts, but one of the best ways around this is to try putting together your own gift baskets based around a particular recipient’s interests. For example, try gathering bath salts, lotions, perfumes and nail polishes for the fancy lady in your life or buy books, reading lights and bookmarks for your favorite bookworm.
Another great option most major retailers afford is the ability to find something that you can enjoy together with family or friends. Consider picking up a board game or video game that will provide you both endless hours of fun.
Search Local Shops
Local shops often offer specialty goods and a more personal flavor that’s difficult to find at a major retailer. Local specialty shops can help you track down the ideal gift.
What’s more, for out-of-town relatives, local products can provide tastes, textures and colors from miles away, in addition to offering a material connection to help bridge the gap of distance.
Do It Yourself
Not all the gifts you give have to be bought in a store. In fact, handcrafted gifts are often the most appreciated. Leverage your talents to create something truly unique this holiday season, but remember to keep it simple.
Baked goods, framed portraits, a simple knit scarf or a painted planter, for example, all make great gifts.