If you, like me, left all your Christmas shopping to the last possible minute, never fear! It’s not too late! In fact, you still have a week! That’s plenty of time — but it’s also going to make gift giving a bit more challenging. The stores will be packed, kids are starting to get off school, and most of the sales that existed are now gone. While saying that, it’s not impossible! And, Women’s Post is here to help!

Here are some tips to help you out during your last-minute shopping dash:

Try to avoid malls: I know this one may be hard, but if you can visit a boutique shop or an outlet store, do it! Trust me. The malls will be incredibly busy and crowded. You will have to navigate through a sea of people just to get into the store. And then, it may take you 30 minutes to get to the cash once you finally choose a gift! Maybe try to hit some local fairs that are open and find some great hand-crafted items.

Have a list and check it twice: Don’t just wander. There’s no time for that. You’ll get overwhelmed by the people and the products thrown about. Eventually, you’ll leave empty handed because it’s just all too much. Have a plan and carry it out.

Be prepared to compromise: What you want to get your mother may not be available anymore. It also may be a lot more expensive now that the pre-Christmas sales are done. The list is important, but be ready to pick up something else if you can’t find the item you are looking for. Then take your previous idea and save it for a birthday.

Try online shopping: Amazon Prime appears to have a two-day delivery system if you sign up for their free 30-day trial, which is absolutely amazing! Just make sure to get it in the next few days. If you can’t get that type of quick service —and who knows how late the delivery is offered — don’t worry about it. Just print a picture of what you ordered and place it in a nice envelope or a box with a bow!

Donate to a charity: This can be done without even leaving your computer. Most charities make it really simple to donate, and will even provide you with a lovely email or photo that you can include in a card. Try to choose an organization that resonates with the person you are donating on behalf of. Just make sure you do some research to ensure the charity you choose is ethical and actually uses the donation to make a difference. Why not check out Charity Intelligence to make sure your donation goes far.

Ultimately, make sure to get an extra-large coffee and enjoy the experience. Take a few girlfriends and make a day of it. The physical shopping will be a pain in the ass, but with friends, at least that line won’t seem so excruciating! Good luck!

Author

Katherine DeClerq is the editor of Women's Post. Her previous writing experience includes the Toronto Star, Maclean's Magazine, CTVNews, and BlogTO. She can often be found at a coffee shop with her MacBook computer. Despite what CP says, she is a fan of the Oxford comma.

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