The holiday countdown begins, and it’s time to rally. Last-minute shopper, here are your holiday shopping tips.
If you’re anything like me, you missed Black Friday because congested crowds, long lines and hot stores make your heart beat with anxiety. Then Cyber Monday passed by because you’re a non-conformist who insists on rebelling against societal trends.
Cyber Monday was projected to earn an estimated $1.8 million in sales while you and your tablet were no where to be seen (bah humbug). I (self-righteously) shop on my own terms (or maybe I just procrastinate), which can leave me scrambling for gifts.
The following last-minute holiday shopping tips will ensure you have presents for loved ones, whether you have three and a half weeks or 24 hours to spare.
Turn to Your Shopping Companion
The smartphone actually has more to offer than just emojis and Instagram filters. A small suite of apps can help manage holiday shopping obligations. For a lady, holiday shopping apps may not seem as useful as the male rating and dating app Lulu, for example, but they do prove to be quite beneficial.
- The Christmas List app tracks your budget and provides an at-a-glance view of your shopping progress. Each family member and friend gets their own budget, and sorry mom and dad, you both count as one.
- Santa’s Bag app creates wish and shopping lists for ultimate gift planning. Import for whom you’re buying gifts with their selfie picture and specified budget.
- RedLaser app compares prices and provides product reviews from major retailers. It’s a deal-offering shopping assistant, barcode scanner, and a QR code reader. You're pretty much a virtual shopping guru.
Create an Experience
The holiday season can be economically and mentally stressful, so “Keep calm and Christmas on.” Just kidding. Simple mantras do help though, such as “Don’t be a Grinch this year.” Tackle your gift-giving duties by making it a date night. A little emotional support from your sig-oth (significant other) and delicious dinner as preparation can reduce shopping stress. So, during your date-night dinner, fill up on breadsticks. They are carb-loading and create endurance for your night of shopping.
If you’re going totally all out with mobile holiday shopping, head to a local coffee shop with your tablet in tow for a hip-scene to do some online shopping. Browsing deals and visiting sites of your favorite brands while at home in front of the fireplace can also be cozy and relaxing. Now would also be the time to play your Christmas tunes playlist as loud as possible.
Drink Your Beverages
Drink your beverages like you take your vitamins. Let’s be honest, alcohol and caffeine – wine and coffee – are my lifelines. Coffee, coupled with a count-to-three pep talk, gives me the energy to do anything and overcome any challenge. Treat yourself to a frothy latte, and you’ll have what you need to find good gifts. In life, I also reward myself with a drink for any occasion – for coming home from work, for watching “Breaking Bad”, for texting my best friend in Pittsburgh.
Make a list of daily or weekly holiday shopping goals. As you achieve your goals, reward yourself with an adult beverage. Throughout the month of December, you can bet I’ll be sipping on spiked hot chocolate. Break out holiday mugs (or mason jars!) for mint hot chocolate with tequila and peppermint schnapps or Irish hot chocolate. Whipped cream, mini marshmallows, chocolate sprinkles, and a boozy-grin are a must for celebrating your holiday shopping achievements.