One of our oldest Christmas traditions is the last minute gift. Perhaps not the noblest of traditions but certainly common enough to raise a comment on two from anyone who has had to brave the check-out counter of any retail establishment.
For as long as we've been buying presents for family and friends, there are those among us who just can't seem to get any real Christmas shopping done until the last possible minute.
In fact, I'll bet that the retail side of Christmas counts on the last minute gift buying frenzy for a good chunk of their sales. As for me, I blame my brother...
You see, my brother raised last minute Christmas shopping to an art form. To see him weave his way through the crowds was poetry in motion. It was a thing to behold. And since he's my older brother, I looked up to him in every way.
If that is how he did it then it must be right. Mind you, not all of us are 6'4" and 225lbs so here a few tips to help you perform your own last minute miracle:
1. Get organized. You're going to be standing in line in a short while so fight the urge to rush out the door. Make list, no matter, how general or short.
2. Know exactly who you are going to be buying for. There's precious little time left and you may actually have to prune your list. If you must drop someone, you can give them a New's Year gift instead. It will still be appreciated.
3. The big question, of course, is what to get. Let's start with where not to go. No matter how tempting, avoid the "Big Box" superstores. By now, they'll be picked over and full of stressed out Moms and Dads.
4. By avoiding the superstores, you must now think outside the box. Think about the likes and dislikes of whomever you're buying for. If that draws a blank, think of their friends and the things they have in common between them. If that doesn't create an idea or two, think of the work they do. And last but not least, you can always lean on old faithful. That is, you can either male or female.
5. Stop for a just a second right here. If you've not got a list, start over! If you do, great! You're on your way. Take your list, which should include names, gifts and possible stores. Head for the door knowing you've done most of the hard work already!
6. One last stop before you hit the stores. Get some cash! You can count on credit card machines and ATM terminals not working at the most inopportune times. And besides, there's nothing like real green to speed-up check-out.
6. Once you're in the store, don't browse. Remember, you're on a mission and the clock is ticking! Either it's there or not. Your list should be fresh in your mind so if you see something that is close or even matches something on the list, grab it!
Of course, a little practice goes a long way. By the time you're in your second or third store, you'll have it made.
The best part of grabbing a last minute gift is the experience itself. There's not much to tell about buying a Christmas gift in September! But you'll run into all kinds of characters if you venture forth sometime after December 21st. Oh, the stories you'll be able to tell!
And what better gift can you give than a smile?
Be brave my fellow procrastinators! There's no need to rush - You've still got time...
About the Author
Sarah Miles is a staff writer for Christmas Gift Ideas
and a recovering last minute shopper.RELATED ARTICLES: