The date is December 19th. Christmas is six calendar days away and you have spent no more than six minutes total brainstorming Christmas gifts for your loved ones. What do you do now? What are your options? Let me think...
If you're proactive and you finished your 2018 Christmas shopping before Christmas 2017 even rolled around, you can ignore this post. Or, you can keep reading to ensure that I don't say anything wild before you share this with any procrastinating friends or family members you have. No promises, though, I'm a loose cannon.
If I were in your shoes, this is what I'd do:
You might need a divine intervention for your wallet and your sanity to make it through that much shopping in one week.
2) Head to Amazon.
For most of your niche retailers (think: Etsy shops, small businesses), you're likely out of luck at this point. No one can control holiday szn mail route efficiency or lack thereof; not the people behind the customer service accounts that you yell at on Twitter, not the business owners themselves, not Santa. Amazon, however, is still rooting for you. As of December 18th at 8:53 PM EST, you could still order a pressure cooker/rice cooker/yogurt maker/overall life fixer upper and have it make its way to you before Christmas. I'm sure there are plenty of other items that fit the same bill.
Amazon is also a great place to go if you have no idea what you want to gift a certain someone. From gadgets to personal care to beauty to arts and crafts, no stone goes unturned on this site. When I'm stumped, I usually browse around their "Gift Lists for Moms" or "Gift Lifts for Dads" until I find something that sticks. Pinterest is home to a ton of lists that highlight things like "Most Useful Amazon Products" and "Best Gifts for the Homebody in Your Life" (from Amazon).
P.S. Don't forget to shop through Amazon Smile so a portion of your purchase spend goes to a charity or foundation of your choice.
3) Find a gift basket and call it a day.
You're strapped for both time and brain energy at this point, so why not leave the planning to the professionals? HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, Target, etc. all carry gift baskets focused on a variety of themes. Bed, bath, and bubbly baskets for the snooze controller? Check. Sweet and salty baskets for a snack lover? Check. If you're looking for a basket that's a bit more niche (e.g., a fitness basket with exercise bands, sweat towels, small weights, and the like), you may need to be a bit more creative and buy the individual components and basket to create one yourself. But, at the very least, these stores and your local crafts stores should at least have the items that you need to get started.
You may have to brave a few last-minute shopper lines, but, at least you'll leave with gift in hand and relaxation in spirit.
4) Sign, seal, and hand-deliver it.
No one said your gift has to be a huge box under the tree and no one said it has to be a gift card. Online gift certificates are the best of both worlds. Instant gratification meets high end gifting here. I've gifted Wizards basketball tickets and full spa experience packages to my parents and super sibling in the past using these methods. Trust me, these gems were just as appreciated as anything else that I could've placed under our Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Groupon, Ticketmaster - these sites are your friend. But don't stop there: it's likely that some of your favorite vendors now offer online gift certificates that you can purchase and print or send to your recipient by email.
If you don't have a printer, I encourage you to either stop by your local library to print your gift or head to the nearest Staples (or local office store equivalent) to print it there. No excuses on this one; someone in your life has the ability to print for you, whether its you, your workplace, or a business.
These were top of mind gifting strategies for me based on past experiences. If there's anything I'm missing or any tactics you've used when hunting for last-minute gifts, feel free to drop your tips in the comments on Instagram!