Do you still have presents to buy, with Christmas just round the corner? Whether you’ve been too busy to shop early, you’ve just remembered you need to get a present for someone or you have procrastinated with your present buying, this is a guide to help you get gifts which will put a smile on their recipients’ faces! It’s possible to use this time efficiently and find presents everyone will love, so stop stressing and start shopping.
The most important thing for e-commerce shops to do in the run up to Christmas is to publish information about delivery clearly online – so if you are considering ordering something online make sure you check these details before clicking to buy. You may be surprised that many online stores will offer next day delivery right up until the 23rd of December and the most successful ones stake their reputation on their delivery services so you can be assured the product will arrive on time.
However, there is an element of risk involved with all online purchases: some unforeseen force could prevent the item from being delivered. If this is an important present or it’s already Christmas Eve, see the next option below, and buy the gift in person.
It may be that planning isn’t your strong point if you have waited until Christmas Eve to do your shopping. However the best way to get good results out of doing last minute Christmas shopping at the shops is to make a plan of attack.
Write down the names of all the people you still have to get lists for and an idea of what to get for each one. Be realistic and think about what will be most convenient for you to get to – remember that time is of the essence. Depending on how much time there is left you can either aim to get it all from different shops within one shopping center or scale down and aim to get it all from different counters within a department store. If you have less than a couple of hours, the best place to head is to a health and beauty store like Boots or Superdrug. Long gone are the days when these shops only sold medicine and pharmacy products – fragrances, celebrity endorsed products, decorations for the home, baby products, children’s toys and gift sets can all easily be found here now – who would know that you bought them all at the same place?
These gifts mean that you really can buy presents almost instantly and are a lifesaver for those awkward times when a gift has just slipped your mind!
- The charity gift route: these are ideal presents for the oldest and youngest members of the family, as well as anyone who insists that they don’t want gifts anymore. One option would be to something like a goat to a farmer in a developing country in someone else’s name, in which case you get a nice card for the recipient here and the goat goes where it is needed. On the other hand, you could adopt an animal on behalf of someone else – in which case you can print off the email confirming their sponsorship and that they will receive a welcome pack in the post after Christmas.
- Experience Days: There are a plethora of websites offering experience days now. They range from spa days and afternoon tea to a Formula One driving experience or a trip to a wine valley in the UK. All you need to do is pick an activity your recipient will enjoy.
- Tickets: this is very similar to the above but I thought it worth including to highlight it. Ticket websites like Ticketmaster mean that the world of live music, comedy, stage shows and more are at your fingertips so take advantage of this. People love to be treated to a night out. If you print the confirmation email as proof I would recommend cutting the date off it though!
- Vouchers: not just vouchers for online shopping (which many e-tailers do provide now) but vouchers for all kinds of things! Of course, you could make your own little booklet of vouchers for things – if it’s for a partner or spouse those things can be as risqué as required! But it’s possible to subscribe to services which will send the recipient a gift each month for six months to a year, with vouchers that you can print to give on the day. The Guardian has collected a bunch of ideas here, from temporary tattoos or make-up to gardening tools and children’s crafts.
Liz from Must Have Gifts charity gifts put this gift-giving guide together and she hopes it will help you to complete the rest of your Christmas shopping in a stress-free fashion. In her opinion it isn’t the Christmas presents which have been difficult to organize this year but the Christmas cards! Here’s hoping they all arrive on time! Happy Christmas, everyone!