Your Guide to Last-Minute Holiday Shopping

If you’re anything like me, you prefer to start your holiday shopping as early as possible. With the amazing Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals this year, you might think that you’re good to go with gifts for all your family and friends.

But somehow, every year, you manage to forget a gift for one person and a few days before, you’re struggling to find something that you can get soon, but that is also thoughtful. 

If this sounds like you, keep these in mind when you’re in need of a last-minute gift: 

1. Don’t panic.

First things first, don’t stress yourself out too much. This has already been a stressful enough year, you don’t need to give yourself any more anxiety, especially during the holidays.

It’s easy to go down that spiral of feeling like the worst friend ever because you forgot to get someone a gift or someone gave you one but you didn’t get anything for them. 

Stay away from that mindset. The important thing is to remain calm and instead of spiraling, focus on the task at hand.

2. Consider what they might need.

This may seem like a “duh” step, but hear me out. Sometimes, when we forget to get a person a gift, our immediate reaction is to give them something you might already have (hand sanitizer, anyone?).

We forget that, especially for people close to us, thoughtfulness goes a long way. Before heading to your bin of re-gifts or the handy gift card approach, think about what they need.

Perhaps your friend has been telling you that they want to be more organized in 2021. Get them a nice planner, or if they’ve been talking about starting their own YouTube channel, buy them a ring light for filming.

When we stop and focus on those conversations with friends, we can often find clues for the perfect gift. A great gift is often something that a person would really enjoy and get use out of, but would never think to purchase for themselves. It’s time to be the best Santa you can be and figure out what that is.

3. Find something personal.

If you can’t think of something a person might need, then switch to something they may not need at all, but would really love to receive. This takes a little more creativity, but the outcome is usually worth it.

One of my favorite gifts I’ve received was from one of my closest friends years ago. We loved the same TV show and we loved reading, so she got me a customized bookmark that had charms from the show we both loved.

It was simple, but it was personal and to this day, I still use that bookmark. Did I need it? No, because I have loads of bookmarks. But the personal touch and the thoughtfulness behind it is what makes me use it all the time.

A personal gift doesn’t have to be flashy or expensive, it just has to draw on something that only that one person would understand or truly appreciate.

Visit Etsy or go to local shops’ websites to find something unique and one-of-a-kind to give to your friend. When it comes to personal gifts, shopping small is definitely the way to go.

4. When all else fails, make it.

If you can’t find a gift from a store or it’s going to take too long to arrive, then it’s time to unleash your inner crafty side.

When I was a kid, I loved making gifts for my family and although my paper crowns. There are so many resources out there to learn how to make nice, age-appropriate gifts for your loved ones, whether it’s ornaments, picture collages, or my personal favorite, baked goods. 

You can’t go wrong with holiday baked goods, so if you trust your baking skills enough, it’s time to brush off your apron. From classic Christmas cookies to festive fudge to peppermint bark, the possibilities are endless.


Whether you’re stuck on gift ideas or you need a present ASAP, these tips will help keep you calm and confident throughout the whole process. As long as you truly keep the other person in mind, you can never go wrong picking the right present.


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