It seems like all of the holidays are bunched together into one stressful moment once Labor Day ends. Halloween demands candy and costumes, Thanksgiving requires flight plans and family dinners, and Christmas is a battle royal at shopping malls and fashion outlets. With all of the mayhem building up, how could anyone possibly have any time to enjoy themselves, let alone spend time with family on Christmas Eve?
This is where technology can make a huge difference! This year, if you feel like kicking back and eating sugar cookies with Old Saint Nick until the sun comes up, then here are a few easy ways that your tech gadgets can make your last-minute Christmas shopping a lot less hectic.
Buy gifts online
Of course there will be some gifts you’ll have to go into Macy’s to buy, but if there are things on the Christmas list that can be bought from anywhere (tools, electronics, stuffed animals, skin care products, etc.), then do it online. You can use your tablet or smartphone to visit sites like Amazon, Etsy or Jet.com to make your last-minute shopping rounds. Each site is easy to use, and you can find exactly what you’re looking for, all while choosing a shipping option that fits your schedule. Keep in mind, many of your favorite retail stores most likely have apps with coupons to offer, so feel free to shop on the sofa while everyone else runs to Walgreens at 2:00 a.m. If you’re really pressed for time, you can always print out the shipping details and stuff it into a card
Storyboard your ideas
The worst thing about Christmas shopping is that it’s so hard to find the right gifts for your family and friends. When time is of the essence, it’s always a huge plus to create a layout of what kinds of gifts you should buy. Using an app like Pinterest or Instagram is a great way to build a collage of possible gift ideas based upon what you think your Aunt Ginger would like. You can “pin” or “like” awesome photos that give you some inspiration when you’re sprinting from aisle to aisle. Having an idea of what you should buy is always a much better plan than going in blind, and you’ll find that it saves you some extra time to wrap gifts when you get home.
Don’t go overboard
One of the biggest mistakes a last-minute shopper makes is that they tend to overspend on account of their lazy guilt. It’s way too easy to start dropping cash on your relatives when you’re both unsure about what to buy and pressured by the ticking of the clock, so the best way to combat the anxiety is to set a limit for your spending. You can download your bank’s mobile app to manage your balances on checking accounts or credit cards on the go, making sure that you’re still able to afford drinks on New Year’s Eve. If you see your funds dipping drastically low in your checking account, you can easily transfer money from your savings instantly, giving you enough cushion to splurge on both sweaters when you can’t remember the color your dad asked for.