Whether it’s the limited edition Star Wars PlayStation for your kids or the last ceramic house to finish your Christmas village, it’s always hard to find exactly what you need when it comes to last minute holiday shopping. From the crowded aisles and mile-long checkout lines to the parking lots filled to capacity, last minute shopping is strenuous and stressful. But, don’t fret: just follow these simple steps.
1. Make a list. Nothing’s worse than going into things blind. Lists can be as simple as a quick checklist on an old piece of notebook paper to a detailed list including pictures and the exact aisle everything is on to anything you can get your hands on, like an old fast food napkin. Depends on how crazy you want to get.
2. Check for availability on stores’ websites. If something isn’t available in stores, maybe you can order the item for in-store delivery or ship it to your house. If all else fails, check Amazon. Many items are available for Amazon Prime with free two-day shipping.
3. Now that you’ve finally gathered all the will power and energy you can muster, head to your store of choice (or whatever is still open). Always check store hours, and the best thing to do is get there as soon as possible. Don’t wait until five minutes before closing time or most of the store will be cleared out of all the good stuff, and you won’t have time to check anywhere else.
4. Once you get there, grab a buggy, put your nifty list in the baby seat and buckle up; you’re in for a ride. Here comes the fun part.
5. Your list should include the whereabouts of your precious items, and you should know just how important each item is to the people you love the most. Figure out which ones should be your highest priorities and go for the one at the top of that list first. Remember: there’s a high possibility that what you want is also what someone else wants, so you need to get there first.
6. Once you finally narrow things down, run, and in some cases, running may be necessary. Get to that target, grab it, put that thing in your cart, keep on going and you’re as good as gold.
7. Once you get everything – or whatever you still can find – it should be smooth sailing ahead, until you reach the checkout lines. They can be anywhere from two people to what seems like miles long. Best thing to do is find a line and stick with it. In the time it would take you to walk up and down the lines to find a shorter one, the line you would have gone down is now much shorter than the one you decided on.
8. Some stores give shoppers the option of getting their gifts wrapped there. They have seasonal gift wrappers near the checkout counters. This service is usually free of charge with a store purchase, but these lines can be long, too. If you know you don’t have time to wait or if you don’t feel like wrapping presents yourself, grab a gift bag and some tissue paper and get on with it! Gift bags are just as fun as wrapping paper, and much easier to clean up.
If all else fails, maybe you’ll learn to get your holiday shopping done before Christmas Eve. And, if you somehow manage to get things together in time, congratulations! It’s a Christmas miracle!
By Ashlan Layton, student reporter
Thomas County Central High School