The plan was to be one of those people and actually finish your holiday shopping before sweater weather even rolled around. But then life happened and the list of everyone you need to buy for is just as long as it was pre-pumpkin spice latte season. There may not be a slowdown in your schedule in sight, but before you go all Grinch, here’s a little gift for you: a few shopping shortcuts that will save you serious time and make everyone on your nice list feel super loved. Ho-ho-hooray!
Narrow your shopping territory
Bouncing from store to store can be a serious time suck—the mile-long lines, the crammed parking lots, the overwhelm of orienting yourself to a new array of options. A better idea: Pick a store that allows you to get all your buying done in one festive swoop. Places like Nordstrom Rack have everything from wallet-friendly items for the fringe people on your list to splurgy stuff for the special folks in your life. Sticking to one store has the bonus benefit allowing you to be more decisive, too—you won’t waffle on whether you should buy your little bro the cashmere socks or hold out for a better find somewhere else. (Psst…buy the socks! He’ll love them!)
Let a pro pick for you
Shopping from your couch certainly has benefits (ahem, pajamas meet the dress code requirements) but sifting through page and page of choices can lead to major shopping paralysis. How many times have you loaded up your cart and…never checked out? To make sure your time is spent shopping, and not just scrolling, seek out the site’s gift shop section. The Nordstom Rack gift section is the next best thing to an elf magically appearing and putting together a round-up of perfect prezzies for you.
Use your budget to your advantage
You could browse for something for your BFF forever. A more efficient use of time is to organize your search by price—not by person. If shopping online, most places allow you to filter for gift ideas based on cost. A few clicks and suddenly you’ve got goodies for everyone on your under $25 list.
Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. The perfect foil to present procrastination is to begin with the easier-to-buy for people on your list, i.e. not The Person Who Has Everything. Nab a sweet-smelling candle for your co-worker or a chic home accessory for your neighborhood’s white elephant gift exchange. Once you score a few finds, your merry momentum will make it easier to sleigh the rest of your shopping.
Skip the shipping
Online shopping is such a win when your schedule makes it hard to get to the mall, but coordinating a flurry of incoming deliveries can be just as stressful. Did your mom’s sweater ever arrive? Wait, are your sister’s slippers lost? Here’s your holiday hack: Instead of shipping items, opt to pick up your holiday haul in-store if the retailer offers it.
Buy doubles (or triples!)
Spoiler: Not everyone on your list needs a unique gift. If you stumble upon the softest, coziest throw that your aunt and your mother-in-law would love—buy it for them both! Trust us, your giftees won’t be comparing notes on what you bought for them, and they’ll be equally delighted.