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How to make it through last-minute Christmas shopping

Writer

Toi Degree

We are in the home stretch and only have a few more days to shop for Christmas and, if you’re like me, you are not done.

I strive so hard to be like those people who are done in October or like my auntie who shops all year long. But, it doesn’t work. I am me, and I’m not done! So, I will be out with the last minute Christmas shoppers this year.

It is indeed time to get creative in your gift-giving, which I am doing as I research and write this article.

First, begin with a plan. I am the queen of lists, and this situation is no different. I always make a list of everyone that I am buying for and their sizes. Because I am that auntie that doesn’t buy toys, clothes it is. Having a list of accurate sizes is very important and will save everyone the headache of returns later.

Next, make sure you have done your research and know what things are out there and where to find them. This is where research is critical. One way to begin is by doing an internet search of “last minute Christmas gifts” or “trendy gifts for 2017” so that you will know your options, especially if you’re buying for teenagers.

Or, you may have ideas already in mind. I will say that this late, you might want to consider a backup just in case your first item is gone. I must say that there are some really great sites of last minute shopping gifts, and they also have some pretty good suggestions.

It’s almost time to get out there but first, think about how much you are going to spend. Christmas is the time of year when many Americans take on debt because it is the biggest shopping holiday, and they may not have saved in advance.

Here is where I will encourage you to think about life after Christmas and the fact that it’s not all about the gift but the thought that counts. This will help you stay focused and not overspend. In all actuality, waiting until later to shop may have its benefits because you may find some deals at the end.

Shopping day has arrived, and you are heading out. Remember, you will be out there with many people with the same goal as you, so you will have to keep your wits about you and have patience in both your shopping and driving.

Keep an eye out on your surroundings at all times, take note of where you park — location and lighting, and keep your purse close. It may be better to shop in pairs.

USA Today has a great article of do’s and don’ts for holiday shopping. The link is https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2017/12/11/safe-holiday-shopping-tips/941559001/

I hope you all finish up your shopping, stay within your set budget, and have a wonderful Christmas!

Toi N. Degree, Family & Consumer Education Agent with North Carolina State University & North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Toi may be reached by phone at 704-216-8970 or by email: toi_degree@ncsu.edu.

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