Make Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Less Stressful

If you are wondering how to make last-minute holiday shopping less stressful, this blog is for you! Grab a notebook, make yourself a cup of tea, and get ready to make some lists.

My grandfather used to do all of his Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. This was back in the good old days before online shopping gave us access to endless options and endless decisions. He would lock up his office on Main Street in our small town and go business-to-business to buy his gifts. Then, he would make his way back through each store to pick up his perfectly wrapped gifts from the store clerks. 

The very thought of doing all my shopping the day before Christmas completely stresses me out. But there was something beautifully simple about that. If he could do it, so can you! Here are some tips to hold onto that simplicity and use those executive functioning skills to get your last-minute holiday shopping done with a little less stress. 

Make a list and check it twice

It is always better to take a little time to get organized. You will forget someone if you do not make a list! Write it down. Your brain will thank you later. Don’t forget the wrapping supplies!

Duplicate as much as you can

Now is not the time to find the unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for every single person on your list. Keep it simple and duplicate as much as you can! Get everyone the same stocking stuffers! Are parents and parents-in-law on your list? Buy them the same thing – they will never know. Friends? Save yourself the trouble and get everyone that lovely scented candle. That way, if you do have someone you want to find that perfect gift for, you have the time.

Let go and simplify

You may have had so many grand ideas a month ago. Let it go. Maybe another year. Let’s be honest- maybe another lifetime. The important thing is that you show you care. If your gift isn’t quite expressing how much someone means to you, write a simple note to make sure they know how much you care. 

Accept your limitations

Don’t feel guilty! Everyone has their limits. Maybe it’s time, money, energy, ideas. Maybe it’s shipping time. Instead of wishing you could time warp or wishing you were a different person with different strengths, work within your limits. It’s okay to not be the most prepared person in the world this year.


Last-minute shopping can take a toll on the bank account so make an estimated budget so you don’t find yourself overspending unintentionally! If you’re a spreadsheet whiz, have at it. But a simple list works too. 

Buy a couple back-up gifts

Inevitably when under pressure, you forget the aunt or the cousin or the friend. Or you look at a gift and feel it needs a little extra zing. Have some gourmet coffees or favorite drinks on hand if you find yourself coming up short. You can always use them for another occasion if you end up not needing them!

Maybe these executive function tips can help make your holiday shopping a little less stressful. But either way, enjoy the moments with the people you love! Time is what matters the most.

How do you make the holiday season less stressful?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top