The Last Minute Shopper’s Guide to Christmas

It’s coming towards the end of the first term at uni and no doubt you’re looking forward to going home and eating something that wasn’t cooked in a microwave. After all the hard work you’ve done this term you really deserve it. You’ve spent so much time writing essays, going to lectures, going out with your friends and suddenly you realise that you haven’t spent any time buying any Christmas presents. Christmas is just around the corner, how on earth are you going to be able to buy and wrap enough presents in time for the big day?! Well fear not, as a master last minute shopper myself, here are some tips to help you shop and make it seem like you’re on top of all things festive.

Shop somewhere less busy

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Look at that crowd, that is not somewhere you want to be on Christmas Eve, not that I’ve ever left it that late… I live in quite a big city which has a pretty busy town centre almost everyday. It’s a nightmare during the week approaching Christmas. Instead of heading into the city, I go to a smaller town that’s slightly further away but is much less crowded. There are all the shops I need, minus the stress of navigating the Christmas crowds.

Make a list

There’s a reason Santa makes a list and checks it twice. Lists are the best way to keep on top of all the things you need to buy: presents, wrapping paper, Christmas cards. Without a list you’ll probably end up forgetting something, buying more than you need, or both. Before you even think about leaving the house to shop make sure you’ve written a list and double checked that it has all the things you need on it (and you haven’t forgotten anyone…that can be a little embarrassing come Christmas day!)

Food, glorious food

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If you’re also a person who isn’t great at thinking of gifts for people, food never fails, and it’s especially good if you’re shopping last minute. All you have to do is take a trip to your local supermarket and pick up a few things: biscuits, chocolates, any type of selection box. This sort of bulk present buying means that you can pretty much cross everyone off your Christmas list with just one shop. Who doesn’t love a good box of chocolates?

Shop online

With this one, you do need to slightly more prepared. The latest I would leave shopping online for gifts is probably about a week before Christmas. A lot of online shops will guarantee a date that your presents will be delivered by and of course there’s always that wonderful student perk of Amazon Prime delivery! Shopping online also helps to avoid all the stress of the Christmas crowds and you can do it in your pyjamas. It’s a win-win!

DIY it!

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Handmade gifts and cards really show that you’ve put some thought into your Christmas presents, even if you do make them last minute. I have always enjoyed getting creative with my presents and making cards. You’ll often find you have enough stuff lying around at home to throw a few together with so you don’t even have to leave the house. People who receive your handmade creations will be really grateful of the time you put into them. It doesn’t matter if you’re not exactly a crafting pro, it’s the thought that counts.

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So if you’re one of those people, like me, who do almost everything last minute, or you’ve just forgotten to buy a gift for someone, give these tips a go for a stress free Christmas. And, let’s be honest, we’ll probably end up doing it all over again next year!

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