how to stop procrastinating holiday shopping

This is what happens every single year.

Oh, Hanukkah is tomorrow? What the heck am I going to do? Is Macy’s still open? No? How is it already 9pm! How about CVS? They’re always open. I’m sure If I think really really really outside the box, I could package up a nice scented candle, a pack of ricola cough drops, and a shake weight or something. That’s really my only option, isn’t it?

And of course I’m having this entire conversation with my self outside of the F train, after hearing a kid ask their mommy if they can tear open some wrapping paper tonight instead of waiting for tomorrow.

No matter how much we promise ourselves that this will be the year we do our holiday shopping in October – just to be safe – all of a sudden the weeks slip by us and before we know it, we’re paying an extra $100 for 2-day shipping on a $25 necklace for our Aunt Susie. T

his year, let’s do it together. Let’s help each other out. Let’s make our list of the people we’d like to get gifts for and actually buy those gifts for them (on-time) rather than handwriting a bunch of “I OWE YOU’S” in the taxi ride over to their holiday party.

Ready, set, go!

Step 1: Make the list.

-Presents for my immediate family -Smaller gifts for extended family members under the age of “Um, you got me a Frozen Barbie doll? That was so last season. Ew!” -Office party secret santa gift -Gift for my Sig. Nif. (Boyfriend/ Girlfriend) -Fun gifts for my good friends (You get the point)

Step 2: Find the Gifts

Here’s where you should budget how much you’d like to spend per person. The point of giving gifts, isn’t to blow your savings account to give people something you can’t afford. It’s to just give them something – anything really, to show you’re thinking about them. To show you’re out of this world happy they’ve stuck by your side, again, this year.

So break down your gift giving like this:

My gift card list. Everyone loves gift cards. It saves them the hassle of waiting on line at Target for 45 minutes to return that stripped lamp you thought was SO THEM – but actually, it was so them when you really knew them well, back in 1998.

My under “$50” list. The perfect amount for a family member or someone you’re dating. Here’s some fun gifts to get you started thinking.

My “Thank You” card list. When you run out of money but you still want to let someone know how much they mean to you, write them a handwritten note. This is actually the best gift you could give anyone. Really, it is.

My gag/fun gift list. These are gifts for your friends who would love getting something fun, like these gifts, rather than a pair of fuzzy socks.

My “CVS” last minute list. This is for the people you’re not sure if you should get them something and the only reason you’re thinking that you should is because you think they may get you something and if they do get you something, you don’t want to show up empty handed. In this case, go to CVS and get a few knick-knacks in aisle 7 and keep them at your desk or in your purse (wrapped, of course) – so when they hand you a giant candy cane stuffed with M&Ms, you can pull out a milk-chocolate santa face and give it to them like you planned this all along.

My under “$25” list. Secret Santa at work? Never spend over $25. Pick something off this list.


To help kickstart your holiday shopping (so I don’t crash into you during my last minute CVS shopping in December), I teamed up with Uncommon Goods, a privately-owned retailer that endeavors to feature unique designs and handcrafted gifts created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people, to give away a $5o Gift Card! 

Here’s how you can snag it:

1. Subscribe to The Things I Learned From by clicking here!

2. Follow Uncommon Goods on Twitter

3. Email me the worst gift you’ve ever received. ([email protected])   *This post was sponsored by the good folks over at Uncommon Goods. Check out an exclusive look behind the scenes or their artist’s workspaces, here.

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I’m Jen Glantz. I’ve been a published writer for over 13 years, spilling my words into magazines (ranging from style to scuba diving), newspapers, websites and even this one time, a speech, for someone who didn’t speak a word of English. What drives my words, my site, my writing, is the power of relating to people. I find that many people, especially young girls, feel so alone and quite often they feel embarrassed. I want to shatter those feelings! I want them to read what I write and understand that it’s okay to be a little outside of the box, but most importantly, that it is okay to just be who they are.

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