Young@Heart: Last Minute Shopping Tips

I know, I know, you haven’t completed your shopping and Christmas is the day after tomorrow. I get to say, “I know,” because I really do. I’m a Sidetracked Home Executive and in case you don’t know, we SHEs are procrastinators.

So calm down and breathe, everything is going to be just fine. Get a pen and paper, sit down with your favorite drink and think. Your creativity is your special gift and that super mind of yours just waits for times like this to come to your rescue. Knock and it will answer.

Here are just a few of the last-minute ideas I’ve come up with over the years.

1. Give from your kitchen

Since I love to cook and I make all my salad dressings from scratch, I’ve often given the dry ingredients along with the instructions to add olive oil and vinegar (you can provide that too, but let the recipient shake them together later for a fresher gift). I save glass jars and quart jars are the perfect size for the recipient to add the oil and vinegar to the dry ingredients. You can also use those wine vinegar bottles for the oil and vinegar and put the dry ingredients into one of those cute little jars that sample jellies and honey come in when you have room service at a hotel.

Gifts from your kitchen are always welcomed. See what you can whip up to give.

2. Give money

Download Everybody Loves Money from my website for ten fun ways to give cash using stuff you’ve got around the house or from the grocery store.

3. Write a letter

I love to write letters to those I love and update them on how much they mean to me. Since we give money at Christmastime, adding a page with my love adds so much to the value of the gifts.

4. Stay away from the mall!

When you’re in a rush, the brain tends to give in to the pressure of noise, loud Christmas music and flashy displays. It just wants to get you out of the chaos and get to someplace quieter. If you must to go to Target or Walmart, wear earplugs. My daughter Peggy discovered earplugs when she was a young mother. She told me they were just like taking a tranquilizer.

At this point in time, it’s good to avoid stores that sell nothing but Christmas stuff. If you haven’t hauled out holly, it’s too late. And do NOT go to any stores throwing last-minute sales unless you want to end up in therapy or handcuffs.

5. Plan for just one stop

Before you head out spend at least twenty minutes making a list of what you need at the store. This thinking time will save you so much time when you’re out there. Pretend you’re back in Little House on the Prairie days and you have to get everything from Mr. Olson’s store. That will spark your creative mind as you look for what you need on that list you took time to make. Note: don’t leave it at home.

6. Give a gift of your time and energy

One year my son Michael gave his cousins a voucher he printed up on the computer to take them to a movie complete with treats. He told me later, that he should have given just the movie because the combination of movie and treats went way over his gift-giving budget.

You could make vouchers for your help with house cleaning, car washing, gardening, sewing, laundry, baking, baby sitting, pet walking, grocery shopping and such.

                                                              Be Kind

The most important thing you should do at this time is to be kind to yourself and don’t stress over this sacred holiday. And remember, like the words to one of my favorite Christmas songs, “It’s not the things you do at Christmas, but the little things you do all year long.”

Thank you for reading my Young@Heart. I’d like to give you a gift. It’s a chapter from my latest book and it’s all about getting rid of clutter. It’s called, There Arose Such a Clutter and I’m sure it will help you see your clutter with new eyes.

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