3 Tips for Christmas Shopping at the Very Last Minute
Life + Money

3 Tips for Christmas Shopping at the Very Last Minute

Shannon Stapleton

‘Tis the night before Christmas, and you still don’t have your holiday shopping done? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to play Santa.

Here are three holiday shopping tips for the biggest procrastinators:

1. Think gift cards.
Not only are they the most requested gift of the season for the ninth year in a row, but it’s easy to pick up the little plastic rectangles at the last minute. Drugstores and supermarkets, which often have limited hours on Christmas Day, carry racks of them in various values from a host of different stores, such as Home Depot, Amazon and Starbucks. You can also purchase printable gift cards online from most retailers, even mom-and-pop local shops, without even leaving your home.

2. These are your best store options.  
Most mom-and-pop retailers will close sometime this afternoon until after Christmas. If you can’t make it to a store before then, Walmart and Toys ‘R Us will be open until 9 p.m., and Target will be keep its doors open until 11 p.m. this evening.

Related: 6 Money Moves to Make Before Midnight on New Year’s Eve

3. Wait until Saturday.
If you’ve got people on your holiday list who you won’t see until after Christmas Day, waiting to shop until after the holiday could save you money. Retailers tend to slash prices on leftover inventory after Christmas, so Dec. 26 will be a huge shopping (and discounting) day for stores. More consumers planned to shop the day after Christmas than on Black Friday or Cyber Money this year, according to the latest American Express Spending and Saving Tracker, with a fifth planning to buy holiday gifts for next year—the opposite of last-minute shopping.