· Holidays · Christmas · 7 Things That Will Make Holiday Shopping Less Stressful This Year

7 Things That Will Make Holiday Shopping Less Stressful This Year

christmas shopping

As you’ve likely already heard by now, ongoing problems in the retail and shipping industries are likely to impact, well, everything about this year’s holiday shopping season. According to CNBC, there are multiple factors at play here, including massive backlogs at major shipping ports, increased costs, and labor shortages both in retail and trucking.

As demand for holiday items is likely to be particularly high this year, that means the earlier you can get your shopping done this year, the better off you’re going to be. So in order to help you minimize the stress of navigating the retail experience this year, I’ve put together a list of 7 tips for holiday shopping success in 2021.

7 Tips For Stress-Free Holiday Shopping This Year

1. Get Started ASAP

The early bird gets the worm! Especially if you have any popular toys or electronics on your list this year, you’re better off buying them now—even if they aren’t on sale—than waiting for them to go on sale at the end of the month. Retail forecasts suggest that retailers are going to struggle to restock popular items in a timely manner this year, so the earlier you can get those items checked off your list, the less stressed out you’ll be.

christmas shopping

2. Don’t Forget The Essentials

While you’re out there getting an early start on your holiday shopping, get the essentials while you’re at it. That means gift wrap, tape, batteries, and all the other little things we all tend to forget about needing until the last possible minute. Get these items now so you don’t have to worry about trying to find them later.

christmas shopping

3. Use In-Store Pickup

Shipping delays are a very real issue right now, so the more items you can find in stores (either in person or by searching online for items that are in stock at nearby stores), the better. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, look for 2-day Prime shipping—if the option is available, that means the item is in a nearby distribution center, making it much more likely you’ll receive that item in a timely manner.

christmas shopping

4. Shop Local

“Shop local” is always good advice, but it’s a particularly smart approach to take this year. Shop at small stores in your area for unique items you can take home with you that day, instead of buying something online you’ll have to hope and pray gets delivered in time.

christmas shopping

5. Make Your Gifts

I’ve been an ardent support of handmade gifts for years, but it’s a particularly good idea this year if you’re looking to avoid the retail and shipping mess. Bake treats, make crafts, or create digital designs you can turn into unique gifts your loved ones will cherish. Check out tons of great handmade gift ideas at the link below!

Related: The Best Homemade Gifts To Make And Give This Year

christmas shopping

6. Ship Early

If you have loved ones you’ll be shipping gifts to, it’s best to get those in the mail as early as possible this year. Although USPS, UPS, and FedEx are announced that their “last call” dates for Christmas deliveries are largely the same as last year, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

christmas shopping

7. Gift Experiences

Another way to avoid the shopping crunch this year is to focus on gifting experiences rather than physical items. Look into vouchers or gift cards for fun activities in your area that you can give as gifts.

Here are a few ideas to get you started: a family photo shoot, museum memberships, national or state parks passes, spa services, etc. Not only are experiences often more memorable gifts, but you won’t have to worry about shipping or supply problems.

Do you have any strategies or tips for holiday shopping this year?

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee



  • My ‘kids’ are in their 40s and need nothing. I signed them up for AAA and renew it yearly. A couple of years, one son has an oil-heated house. I knew which company he used, stopped in and bought a gift certificate (even though he can afford his own). The company is no longer in business so he keeps changing companies. My niece was having a budget crunch years ago so my sisters and I each took one bill – telephone, electric and something else (can’t remember what) and paid that month’s bills. They may not be wrapped or under a tree but they’re appreciated & non-returnable.

  • I need to shop for so many things and I have only a few days on my hand. I have started out to panic. Then I sorted out things. I made my list and started to shop accordingly. I got great deals from dynacart.com/christmas. Thanks for all the help.

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