The Procrastinator's Guide To The Holidays


Procrastinator's Guide to the HolidaysHow many people accept the fact that they wait ‘til the last minute every year to buy a less than memorable present for at least one friend or loved one? Probably more than will admit to it.  I’ve wandered down aisles (sometimes THE day of a get together) in panic mode plenty of times.  The truth is, no matter how much we like to think we’re on top of things, most of us procrastinate at some point or another.  Especially this time of the year.  It’s not like our regular lives get put on hold just because of the holidays.  We still have to go to work, pay bills, grocery shop, etc.   Life has a pesky habit of getting in the way of the fun stuff.  So it’s not my fault that you ended up with a turtle chia pet that one year.  Deal with it.  Plant some basil or something.

First things first, set an attainable goal for yourself.  As a seasoned procrastinator, I know ordering yourself to have everything done by a certain time doesn’t work.  I understand the drill.  This time you’re determined.  You'll get it done no problem...then the excuses start.  You had to work late.  You get a call to go out for a few drinks with friends (who can say no to that?).  Whatever.  Next thing you know it’s the day of the party and you have no gift and no clue what to do about it.  So, be realistic in your expectations.  Don’t try to buy all your gifts at once because you’ll stress yourself out and throw in the towel.  On the other hand, don’t space out buying gifts too far apart; you’ll lose track of time and end up getting $5 gift cards for everyone on your list.  Set a schedule.  Write each person’s name on a certain day of the calendar.  It doesn’t need to be one day right after the other.  In fact, do it every other day or every few days.  The point is, don’t allow yourself to cop out.  You can do it!

Next, don’t let time (and money) get the better of you.  The longer you wait to buy a gift, the more it will cost you.  So budget.  Budget budget budget!  Think ahead and plan a strategy.  Know exactly who you are going to buy for and what you what you want to spend on each person.  These are the people you love, and who love you.  They don't need extravagant presents from you to be happy.  Good company is the best gift imaginable.  The old saying still rings true today:  It’s the thought that counts.  Don’t strap yourself financially just to put a brief smile on someone’s face.  You’ll remember it long after they do, and not in a good way.  There are so many gifts that don’t cost a bundle that people love.

The Procrastinator's Guide To The Holidays

Another thing to remember: the internet can be your friend.  You’re on here everyday anyway, so why not do something useful for your friends and family?  Many times you can find good deals online that you can’t get in the store.  Typically, sites like Amazon will have free 48 hour (and sometimes 18 hour) shipping  as long as you order a certain dollar amount.  They will even guarantee delivery by that special date AS LONG as you order a week or so in advance.  So take a few minutes away from gaming and peruse Amazon, eBay or any other site of your choosing.  Who knows, maybe you could find that perfect gift for Great Aunt Tilly while you’re waiting for your lives on Candy Crush to fill back up.

One last thing:  DON’T PUT IT OFF!  I know I mentioned it before, but I must say it again:  Do not make up some totally lame excuse why you couldn't buy a present for someone.  You know the only person you’re disappointing is yourself.  Well, you and the person you were supposed to buy a gift for.  But, you know what?  This is not even about them (well, it kinda is, but for arguments sake...).  Without getting too existential about it all, it depends on you.  Know your limits.  Know your budget.  Know your timeline.  And know that you WILL do it.


What I'm listening to now:  A Wintery-type tale



Photo Credit: and the bird took flight... via Compfight cc Photo Credit: A.G. Photographe via Compfight cc

About Gypsy

My name is Gypsy. I live in Austin, Texas and hope you enjoy my own unique perspectives on personal finance. When I have free time I watch any and all t.v. Food Network, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Arrested Development, Big Bang Theory, movies not trying to be cheesy horror movies but still are, and movies who embrace their cheesiness (MST3T/RiffTrax I'm looking at you), etc. Nice to meet you. :)


  1. The past couple of years, I've wanted to make homemade gifts but waited until too late to make them. Instead, I either had to spend more money than I liked or just skip the gift-giving. This year I'm getting an earlier start on the homemade gifts. However, I still think it's too early to think about Christmas! ;) I like to wait until the week of or just after Thanksgiving.
    Little House recently posted...It’s Too Early for Christmas RantMy Profile

  2. I try to do as much of my gift shopping online. My problem is getting lists from everybody so that I can do this well in advance and also to take advantage of sales.
    Money Beagle recently posted...We Ordered A New Dishwasher Two Years After It Sprung A LeakMy Profile

  3. I generally don't procrastinate on anything but with the holidays it certainly brings out any leftover procrastination in me. It's so hard to brave the malls!
    SuburbanFinance recently posted...Want to Learn About Personal Finance? Play MonopolyMy Profile

  4. I agree because I've been there and more often than not, I end up buying gifts that were not given much thought of because I was already rushing. In the past 3 or 4 years though, I have turned to personalized, hand-crafted gifts which I begin doing at the start of the year and by early December I am ready to gift wrap. Not only have I freed my self of rushed shopping, I have saved a lot too!
    Jen @ Frugal Rules recently posted...When Being Frugal Embarrassed MeMy Profile

  5. Shopping isn't as stressful anymore, thanks to Amazon! I tell myself if I can't get shopping done in time, I must be the laziest person in the world! Everything's just a click away! :)
    Moneycone recently posted...Optimize Your Asset AllocationMy Profile

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