So it’s happened again. With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays pulling you this way and that, you’ve looked at the calendar and noticed that — gulp — there’s just a week left until the big day. Yikes!
It’s easy to feel defeated in this moment. So many presents to get, so little time! And once that’s done with, then there’s wrapping and tagging and sticking on bows….
But don’t fret. Though it seems daunting, we promise that you will make it through this and Christmas won’t be cancelled, after all. Just take a deep breath, brew some coffee or tea, and check out some of our tips for dealing with a tight deadline and last-minute stress. Plus, we’ve included a couple great gift ideas to help take some of the pressure off.
Clean Out Your To-Do List
Maybe you’re stressing because there are a million things on your to-do list on top of all the holiday tasks. If stuff like ‘walk the dog’ or ‘organize the junk drawer’ are clogging up your mind, try to take care of these small things first. That way you can dedicate your energy to the real task at hand: preparing an awesome holiday.
Successful, organized people swear by the two-minute rule: if a task takes two minutes or less to accomplish, knock it out as soon as you think of it. Wipe down the counter tops, respond to that email from your cousin, put away the laundry. You’ll feel so much better without those little tasks hovering over you, and it only takes a little bit of time to get them out of the way.
When a deadline is approaching fast, planners and to-do lists are your best friend. Before you begin your last-minute dash, take a moment to sit down and think up all the things that you need to get done. Be as detailed as you can – think up specific gifts you need to pick up for people, specific places and stores you’ll need to visit before the big day.
Write all this down in a notebook, planner, or on your phone, and check each task off as you complete them. Bonus points if you give yourself mini deadlines to stay even more on track! This helps make sure that nothing slips through your fingers on your quest for the perfect holiday.
Be Honest With Yourself
Sure, you want to make this the perfect holiday for yourself and everyone you love. If we could, we’d all have huge feasts with Instagram-worthy table settings and piles of presents as far as the eye can see. But is this really realistic?
Setting your expectations too high can be a great motivator, but also a recipe for disappointment if you can’t stretch yourself enough to accomplish everything. So, if you’ve never made a souffle before but were planning to for Christmas dinner, maybe dial it down a notch and go with a recipe you know well. Cookies make a perfectly good holiday dessert!
Get in the Zone
The nice thing about having a strict deadline for something is that it automatically gives you focus and direction for that task.That time crunch you’re feeling? That’s just your mind helping you focus on an important task. Take advantage of this and carve out some big chunks of time to take care of your to-do list.
Lock yourself in the office or pop in the ear buds and blast your favorite holiday albums – whatever you need to keep yourself from getting distracted. Turn off the notifications on your phone, or better yet, leave it in another room. You’d be amazed at how much you can get done in just half an hour when you shut out all other distractions.
A great way to make accomplishing tasks fly by? Give yourself something to look forward to at the end of it all. Finish off your marathon day of gift shopping with a trip to your favorite gelateria. Rent your favorite holiday movie to watch after you finish wrapping all the gifts. Working hard to earn something you love is an awesome feeling.
Don’t Forget to Take Breaks
If you’re feeling frazzled by the stress of getting everything done in time, chances are that your brain isn’t firing on all cylinders. Taking breaks and getting rest are an important part of accomplishing goals. You’re much more likely to be able to ace your gift shopping and wrapping if you’re well-rested and well-fed.
If you aren’t having fun during the holiday season, then what’s the point? Remember, things are only as serious as you make them. If your present-wrapping skills aren’t up to par and things look a little lumpy, let yourself laugh at how silly they look. Or if dinner gets a little too toasty (…or goes up in flames) in the oven, don’t be afraid to throw a Stouffer’s in, kick back, and enjoy the time with your loved ones.
One of the things that’s most stressful about a last-minute gift is trying to think up what would make the perfect present. If you’re short on time but looking for a great gift, we put together some selections that don’t take a long time but are sure to bring a smile to their face. And don’t worry, we can make sure that it gets there on time. Check out our shipping policies here →
One easy way to take the heat off during the gift-giving season? Let us curate a box full of goodies for your loved ones. We’ve got something for everyone in our selection of staff-chosen gift sets. And best of all, they come pre-packaged in a fancy bow-wrapped box that’ll look great under the tree.
Did you want to show someone the ultimate in luxury this holiday season, but didn’t have time to schedule a relaxing Grecian getaway or six-day spa stay? This candle gives off the same decadent vibes, all in one easy-to-wrap package. Diptyque’s iconic Baies fragrance is sure to delight.
Give the gift of great hair this holiday with this dynamic duo from Sachajuan. Anyone who loves to change up their style will love the nurturing ingredients and UV protection that these products provide.
Picking out a special fragrance for someone who means a lot to you can be an involved process. If you’re short on time, why not gift a sampler set so they can pick out a scent themselves?
Everyone appreciates something that settles their stomach after a bit of overindulgence. This classic German favorite has been soothing digestive discomfort since the 1800s.
This handsomely packaged gift set includes a year’s worth of luxury soap in the classic, warm scent of Sandalwood. It’s a great pick for someone who appreciates the time-honored tradition of a company like Caswell-Massey, one of the oldest brands in America.