Your Last-Minute Holiday Shopping Survival Guide

By Emily Schmid
December 18, 2014

The holiday season happens the same time each year. But whether we’re too busy, still searching for the perfect gifts or just plain procrastinating, plenty of us find ourselves shopping with just a few days – or even hours – left to go. I fall into all of these categories, and if you do, too, you’re not alone: More than one-third of Walmart customers surveyed recently said they were planning to shop on Super Saturday, aka Dec. 20, the last Saturday before Christmas. (See Survey Results)

How do you make the switch from dawdling to getting it done, fast? The key is a solid plan. Clearly, you’re running out of time to build one, so check out these tips to get started.
 
1.  Make a list, and check it twice. It’s Santa’s motto for a reason. The last thing you need to do now is forget something. By shopping at Walmart, you can make one trip and cross off everything, from gifts and groceries to wine and that tradition many of us forget about: stocking stuffers.


2. 
 About those stocking stuffers … If you need ideas, you don’t have to search aisle after aisle. Many of our stores will have a designated display with more than 30 items for less than $10, including Barbie, Transformers, Legos and card games. If you want to be extra prepared, consider picking up an extra stocking or two in case a surprise guest stops by.

3.  If you’re not hosting, be sure to say thanks to those who are. Decorating and cooking – and maintaining a merry mood at the same time – is a lot of work. Ensure your host knows you appreciate it all by picking up a bottle of wine or some nice coffee.

4.  Traveling? Keep your presents pretty by waiting to wrap until you arrive. With more than 4,300 Walmart locations across the U.S., odds are you can find what you need just about anywhere. And if you don’t want to pack any gifts at all, gift cards are the perfect option.

5.  Speaking of gift cards, they’re a last-minute choice that’s more popular than ever. And with more than 50 types of gift cards at Walmart (and also eGift Cards on Walmart.com!), there’s bound to be something to please everyone on your list. If by some miracle you find yourself with a few extra moments, check out these crafty ways to dress them up.

6.  Rather get a real gift? Go for these options with universal appeal. Everyone loves a good gift basket, and you’ll find all kinds of them in our stores. Or, go for the super practical: Anyone could use a nice new set of towels. You’ll also find hundreds of new Rollbacks on other cool items – check out a few of those here.

7.  For the toy-focused crowd, this may be the most important tip of all: Get batteries. Don’t be the Grinch who gives a gift that doesn’t work. Ensure you’re set for anything by picking up a pack with multiple sizes and voltages.

8.  Don’t forget games the entire family can enjoy. After dinner and gifts are over, you’ll have nothing but quality time. Fill those awkward hours with board games, cards and maybe a few family-friendly DVDs.

9.  Got the wrong gift? No worries. Generally, Walmart accepts returns within 90 days of purchase, and you can find the exceptions and all other details here.

10. Above all, mark your calendar to get it done before Christmas. Most Walmart stores are open 24 hours, seven days a week, but the only day they close all year is Dec. 25. Many of our stores will be open until 8 p.m. Dec. 24 (you can check your store’s specific hours here), but we’re always open on Walmart.com. Just keep in mind at that point that you’ll need to allow a little time for delivery!