How To Do Last-Minute Shopping During the Pandemic

Christmas is just over a week away and if you haven’t ordered your gifts yet, you may have missed the shipping deadlines to get your gifts delivered by Christmas. In other years, you may have just popped into your local drug store chain or Target to shop for last-minute gifts, but due to the pandemic, you might not be as comfortable doing your shopping in-person this year. But don’t worry, you still have a few options to safely shop for last-minute gifts.

Keep reading for the best ways to do your last-minute holiday shopping amid the pandemic.

You can safely shop at your local Target store without leaving your car thanks to the retailer’s Drive Up option. Browse items available for Drive Up in the Target app, make your selections and when your order is ready to pick up, you’ll receive a notification that you can head to the store. When you arrive, park in a designated Drive Up spot, let the store know you are there and an associate will load up your trunk — no contact necessary.

When you truly need something ASAP, turn to Amazon Prime. Prime members get free one-day delivery on more than 10 million items with no purchase minimums, and free same-day delivery on eligible purchases of $35 or more.

You may think of Instacart as a grocery delivery service, but it’s partnered with a number of other retailers that may just have the perfect last-minute gifts for everyone on your list. You can use Instacart to get deliveries from Best Buy, Sephora, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid and more, many times within just two hours of placing your order.

If the person you are shopping for loves a particular retailer or restaurant, a gift card can be an ideal last-minute gift. Or, you can always give an Amazon gift card, or opt for a more personalized, unique gift card, like an experiential or spa gift card.

You may be able to DIY a gift with things you already have at home. Some ideas include baked goods, homemade bath scrubs or infused spirits.

If you found the perfect gift for someone online and it’s too late to send it via standard shipping, it could be worth it to spring for the express shipping option. Do some comparison shopping to find a retailer with the least exorbitant fees if you do choose to do this.

2020 has been a very strange, hectic year, and your gift recipient will likely be understanding if your gift arrives after Dec. 25. Perhaps send them a note saying a gift is on its way and will be arriving late so they have a heads up.