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Here’s how to win at last-minute holiday shopping

The holidays are right around the corner, and for many people, this means last-minute shopping. Waiting until the last minute to shop for the people on your holiday gift list can be stressful. If you are one of those people who finds yourself stuck in that last-minute frenzy again, don’t worry. Some people don’t have it in them to pre-plan and buy ahead of time, but we have you covered. We have found fantastic last-minute gift ideas, places to shop, retailers with speedy delivery times, and store hours so you can win at last-minute shopping.

Speedy delivery options

Many online retailers offer in-time-for-the-holidays shipping during this time of the year. As long as you order a qualifying product by the time specified, many companies will guarantee that your gift will arrive by December 24 or earlier. Some retailers even offer free shipping on items that they promise will arrive just in time.


We all know that Amazon is one of the leaders of fast shipping. If you’re a Prime member, you can get free two-day shipping on almost any item that you want. Some items even ship on the same day that you order them. If you are not a Prime member, no need to panic, Amazon said it would extend its offer for free holiday shipping on qualifying purchases over $25 with no Prime membership required, through December 14. The last day for standard shipping is December 18. December 22 is the last day for Free delivery with Prime, and December 23 is the last day for one-day delivery.

Best Buy

Best Buy building and logo on Black Friday

Best Buy will deliver your items, for free, by Christmas as long as you order them before 8:30 a.m. PT on December 22. If you want to pay for overnight shipping, Best Buy will ship items purchased on December 23, but they must be bought before 8:30 am. If you find yourself still shopping on Christmas Eve, December 24, you can order gifts online and pick them up in stores before they close at 6 p.m. Best Buy’s extended Holiday Hours are below.


Walmart already offers free two-day shipping on most items. Still, it is also offering free shipping on online orders (on select items and select store locations) placed as late as December 22 and have those items arrive before Christmas. For most items, Walmart has a 2 p.m. cutoff time on December 20 for delivery by Christmas Eve.


BRYAN R. SMITH/Getty Images

Target offers free two-day shipping with no minimum purchase price through December 21.

Last-minute gift ideas

When shopping for a last-minute gift, it can be challenging to come up with a good idea on the spot. Gift cards can seem impersonal and well, last minute. Unless, of course, you buy a gift card for an experience or subscription. Purchasing a subscription to Disney+ can be a thoughtful way to show someone that you care. The streaming service gives you the best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more, the streaming service is currently offering a promotion to gift for the holidays. For just $70, you can gift an entire year of Disney+. You can find additional gift ideas here.

Store Hours

Best Buy

From December 15 through December 23, Best Buy is open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday hours are 9 a.m to 10 p.m. On Tuesday, December 24, store hours are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Best Buy stores are closed on Christmas Day.


Walmart is open 24 hours a day almost every day of the year. On Christmas Eve, most Walmart stores will close at 6 p.m. All Walmart stores are closed on Christmas Day.


Target is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. Most Target stores stay open until midnight on Christmas Eve and are closed on Christmas Day. Visit Target online to locate your store and view specific hours for each store.


From December 10 to 14, store hours are from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Beginning December 20, select stores stay open an hour later than usual. On December 23, Nordstrom is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Christmas Eve hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


From December 21 through December 23, you can shop at Macy’s from open time (which varies for each location) till midnight. On Christmas Eve, most Macy’s stores close at 6 p.m. All Macy’s stores are closed on Christmas Day.

With many retailers offering free shipping, expedited shipping, and extended hours you should be able to get your last-minute holiday gift shopping completed rather painlessly. We hope that these gift ideas, shipping tips, and store hours make your last-minute shopping go smoothly.

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