Even though the Christmas retail season seems to begin earlier every year with Santa displays bumping the goblins out of stores in October, many of us are still scrambling to buy gifts in the days before the holidays.
Given all of that, you didn’t notice? Christmas is Monday. Santa’s elves aren’t going to help you. But thanks to online retail, it’s not too late to ensure your gift makes it under the tree by Christmas morning.
But you have to hustle so you don’t have to slink into the New Year feeling like a slug. Do it now.
Here are some tips and deals — and in some of these cases you might still have to schlep to the store to pick up what you just ordered. Next year you’ll have all of this done before you carve the Thanksgiving turkey — right?
▪ Amazon probably already came to mind. But can you hit ‘Buy’ and still get it delivered? Yes. Amazon Prime members receive free two-day shipping year-round, including right before the holidays. Not a member? Sign up for a free one-month trial and order before Friday and you’re good to go.
▪ Apple stores are swamped even in the dead of summer. So take advantage of Apple’s free two-day shipping on all of its products, like the new iPhone X and iPad Pro. For this to work you have to get your order in by the end of the workday on Friday to guarantee delivery on Christmas Eve.
▪ Bed Bath & Beyond is ideal for household gifts and there are plenty of outlets. But if you can’t get to a store, go online and select the expedited option by Thursday or express by Friday. (You’ve already missed the standard shipping deadline.)
▪ Best Buy will give you free two-day shipping if you spend more than $35 and get your order in by Friday.
▪ Bloomingdale’s has a countdown clock on its website ticking away the hours you have to order from the department store and still get your gift in hand in time. Three options: Place a standard delivery order by Friday. Opt for express delivery by noon Saturday. Or order a digital e-gift card by 1 p.m. Saturday.
▪ FedEx’s 2017 last days to ship schedule is online at http://www.fedex.com/us/holiday/last-days-to-ship.html If you do FedEx Express, your package will be delivered on Saturday for $16 per package. For the really bad procrastinator, FedEx SameDay will deliver on Christmas Day. The company doesn’t list the cost on its website. You have to call 1-800-399-5999 to get a price quote.
▪ Kmart will offer free shipping and get it to the recipient’s door by Christmas Eve if you spend $60 or more. But you have to order by 5 p.m. Thursday. If you miss that deadline, opt for premium shipping by Saturday. Miss that one, too? Order online by 3 p.m. on Christmas Eve and pick up the item that day at the Kmart store you selected. Hey, you waited this long.
▪ Macy’s offers free standard shipments for orders over $99 if you get ’em in by 5 p.m. Friday. If you miss the deadline, opt for express shipments by noon on Christmas Eve.
▪ Microsoft has last minute shoppers covered for that new XBox or Windows 10 PC. Go to the company’s website to direct your online purchase to your local Microsoft store through Christmas Eve. For those interested in giving back this holiday season, Microsoft store locations are accepting wishes via the Microsoft Wish Machine through Dec. 31.
▪ Target’s guaranteed delivery offer will expire by the end of Wednesday. But you can order online and pick up at the store by 6 p.m. Christmas Eve. The stores are closed on Christmas Day.
▪ Toys R Us’s standard shipping option has come and gone for this Christmas. So select expedited or ShopRunner 2-Day Shipping by Friday or express shipment by noon Saturday. Kids have you frazzled with last-minute requests for that Cabbage Patch Doll? (Sorry, wrong century.) You can order online by 12 p.m Christmas Eve and pick up the toys at the store you selected.
▪ The U.S. Postal Service’s deadline for priority mail deliveries by Christmas came and went by Wednesday. But you can still get your packages delivered on time if you opt for Priority Mail Express by Friday. Visit the USPS site at https://www.usps.com/holiday/ for its holiday schedule.
▪ UPS’s holiday shipping guide at ups.com says that it can deliver 2nd Day Air service if you get your packages to a UPS location by Thursday and get them processed for Saturday delivery. You can also use UPS Next Day service on Friday for Saturday delivery. UPS will not pick up or deliver on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
▪ Walmart’s last-minute gifts can be had if you order by 4 p.m. Saturday for store pickup on Christmas Eve.