Last Minute Panic?

by Katy on December 21, 2010 · 27 comments

My official last minute panic day of the Christmas season is normally the 23rd, but this year it’s today. I work both tomorrow and Thursday, so those days are officially a wash. I’m now back from my staycation, and spread all my gifts out onto the bed last night. And guess what? I’m pretty much done with all my Christmas shopping. (Although I am Jewish, our gift giving happens on Christmas, which is how we did it when I was a kid.)

I was a little concerned that I didn’t quite have enough for my nephew who turns 11 on the 23rd, but that was only because I actually bought him a brand new hardback copy of the new Rick Riordan book which set me back $17.95. (I chose to buy from the locally owned The Looking Glass bookstore.)

Really, all I have left to do at this point is to hit up the Asian grocery store for fun treats and I. Am. Done.

Are you done? Have you been crafting gifts by hand, scouring the thrift stores, perusing local stores or ordering online? Please share your last minute thoughts in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Stephanie December 21, 2010 at 10:42 am

We did a lot more homemade gifts this year. Earrings for the girls, custom granola mix for the boys, cookies for the neighbors. Giving a couple of pre-read books to a friend. Sending jars of preserved stuff to my siblings who aren’t in town to enjoy it with me: applesauce, grape jelly, apple butter. (A few re-gifted items, as well!) I did purchase a new book – but I’m buddies with the author & happy to support him! Most of my purchsed gifts came from a local holiday market. Good gift giving this year!


Tara December 21, 2010 at 10:56 am

90% of my gifts this year are home made. The kids and I are making soaps, and I’m knitting like crazy and making books. I’m making a few scarves and several dishcloths, paired with the soaps in a re-used green plastic strawberry basket saved from last summer. I still have one scarf and several dishcloths to make before Thursday night when we exchange gifts with my family.

And in the spirit of non-consumption, hubby and I are not exchanging gifts with each other this year. The kids are getting one thing each “from Santa.” And I’ve instructed my brother and sisters-in-law to not feel obligated to buy things for us as this has been a hard year for many of us.

I’m helping my two sons make cards for family members instead of using their hard-earned chore money on stuff.


Katy December 22, 2010 at 12:05 am

My husband and I never exchange gifts, although I allow him to give me stuff on my birthday, which is on January 4th.

I am satisfied with what I’ve chosen for the kids and my family, although my husband (as always) went to a very anti-Non-Consumer Advocate shopping spree.

It bugs the crap out of me, but he worked overtime in order to pay for it.



Angela@MyYearWithoutSpending December 21, 2010 at 11:17 am

I managed to entirely avoid the mall! Yay!

Made homemade egg nog, shortbread, granola, and pumpkin bread. Created a “memory book” with my brothers for our parents, a recipe book for one brother, a Shutterfly album of a trip we took together for the other, and books for many others.

All I have left to do is go to the stand-alone See’s ten minutes away and put together a hand-picked box for my husband.

Happy holidays.


tracy3xl December 21, 2010 at 11:43 am

The last minute knitting continues! My list of things I would like to make is always longer than the amount of time I seem to allot.


Jinger December 21, 2010 at 11:54 am

My gifts to family and friends were homemade…sweet embroidered felt bird ornaments, marshmallows coated with dark chocolate and crushed peppermint candy along with a disk of Mexican chocolate to make hot chocolate, a reindeer stand up folding card, and many types of cookies and bars. My college student will get gift cards, a lovely ring I found on my trip to New Orleans, a vintage votive candle holder, books, a Scrabble game for both of us to play and lots of stocking treats.

And after looking at all my crafters blogs this month, I already have my gift ideas to make for next year….nothing like planning ahead!


Sherry December 21, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Jinger- Care to share your links? I’d love to get some homemade ideas for next year!


Jinger December 22, 2010 at 4:42 am

Sherry…I’ll post some links on my blog later today if you care to look.


Jinger December 22, 2010 at 5:41 am

I realized most of the ideas I found are from this link. Look through all of December and you’ll find some wonderful projects. Enjoy!


Tina @ The Shakespearean Tomato December 21, 2010 at 12:44 pm

All my Christmas presents are done and gifted! All my family is in Portland, OR and I am stuck in North Carolina this year so everything went in the mail yesterday. I made the same thing for both sets of parents/stepparents – everyone is getting hand knit felted clog slippers. Everyone got a different color and they turned out just beautiful. I had been working on them off and on since August and I don’t picture myself making another pair soon – LOL! I also had knit a scarf for one holiday party gift exchange last weekend. The other Secret Santa gift I totally bailed on until the last minute and ended up buying slipper socks from Walmart for the girl, but it turns out she had been wanting those exact things for a month so I didn’t feel too bad 😛 I think Friday I will make a batch of cinnamon almond sticky buns to take to a Christmas potluck and pack up a jar of homemade apple butter and loaf of whole wheat sourdough bread and that’s all I’ve got this year! I am ALL about the handmade gifts, and thankfully I have a very small list of people to give to so I can really put some thought and effort into it.


Katy December 22, 2010 at 12:07 am

Sounds great, you’re welcome to share with my family! 😉



Anne Marie @ Married to the Empire December 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm

My shopping is done, and I have quite the mix of new, thrifted, bought from a crafter, and homemade. I went a little overboard on my 4 nieces, but this is the first Christmas in 5 years that they’re back home in the States, so I’m enjoying being able to give them presents that don’t have to all fit into a single priority mail box due to the astronomical cost of shipping.

I still need to make some notecards for my mom and make labels for the soap I made a couple of months ago. But everything else is taken care of.


Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary December 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Who me? Stressed? Well, uh…. actually, I’m not stressed at all, as most of our gift giving is long over. Hanukkah was so early this year.

Big present for the kiddos (and for myself): tickets to see Cirque du Soleil when they come to the area next month. It required no trips to the mall and will not take up any extra space in my home. Hopefully it will create wonderful memories. 🙂

I did take on one craft project this year — hand-sewn ball thingies (that’s the technical name for them) for my newest niece and nephew. Since they are only 4 weeks old, I suspect that their older sibs just might possibly use them first.


Katy December 22, 2010 at 12:08 am

I made my kids choose between Xmas OR Hannukah gifts and they chose Xmas. There is hjust no flippin’ way that I’m doing both.

Unfortunately, their cousins douple dip, so they feel like they’re missing out.



Linda H. December 21, 2010 at 2:19 pm

I am done and wrapped. Yay! I crafted 1/3, bought new 1/3 and bought used 1/3. I am happy and content with what I have for people, but I would have liked to make more gifts. Maybe next year… I’d love to get Jinger’s pattern for embroidered felt birds! They sound really cute!


Practical Parsimony December 21, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Since I got all the packages in the mail, Christmas has one big let-down…in a good way. I was tired of searching for things, packing things, and repacking when I picked up the wrong box at the PO.

Searching? For things my daughter could not find in NYC that I bought in case she could not find them and wanted me to mail things. She found everything and THEN I had to return things….once within 30 min of purchasing it.

Searching for little farm animals with a fence. Or, without a fence. I finally did find them, after I mailed the packages. Those were things I chose to give Je… and K. But, none of the packages had chickens.

Jor…. (16) got camera with neoprene case and sd card…too much spent there and a Columbia coat, thick and warm for winter in NYC, on sale and will go lower, razor (free).

K (9) camera, case, and strapped case with tripod and sd card. Both cameras were unpackaged, charged, and are ready to shoot on C morning, eight pair of leggings (most deeply reduced), two tops, a dress to go with a plaid pair of leggings. There is more, but I cannot remember. Her Kodak M530 will be $19 or less after Christmas with OM recycling! I could have gotten much cheaper (12 mp though) cameras and free with my Office Max recycling, but I wanted Lithium Ion batteries because they are so much easier, red jacket, and two Miley Cyrus vests that cost $1 each, a skirt.

Their mother–money.

Since I still have a ton of outfits from my craft show years, little A (3)got Cabbage Patch clothing–20+ yrs old, and an old CP doll, new, smells nice, that I paid $1 for at a yard sale…20 yrs old. Baby carrier from yard sale, baby bottle and cover from my crafting days, farm tractor and trailer, 1/64 size, bought new, and hair elastics, and decorative hair things. I crocheted a blanket for the little doll and cut up a fleece baby blanket and fringed the edge, too. Little J (5) got whole set of farm equipment and animals and fence, cut up a cheap green fleece blanket and fringed it for him to cover his dog. Gave him 20+ yr old Pound Puppy shirt I made and 20+ baby pound puppy Auburn shirt that I made. Both get yard sale matchbox cars.

Their father (my son) and dil–framed needlepoint I made 30 or so years ago and had framed this year. Auburn Santa hat (only thing bought full price).

Other daughter–lovely black scarf with fringe and on sale, really a sale! I should have made it!

Of course, I threw, stuffed more free toothpaste in all boxes.

A friend–device to pick up pecans that she admired of mine.

Next year, less buying, more sewing and crocheting.


Katy December 22, 2010 at 12:09 am

Wow, great job!



Marianne December 21, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I went more with what can i get for less mode this year. Lots off llbean stuff because they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee (i love it). Plus with every $50 you spend, you get a $10 gift card. Gps for mom half off at bjs, cds with leftover barnes and noble credit, and a movie gift basket for my nieces and nephew. Movie passes, boxes of candy and movie passes. And im making peppermint bark too. The biggest gift to me has been cutting out the excess giving to friends and distant relatives. All of the stress left me frazzled and broke. I know they love me (and i them) without having to exchange gifts and it has made this time of year more joyous.


Maureen December 22, 2010 at 5:59 am

I went on a de-cluttering spree and I’m finishing up hand-made ornaments that I started years ago and never finished. This year they are finished! I did add some $3.00 ornaments to each gift bundle, since I can’t make every ornament, but so far I’ve received great reviews on the bundles (some people got there’s a little early!)


Janice December 22, 2010 at 6:04 am

I’m done because we’re having a “presence” only Christmas this year! We’re all coming up with activities to do as a family.


Kimberly December 22, 2010 at 6:28 am

Every year, I have a goal of coasting into the last few days before Christmas. I have visions of everything being completed, the house being clean, and the food being delicious.

And although every year it’s a little better, I still have the last minute struggle. Today’s list includes:

Clean house
Get Thing Two’s bedroom ready for the mural artist who is arriving tomorrow.
Wrap all the rest of the gifts
Make plans for Christmas Eve food
Go to the dreaded Walmart (ugh!) to pick up a couple of things that we preordered
Try to squeeze in a training session for my 5K
And smile while doing all of the above….



Andrea December 22, 2010 at 6:36 am

Very last-minute around here. We had a wild crafting weekend and got two boxes shipped off to family in Colorado on Monday (fingers crossed they make it in time!) and now I just need to make a sleeping bag, a camera case or two, a pair of pajama pants and something else I haven’t figured out yet…


Jenny December 22, 2010 at 9:59 am

Still crafting here, too. A knitting project to finish and a beaded barcelet to start (but I have ’til the 26th to gift that one!)


Jennifer December 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm

*I* am done. My in-laws though just sent me a check to get stuff for the kid’s stockings (they fill some for them each year too). So, tomorrow, hopefully bright and early I will be hitting wal-mart. I am not looking forward to it! They always get them socks, underwear and a small toy. So useful things that they need (and can’t find used) but I had no idea they were going to do this! Ugh.


Shannon December 22, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Fortunately I was finished by Monday because my daughter came down with a stomach virus that’s been plaguing her school. That would have thrown a major monkey wrench into my plans. I did venture out to the mall today with my sister (who was returning a watch to Macy’s). It was interesting to see all the wild-eyed last minute shoppers (particularly men).


602Laura December 23, 2010 at 5:50 am

Oh boy, can I relate to Shannon. Thank goodness, I’ve been pretty organized this year and had the wrapping & decorating done last weekend. Christmas break started this past Monday and my kids brought the flu home for the holidays. So it’s not finances that are stressing me out–it’s fear of spreading this freakin’ virus that has me a little down . I mean do you go ahead with all the holiday baking and cooking even if there’s a chance no one will want to eat?? Food is such a big part of our family traditions at this time of year. I feel sad when I can’t cook and feed people!


Dmarie December 23, 2010 at 6:55 am

dunno how it happens, but no matter how prepared I think I am, there is ALWAYS a last minute panic. I fear that commercialism is the dirty culprit behind my last minute “don’t think I’ve got enough for so and so” panics!


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