Last-Minute Christmas Shopping Guide

Holiday shoppingThe kickoff to the holiday season gets earlier every year, but that doesn't mean consumers are getting better at finishing their shopping early. As the National Retail Federation notes, American consumers typically have about half their holiday shopping left to go in mid-December. And according to a survey conducted by Visa, 77% of consumers hadn't finished their shopping as of last weekend, and 14% hadn't even started.

So if you're going into this weekend without your shopping finished, you're not alone.

But that doesn't mean you're in good shape. If you've put your shopping off this long, then you'll have to navigate a landscape littered with packed malls, expedited shipping charges and empty shelves. Here's how you can get through it in one piece.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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