It's amazing how many of us are rushing around at Christmas. Last minute gift shopping, frantically looking for a turkey at midnight on Christmas Eve or throwing up hasty decorations before the in-laws arrive for Christmas dinner.

Christmas just seems to sneak up on us, which is weird as the build-up starts months before and it's not as if they move the date every year… but we still we get caught out.

If you're beginning to panic about the fast approaching festive season don't worry, we've got your back. Our last minute Christmas hacks will get you through it all

Gift wrapping

Let's not beat about the bush here. Without being sexist or stereotypical in any way when it comes to wrapping Christmas presents there is always that one person who is hopeless. You know who you are.

But wrapping gifts is really easy if you keep it simple and the way to do that is to put everything in a square box. Anyone can manage to wrap a box, just stick it in the middle of the paper, fold the paper and apply tape. Simples. Don't try and complicate it by tying a ribbon in to a bow. Buy a pack of stick on bows and self adhesive gift tags.

Head over to YouTube if you want to put a bit more effort into your gift wrapping. There are videos which will show you how to wrap anything. Not as easy as a box though.

Grocery shopping

This can be tricky but leaving it until the last minute can have its advantages….

Even supermarkets close on Christmas Day (outrageous!). This means late on Christmas Eve they reduce all the fresh and refrigerated foods.

Get yourself to the reduced aisle and fill your basket full of Christmas goodies. A word of warning though, you won't be alone. You're going to have to go in with determination and guts and sharp elbows, it's every person for themselves.

Your reward will be a full basket and you will have saved plenty of money compared to full price items. You'll even get brownie points from your other half for being so organised- bingo!

When you actually examine what you've bought you may find a strange assortment of foods. But you can convince your other half it's all part of your plan by frantically searching the internet for Christmas recipes. You'll find festive meals you can create from more or less anything.

Gift buying

Oh no you haven't have you? You've forgotten the aunt you haven't seen for years is visiting and a pressie is expected. Or even worse you've just seen the pile of gifts your partner has put under the tree for you. What happened to that 'one gift each' rule you agreed on?

However it has happened, you need to do some last minute shopping. Luckily the internet is there to help. Most shopping sites will still be able to deliver for Christmas if you order by close of play 22 December. Of course you do run the risk of the item not arriving but you may just have to gamble.

There is always the high street of course, but you will have to contend with the stores bursting at the seams. You won't be the only last minute shopper.

Even so you need to be patient- don't just grab the first thing you see. Shop around and you will find plenty of bargains.

If all else fails and you are in the awful position of beings sans gift when the shops shut on Christmas Eve offer up a quick prayer of thanks for 24 hour garages. Pack of firelighters and a giant bag of Maltesers anyone?


The easiest Christmas hack of them all. You'll be amazed at what you can do with a bit of tinsel, toilet roll tubes and a few pine cones. You don't even need the craft skills of a Blue Peter presenter.

There are plenty of articles online like this one which show you how to make Christmas decorations quickly and easily and above all cheaply.

Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy the Christmas you've prepared so thoroughly for...