Some people are experts at Holiday shopping. They start shopping for Christmas at the beginning of the New Year, searching for deals year-round. They squirrel away gifts in closets and attics, to have them ready for the holidays well in advance. They are definitely not last minute Holiday shoppers.

Waiting Until Right Before Christmas

On the other extreme, there are those who do not enjoy shopping. They wake up a week before Christmas, realize they have nothing for their sweetheart, and go into panic mode. If you usually find yourself in this camp, we have a few tips to help you.

The Week Before

If you have a week before the holiday get-togethers, try these options:

Download the Wikibuy browser extension. Shopping online will save you time as well as enable you to compare prices at various stores. This browser extension automatically compares prices when you shop online, searching thousands of sites to find the best deal and to find online coupons for the item.

● Shop at Department stores offering extended sales. Because of the Pandemic, many stores want to avoid the usual holiday crush on Black Friday. Stores like Target, Best Buy and Walmart are offering extended sales events starting now and lasting until the Holidays. This gives you the opportunity to shop the last week before Christmas and still get comparable Black Friday prices. Check the stores’ website for specific details.

● Gift basket of small items. Buy small gifts like perfume, candles, envelopes of hot cocoa, a journal, whatever you think the gift recipient may enjoy, and put those items into a small decorative basket or box.

Christmas Eve

If you are truly one of the last minute Holiday shoppers, and you’ve only got a few hours left before the holiday, try these options:

● Give a subscription box. Subscription boxes are an easy gift to purchase that continues giving year-round. There are a variety of subscriptions services to choose from. You can give your loved one new clothes each month with Stitch Fix, Trunk Club, and ThredUp, for example. Other subscriptions deliver toys, arts and science projects, and books each month.

● Give a membership. Pay for a year’s membership to Amazon Prime, or a few months of Netflix, a wine club, or a coffee of the month club.

● Give a Gift Card. These are available at most retail outlets, particularly the big chains. You can get them for specific restaurants or stores, or simply purchase a Visa Gift card with a fixed amount loaded on to it to be used anywhere Visa is accepted.

Mid Oregon Credit Union offers its members Visa Gift Cards. They can be used almost everywhere Visa cards are accepted in Central Oregon, and at millions of places around the world-including retail and online merchants as well as mail and phone orders. The only exclusions are gas stations, ATMs, hotels, car rentals and airline reservations. It has all the protection and security features you expect from a Visa card.

Visit one of our seven Central Oregon branches to purchase a Visa Gift Card. But if you are shopping on Christmas Eve, come in early. Our branches close at 2 pm.