Christmas is always a stressful time, especially if you leave your Christmas shopping until the 24th December. Christmas 2008 can be different (even if you’re one of these people who leave your gift purchasing until the last minute!). This article aims to show how you can find Christmas gifts both on a budget and on a time constraint.

Obviously, you can buy gifts online up until the last working day before Christmas, if you are willing to pay exorbitant postage and packaging charges for same day delivery. However, if you’d rather save on postage and packaging you probably want to skip this option…!

For those of you who have left your Christmas 2008 shopping until the very last minute, but don't mind being old fashioned and doing some hands-on shopping, the first thing to do is get hold of a copy of your local shopping centre’s layout plan, this can be done by visiting the shopping centre or printing a plan directly from the shopping centre’s website. This means you will be able to get a rough idea together of what kind of Christmas gifts you will need and which shops you will have to go to, to get them. Having a game plan ready before you hit the shops is hopefully going to limit the time you’ll be spending in the shopping centre, simultaneously reducing your stress levels!

Another excellent money busting tip is to see if you can get vouchers from online stores to spend in the high street shops.

Take a look at the sales racks in stores, especially clothes shops and electrical goods stores which usually have a section dedicated to sales. Sales items can always make great gifts at the same time as saving cash. If you’ve budgeted £30 for your sister’s Christmas present, but find a brilliant gift that was £30 and is now reduced to £15, you’ve found yourself a bargain! (And that doesn’t mean that you need to spend that extra £15 on finding another gift for her, nope just put it towards the “you” fund!)

Bookshops, especially used bookstores are fabulous for finding budget Christmas gifts. Used book stores have a whole array of books as well as cd’s and some even have new dvd’s, which would all make fantastic christmas gift ideas for everyone.
Another fantastic idea for Christmas 2008 to go with your christmas gifts would be christmas cards, however the nicer ones are fairly expensive and are normally just thrown out in January. A lovely idea that can save you some money would be to purchase postcards instead of standard christmas cards which relate to the person you are giving the gift and/or card to. It's a more special way of presenting a gift and seems like you have really taken the time to think about the gift recipient as opposed to picking any christmas card off the shelf. If you're looking in the right places, such as in a used book store, you should be able to get at least five postcards for the price of one decent christmas card.

So, we have covered cards, gifts and discounts. Hopefully, you will find some fantastic bargains this Christmas even if you've left your christmas gift shopping until the very last minute!