3 easy ways to spread (last-minute) Christmas cheer

(BPT) - The holidays have a habit of creeping up on us. For a while you’re on top of the gift buying, decorating, baking, mailing things out … then suddenly you’re not. It becomes a scramble to cross those last few items off the to-do list, and the stress can easily dampen a formerly festive spirit.

So why not do away with some of that last-minute stress? There’s no need to anxiously crunch the numbers on estimated delivery days left, or worry about how you will get everything done on Christmas Eve. With these three simple strategies, you can transform your last-minute Christmas tasks, greetings and gifts into shining examples of good cheer for the holidays.

1. When you’re down to the wire on gifts, skip the shipping delays

Thanks to COVID-19, our postal service and shipping carriers are busier than ever. Which isn’t ideal for anyone who’s put off gift-buying for a bit too long. Do away with the shipping delays, drawn-out delivery dates and general anxiety over whether your gift will arrive in time. Instead, embrace the simplicity of digital gift cards.

“Everyone wins when gift-giving is easier,” says Matt Douglas, CEO, Punchbowl, Inc. “It means less time lost to stress and delays, and more time spent enjoying the spirit of the season.” Punchbowl makes it a breeze to send a digital gift card, for any amount, at the drop of a Santa hat. You can choose from over a dozen top brands including Amazon, Target, Panera and Sephora, and wrap it all up in a personalized digital greeting card.

2. When you send cards last minute, embrace digital designs

Digital Christmas cards are an absolute game changer when you’re in a time crunch. Not only are digital greetings convenient, you can control precisely when they are delivered. Far from worrying if your message will make it on time, you can maximize the good cheer and have it arrive precisely on Christmas Day.

Digital greeting cards from Punchbowl even allow you to add a heartfelt holiday video or personal photo, to make your message the next best thing to sharing holiday well-wishes in person. Far from feeling last-minute, a beautiful digital Christmas card is the ideal way to tell someone that you care and are thinking of them. And that’s true no matter when you send one.

3. When you're out of time to volunteer, make a thoughtful donation

Volunteering is a cherished Christmas tradition for many. While a beautiful and meaningful practice, volunteering also presents unique challenges. In addition to the ever-present problem of too much to do and too little time, COVID-19 has made the in-person aspect of many volunteer opportunities simply impossible this year.

If you've run out of time, or if you're wary of the risks of the pandemic, consider taking your charitable endeavors online this year. Many online grocery stores allow you to order a food delivery directly to your local pantry. You can also donate your miles, points and cashback rewards to nonprofits like Make-A-Wish. Of course, there's always the option of monetary donations as well, given directly to your preferred charity. Whatever route you choose, it's a terrific way to give of yourself this season — or any season. After all, you're never too late with an act of generosity.

Rather than feel embarrassed or overwhelmed by things you’ve let go for a bit too long, embrace digital ways to make the holidays brighter. The point of Christmas, after all, has never been perfection. It’s about feelings of love and caring, and about striving to spread joy to those around us. So if you’re playing catch up with cards to send and gifts to give, remember you’re not alone. Take advantage of these easy solutions, and give yourself the gift of no more stress.