The Procrastinator’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays

This year, as always, I've put figuring out holiday logistics on the back burner. As the emails pile up at work, I tell myself that I have more than enough time to sort out Christmas shopping, travel plans and party dresses. Yet as the weeks between now and the new year inch ever closer, I find myself (unsurprisingly) panicking a few days before Christmas, scrambling to simultaneously please everyone's wish list and book last minute NYE plans. To save myself from the headache this year, I jotted down a quick holiday survival guide for fellow procrastinators.

holiday-organization-tips

Know your shipping deadlines.

Below are USPS and UPS shipping dates for Christmas day deliveries below. I recommend memorizing these by heart, scribbling them on the back of your hand and setting obnoxious alarms on your celly.

For anyone ordering dresses from RentTheRunway.com, the NYE due date is included too. I've had my eye on this divine Open Ceremony number, so here's crossing my fingers that I don't wait until the last minute. Again.

PS: the dates below are for domestic shipments, so double check if you're international.

usps-shipping-dates

Save the tedious tasks for TaskRabbit and PostMates

Confession: I'm terrible at wrapping gifts. I end up with tape in my hair and a pile of clumsily packaged presents after a 3-hour gift-wrapping binge. TaskRabbit and PostMates are lifesavers when it comes to getting the more time-consuming duties out of the way. Both TaskRabbit, which lets you outsource errands -- and PostMates -- which delivers goods from any restaurant or store in less than an hour -- have downloadable apps.

This year, I had Tim from PostMates deliver my wrapping paper, while Holly from TaskRabbit neatly wrapped the presents. Like I said, absolute lifesavers.

christmas-shipping-deadlines

If you're flying for the holidays...

Of course, getting your presents to the mailing office on time is only half of it. Chances are you'll need to buy a last minute flight home for the holidays, but before you succumb to the devastating prices of the airline gods, keep these three things in mind:

Avoid popular days and times to fly

Naturally, the most expensive flights are the most convenient. Flights that depart on the weekends and at a comfortable time in the afternoon will carry the biggest price tag. If you want to save some cash, look for flights departing early in the morning or very late at night. Since we're already well into December, your best bet for a reasonably priced ticket home is to fly out during the week on a Monday or the day of Christmas, returning home the next morning.

when-to-book-flights

Expand your options to "nearby airports" 

Picking an alternative airport nearby may offer cheaper flights. Definitely make sure that there are reliable forms of ground transportation to get you to your destination, however. You don't want to land in the middle of nowhere and pay a ridiculous taxi fare.

Do Your Homework

Rather than blindly grab at the first flight home, spend an hour comparing prices on different sites. Bid for tickets on platforms like Priceline, check out aggregators and keep the above two tips in mind while shopping.

If you have any tips to help ambitionistas survive the last few days of the holidays, do let us know in the comments.


Beauty & Style Note:
PIOL custom LBD dress.
Nina Ricci black cat-eye sunglasses
Dior black patent leather heels
Chanel Rouge lipstick

Photos taken by Sabrina Hill of PartyWithNoCake.com



Facebooktwitterpinterest

RESPONSES

  • Jenni Clark says:

    Wow, Heidi, you’re looking great! I love your dress and makeup, really suits you! Wishing you stress-free Holidays ahead 🙂

  • MJ says:

    Oh this is so helpful. Thanks so much for sharing the dates, Gorgeous! Now my problem with the shipping is solved. Really grateful!

  • Thanks so much for these tips and advice. I’m planning to board the plane before New Year and it’s really a must to check the international flights beforehand, coz I know there are a lot of people out there wanting to go to tropical places instead of bundling up in the cold holidays nights… Just my observation 🙂

  • Helga says:

    You.Are.Stunning. Heidi! I don’t know what else to say.. Haven’t seen you here in months, and now look at you, you look really divine! I love how you look! 🙂

  • Susan says:

    I always tell my husband to plan, to prepare, to think ahead. But what does he do? He just shrug it off, like he doesn’t hear me at all. Now we’re cramming for flights to NY and I still haven’t packed and wrapped my grandkids’ gifts. Good thing I can always count on you, Heidi. So thankful for this post.

  • Keanna says:

    TaskRabbit and PostMates – got it.. Thanks!

  • shauna says:

    I survived! Yes, up to the last minute, I was able to send my gifts to the intended recipients, thanks to our very reliable courier services – oh yes, USPS, thanks so much, you haven’t failed me. And Heidi, thanks for all these info, glad I caught this article before Xmas came 🙂

  • Misty Dew says:

    So happy to have caught a flight to NY yesterday, now I’m all geared up (think Santa Claus) and ready to spend another week to greet the New Year in NY!!

  • Desiree Lynch says:

    Too bad, I wasn’t able to read this before the holidays. I wasn’t able to fly to where I wanted to be this Christmas 🙁 I’d be sure to take note of this when I celebrate the holidays next year.

  • Nikki says:

    I haven’t heard of Postmates and Task Rabbit. I think this is just what I need to save time and effort with gifting ideas. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Jessica Ryan says:

    Wow Heidi, you always have great ideas with you! Thanks for these.

    By the way, you look really lovely and elegant with your little black dress 🙂 You’re like a classic Hollywood star – a la Audrey Hepburn 🙂

  • MJ says:

    I admit, I’m a procrastinator myself. I always thought I have lots of time in the world, I can manage my schedules and the tasks that I need to do in due time. But no, my own time management scheme always fails me. So I’m thankful to you for these links and tips and scheds. Very much appreciated 🙂

  • Leigh says:

    I’m just glad I survived Christmas and New Year after all the grueling preparations and events I had to organize and set up. It’s really great to have friends and to know people like you who could share a lot even by just reading and browsing through your page. THanks for the suggestions, Heidi!

  • Arianne says:

    My! I almost didn’t recognize you Heidi, you’re looking so mighty beautiful and stunning with your black dress!

  • Barbara says:

    Belated holiday greetings to you! You look stunning on your black outfit, so stunning!

  • Margaret says:

    Super thank you for the links you provided here – about the party dresses as well as the links to TaskRabbit and PostMates – really great alternatives for an otherwise super busy and hectic holiday. Hope 2015 shines bright for you!

  • Sophie says:

    Took your advice about TaskRabbit, and I was relieved. They’re professional and fast and helped me a lot with my party plans and gifts!

  • Carmencita says:

    I was looking for tips on how to make the most of my yuletide parties and I happened to see this, complete with suggestions for those who might be rushing for their holidays. Thanks so much for the links and gift ideas and loads of other fast but effective xmas suggestions!

  • Taylor says:

    Great ideas! I am known to be forgetful and tend to do things in rush. I will keep these numbers in mind just in case. Thanks!

  • Kendall says:

    Thank you for this. You just made my holiday complete and easy!

Comments are closed.