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Your (Extremely) Last-Minute Gift Guide

Originally published by Andrew Daniels on Men’s Health.

Still haven’t finished your holiday shopping? Don’t panic—follow this plan

last-minute gift guideIf you clicked on this story, chances are you’re feeling a little guilty that it’s December 21 and you haven’t bought all your holiday gifts yet.

Don’t worry—your friends and family are probably in the same boat.

According to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF), 90 percent of holiday shoppers still hadn’t completely crossed off their lists as of December 15. In fact, more than 10 percent said they’re planning to wait all the way until December 23.

How come we procrastinate this time of year?

“Research shows the more choices we have, the harder we find it is to decide [what to buy],” says Karen Pine, Ph.D., a professor who studies the psychology of gift giving at the University of Hertfordshire. “Deciding which model, which version, and which color leads to option overload—and that can paralyze us.”

We also put pressure on ourselves to pick amazing presents, Pine says. “Gifts are an emotional exchange, and the social consequences of getting them wrong can be huge. We can endear others to us with the right gift, or completely offend them with the wrong one.”

Whatever your reason for dawdling, it’s not too late to check off your holiday list—but it’s pretty damn close. Follow this four-pronged plan for scoring great last-minute gifts.

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