Your Christmas shopping sorted - in less than 24 hours.




How often have you found yourself killing time by scrolling through Facebook and Instagram when faced with a few spare minutes of downtime? Pretty often, we bet.

It’s no surprise that Australians spend hours researching and planning for Christmas, and according to new research, we spend five times more hours planning than celebrating the actual day.

But what if those tiny snatches of downtime each day could be used more productively?

With that in mind, four Mamamia writers had $300 loaded into their PayPal accounts and were then given the enviable challenge of completing their Christmas shopping over 24 hours – but only on their mobile during brief moments of spare time.

Here’s what happened:

1. The 20-something: Alexis Carey.

Alexis Carey

As a typical Gen Y, I’m pretty much joined at the hip to my smartphone. Every spare second is spent on social media or reading the news – so I was pretty excited to be given this task.

First up – my sister, who is planning a trip overseas. While waiting for my iron to heat up in the morning before work, I logged into the Bags to Go website and with a couple of clicks I had bought her a suitcase for $139.95.

Next was the boyfriend. While it’s not my idea of a fun Christmas present, he is a keen cyclist – so I visited the Wiggle cycling website later that day while waiting for a work meeting to start. There I snapped up a couple of bike-y things for $144.20 all up. Easy.


While waiting for my lunch to heat up I bought a couple of bottles of my grandmother’s favourite wine from Dan Murphy’s, which is usually hard to find. And voila – challenge nailed.

The best part? By using the “nothing” time I’d normally waste online more productively, I now have time to hang out with my friends over the next few weekends rather than braving stressful crowds at the shops. Winning!

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by PayPal. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

2. The working mum: Nicky Champ.

Nicky Champ

In a completely un-strategised move, I kick off my online shopping adventures at 4:30am. Still jetlagged from London, I make a rough list on my phone of what to buy.

10am: I’ve confirmed that my nephews are into superheroes, and that a book is a good choice for my 7-year-old niece. While I’m waiting for the slow barista across the road from work, I completed a Toys’R’Us transaction. Four nephews and one niece: check. Since I’ve also ordered toast, I factor in that I can make another quick purchase: this time a beach towel from The Beach People for my brother and sister-in-law. Done.

4:15pm: On the bus, I tackle my notoriously hard-to-buy-for Dad. Last time I was at my parents’ house he mentioned he liked Sam Smith. So with a few taps on the phone it’s over to JB Hi-Fi I go. I also buy him a Roger Moore biography from Booktopia, and while I’m there, I pick up John Grisham’s latest novel for my uncle. Dad and two uncles: check.


I’ve just scraped in at under 24 hours, and I can’t believe I’ve finished my Christmas shopping before December. What’s more remarkable is that I did it all on my phone without even having to take my wallet out of my handbag. I’m normally so time-poor (what working mum with a toddler isn’t?) but now I’ll have more time to spend with the family in the lead up to Christmas.

3. The mum with grown kids: Bern Morley.

Bern Morley

I love Christmas shopping, but now my kids are teenagers I find it gets harder every year. I was also a bit sceptical about this challenge, because I don’t normally do my shopping on my mobile – but I kicked off at 9am as I waited for the tram to take me into work regardless.

I had a good 15 minutes to kill before it was due to arrive and within that time I’d purchased the latest novel in a series of books my daughter was currently addicted to. Soon after, I made my way over to Etsy, a veritable black hole for craft-loving mummas such as myself – and bought her some earrings I just knew she’d adore.

Walking into work, of course I stopped off at my favourite coffee shop and while I waited, I researched and found her ‘present from Santa’ – a Kindle. Before even sitting down at my desk that morning, I had already purchased most of her Christmas gifts. And if you have a teen at home, you will understand that this is no easy feat.

I took out my phone again on the tram home that evening and made a few small purchases from clothing outlets for her and then patted myself on the back for having finished her Christmas shopping already – I can hardly believe I managed to do it all in one day, on my phone, without having to dig out any cash or a credit card, during time I’d normally waste. I surprised myself with just how easy it was.


4. The mum with a new baby: Sarah Megginson.

Sarah Megginson

I kicked off my Christmas shopping by browsing my iPhone for the most important person on my list… Myself! Joking. (Not joking). An organised mama is a happy mama, so my pit-stop was In between feeding my baby Noa breakfast, I picked up a lilac A4 diary for $59.95 and a giant family calendar for $32.95. Who knew I could juggle Christmas shopping in one hand and feeding my bub in the other?

It was a workday, which put my shopping on hold…until my 3pm interview ran late.

Still waiting at 3.10pm, I started swiping through swing sets at Toys’R’Us. I settled on a sweet pink nursery swing for half-price, paying just $35 plus $10 delivery to my door.

My next gift – sourced during bath time, while I pretended to help my husband with Noa – is for my best friend, who just had a baby. Precious spare moments are, well, precious, when you’ve got a newborn, so I got her a gorgeous teacup from T2 ($30), plus a box of French Earl Grey ($13.50). Giftwrap was free and postage $10.

With a little over $100 remaining to burn, I browsed Mumgo – my ultimate guilty pleasure – while giving Noa her bedtime bottle. With Noa in my arms, I had my phone in one hand and was able to make some final quick purchases with a couple of taps of my thumb. A six-month Who magazine subscription ($39, for mum) and a Gro Egg digital nursery thermometer ($49, for Noa) completed my epic day of Christmas shopping. My favourite part? I didn’t even leave the house – which is a huge win as I normally have to juggle a pram, baby food, my bag AND the actual baby whenever I hit the shops.


So there you have it – challenge completed. Each writer managed to use some brief moments of “nothing” time to get ahead with their Christmas shopping and save themselves a whole lot of time and stress in the process.


What fun gifts are you planning to buy for Christmas this year?


If you do your Christmas shopping online, you won’t have to put up with sights like these…



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