Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure you’ve heard of the current shipping crisis that is threatening to derail the holiday shopping season. This is a complex situation. To sum it up in a nutshell, there are breakdowns in every part of the supply chain. The demand for goods has blown up. The supply chain can’t keep up. The cargo ships can’t get checked in and unloaded fast enough. There are equipment shortages. There’s not enough qualified truckers to transport the goods to their final destination. If all that wasn’t enough, there’s also a shortage of workers to get the product that does arrive on shelves in retail stores nationwide. What can you do as the consumer to get around all this?

*FYI: FASHIONKRUSH is an affiliate partner to many retailers. Our posts feature affiliate links that take you directly to the retailer’s website. Sometimes we receive a small commission from the retailer if you make a purchase. Thanks for reading FASHIONKRUSH.

1.) Buy early. Like…really early. I’m talking RIGHT NOW.

Most people like to start their holiday shopping in November. Some start on Black Friday. Others begin on Christmas Eve. Don’t wait. Start now if you can. You’ll have a better chance to get what you need if you start shopping right now. On the flip side, if you can get your holiday shopping done real soon, you’ll have plenty of time to be in the moment and enjoy the season.

2.) Get crafty.

Are you a maker? It’s your time to shine! Whether you’re an artist, knitter, jewelry maker, baker or a seamstress, consider using your talents to make thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list this year. (Make your own Christmas decor too!) When you’re done with that, consider selling some of your handmade goodies this season on a platform like Etsy,Ebay or a local craft show. Oh, you’re not a maker? No problem. Buy from one! Chances are they make their goods here in the USA and are stocked right now.

3.) Gift differently.

Be creative. Try giving in a different way. Gift your time. Gift a service.

4.) Change your strategy: Shop online.

Save your sanity and some time by shopping online. I speak from experience. I started my own holiday shopping online in the beginning of October. I AM DONE. PSA: If you don’t find something on the shelf in your favorite store, check online with the retailer. For example, there was a shirt I wanted for my son. It was sold out at my local Target but I was able to order it from Target’s website with no problem.

FYI: I did most of my holiday shopping online with Amazon and Target this year. Stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s have their holiday gift guides online right now to inspire you. Retailers have already been prepping for the holiday season with sales that are happening right now.

5.) You can’t go wrong with a gift card.

Time to activate the fail safe: Gift cards! Who doesn’t like a gift card? Let everyone on your list shop for what they really want AND when they want. Almost every major retailer offers gift cards. Tuck it into a stocking, an ornament or a thoughtful card. Some retailers even offer digital ones that can be text or emailed to the recipient on your behalf.

So how do you plan to beat the shipping crisis? Are you doing anything I haven’t mentioned? Let me know. Stay well.