If you are shopping online, before you finalize your order, go Retail Me Not and check for promo codes for discounts or free shipping. Most retailers will only allow one promo per order but if they are automatically offering free shipping, you might be able to use a discount found at this site. I'm sure there are other sites similar to this but this has become my go-to source and I've had great luck.
I understand that shipping has become expensive and it isn't the fault of retailers but I am old enough to remember when shipping costs were based on the size and weight of items. A small item with a large price tag can cost more to ship than a huge, inexpensive item. I guess what the stores lose on shipping the latter is made up by overcharging on the former.
Recently I ordered 8 items from Kohl's using discount offer and free shipping. All of the items were toys but must not have dispatched from the same warehouse. So far, I have received 7 of the 8 items and they've arrived in 5 boxes. One carton was large enough for a microwave and the content was one Mr Potato Head play set. There was more packing than toy.
I'm not the "greenest" person in the world but I do notice things like this and feel bad. It probably would have been better to shop the brick and mortar stores but honestly, I couldn't pass up the savings while enjoying the simplicity of shopping from home. Some of the drivers and shoppers are NUTS out there!!
Good luck with your shopping, cleaning, baking and whatever else December demands of you. Just be careful if your computer crashes before you are done gift shopping or you run out of sugar for your baking. Don't let this happen to you: