Procrastinator's guide

Don't Panic: Gifts to Buy on Christmas Day

CVS and Walgreens are ready for you.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen December 24, 2014

Oh, you didn't know your sister was bringing her boyfriend for Christmas? Forgot your mother-in-law hates candles? Maybe you're just a thrill-seeker who likes to gift dangerously. Welcome to the long and not-so-proud tradition of procrastinators: shopping at convenience stores on Christmas Day.

Frankly, you might imagine that the average corner store doesn't offer much more giftable than beer and lottery tickets, but chains like CVS and Walgreens have long since caught on to our emergency Christmas shopping and the stores are stocked with plenty of perfectly acceptable presents. I hit Walgreens to search because it's the closest to my house, so results might vary.


Assuming the giftee isn't one of those militant anti-sugar types (and trust, you will know if they are) a nice box of chocolate is a solid, middle-of-the-road gift for pretty much anyone. 



Lip balm

For some reason, millennials became obsessed with this spherical Eos lip balm last year. What's the big deal? Who knows, but at $4 a pop you've got stocking stuffers for everyone under 30 covered.






For the relative that responds with a soliloquy of ailments when you ask them how they are, a heated wrap or personal massager says "I care, but you can rub your own back, thanks."  



Makeup sets

Sephora its not, but there are many, many palettes, lip glosses, glittery nail polishes, and scented body wash sets on display. For extra points, pull them out of the cheap gift set packaging and toss them in a small makeup bag (next aisle) with some tissue paper. Avoid any perfumes made by a celebrity and you should be fine.


The end caps are full of stuffed animals and branded merchandise from Frozen, solid safety gifts for kids that even the childless have heard of, but another often overlooked option for kids is the paper aisle, which is full of colorful markers, glitter pens, and Hello Kitty notebooks.  





Walgreens even sells bottles that look like you know what you're doing, from brands that aren't named Barefoot, Fetzer, or Yellow Tail (although those are here too, natch). Depending on how much time you will be spending with family today, you might want to take the store's suggestion and spring for a four-pack. One for you, one for me...

Tech accessories

There was a venn diagram of "gifts for people addicted to their phones" and "gifts for people addicted to working out," the only thing in the center would be earbuds. Headphones (for $5?!) and smartphone cases will also work for large portions of the American male populace.







As Seen on TV stuff

Overpriced stuff that's half genius and half crap? Helloooooo, white elephant gift.




Gift cards

Because you're running late and this is why gift cards were invented. 


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