Photo collage: Erica Hornung/TueNight
I know all of you smart people are done with your holiday shopping, and I’m proud of you, honestly. Every year, I fight my natural procrastinating tendencies; some years I win, some I lose. But even when I’m ahead of the game, I invariably find myself short one present on my way to a gift giving event with nothing but a drug store in front of me.
This year, I decided to do something about that. Not buy my presents earlier, duh. I decided to plan for that moment, for me and for all of us. I plundered my own local drug stores to find gift suggestions for when you’ve literally waited until the last second to buy presents and you don’t want to look like the dummy you kind of are.
1. A digital camera
CVS has a beefy photo and camera section where I found this cute Vivitar digital camera my own 9-year-old daughter uses. They’re small, durable and, best of all, inexpensive, so no need for monitoring, even with very young kids. They have a preview screen, which feels more professional, and they take bits of video as well. I love to send my girls on adventures (“Take pictures of all your favorite things in Grandma’s house!”) while I talk politics with the adults.
2. An old-school perfume
You’ve probably never noticed the perfume section in Rite Aid. It’s locked up in one of those multi-leveled acrylic padlock jails, but it’s extensive. For a friend who is of a certain age, and who appreciates a little fun, there are some great oldies in there:
Charlie Blue launched in 1973, and any woman over 40 probably remembers wanting to be the “Charlie Girl.” Lady Stetson launched in 1986 for the empowered country girl. Especially salient today? And your first boyfriend might have worn Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men, first launched when Robert Palmer’s Addicted to Love was in the Top 10.
Charlie Blue, $25, Rite Aid
Lady Stetson, $23, Rite Aid
Obsession, $46, Rite Aid
3. A host/hostess gift
My local Rite Aid has a craft beer section — woo hoo! — and it’s right next to the small-but-nifty board game area. I would be proud to show up at my friends’ house upstate with a six-pack of Montauk Hop Blonde Ale or Sixpoint Sweet Action (both delicious local brews) tucked under one arm. The other arm could carry Monopoly, Scrabble or a suspiciously tacky 80’s & 90’s Trivia Game.
Montauk/Sixpoint: check your local Rite Aid
Monopoly: $20, Rite Aid
Scrabble: $24, Rite Aid
80’s & 90’s Trivia Game: $10, Rite Aid (in store only)
4. Noise-cancelling headphones
My mom used to travel constantly for her work, and now my husband is regularly on the road. Either of them would fully appreciate these simple, handsome headphones. For the ‘tween in your life who wants something a little more fashionable, these SkullCandy headphones ($25) are pretty sweet.
$50, Rite Aid
5. Graphing calculator
You’re so proud of your niece, who’s finally taking physics in high school and getting ready (already!) to take her SATs. Those graphing calculators are expensive. Help her out.
$130, Rite Aid
6. Beauty products
Rite Aid has a new line of beauty products called Daylogic – and although there’s nothing particularly special about them, the packaging is clean and fresh and they’re inexpensive enough to mix and match in multiples. Getting all new beauty products as a girl felt luxurious, didn’t it? They also have some decent zipper bags to hold them.
Various prices, Rite Aid
7. Nicotine gum
As a former smoker, I would never, ever surprise someone with nicotine gum in order to persuade him to quit. But this stuff is costly, and New Year’s resolutions are around the corner. If you know someone close who is ready to try, look him in the eye, hand him the box, give him a hug and tell him you’ve got his back.
8. Remote Control Stunt Drone
Want to be a hero? Give this Sharper Image stunt drone to the teenager in your family. Want to be a bigger hero? Give her dad the one with a camera ($90) and let them duke it out in the sky.