You’ve just awakened, Walking Dead style, from a months-long coma on the morning of December 25th. Yes, it’s a triumph of modern science and we’re all happy to see you up and about, but what did you get us for Christmas? You don’t want to show up to your mom’s house empty-handed, even if she did heretofore think you were brain dead
You waited till the last minute, so you'll have to either pay or think more on your gift idea -- or both. The following suggestions can all be purchased and presented on Christmas Day from pharmacies like CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens, coffee shops, web sites, and restaurants. Creativity is key -- because you don’t want loved ones thinking you’re the kind of a-hole who buys his gifts at drugstores
Stores open on Christmas
GIFT CARD GIFT BOX
It doesn’t matter what you throw in this box, because it’s made of stores! A minimum of six gift cards for as many retail establishments along with the supplies needed to assemble them into a gift box can be found in a typical pharmacy -- as can some fancier chocolates with which to fill it. The one depicted above features denominations of $25-$50 from Amazon, iTunes, Home Depot, Visa, Bed, Bath & Beyond, AMC movie theaters, and Starbucks
[We spent $250 to make this box. Click here to learn how to make your own!]
Everything a woman needs to tone, soften, cure, and pickle her biggest organ can be found in the drugstore’s beauty section. Empty a Danish cookies tin, throw in any of the following product combinations and wrap the whole thing in gift paper cinched at the top with a bow
La Roche Posay / Lierac / Vichy skin care collections
Higher-end creams, masks, toners, and soaps. Toss in a magazine or two for the time she’ll spend waiting for that face mud to flake away her twenties
Every Burt's Bees product
Many pharmacies have whole altars dedicated to dozens of Burt’s natural balms, scrubs, lotions, and salves. Buy ‘em all for the wow factor of profligate American excess
Mix-and-Match Shower set
Harpers Bazaar, Lemondrop, and Broke Girls Guide all swear by drugstore bath products over the gourmet stuff. Grab a loofa along with Dr. Bronner's soaps, Avalon Organics bath gel, EO tub salts, and Alba body cream. [GIRLS: IS THIS A COMPLETE REGIMEN?]
Photo: Scott_J_Waldron, flickr/joshDubya
The frenzy of the season is enough to warrant its own holiday -- not for you, of course; you don’t think about holidays until they’re almost over. But you can compensate for a lack of foresight with a trip for you and your holiday-crazed better half, tossing a host of travel-size toiletries along with the following in the recommended packaging
New York City
Reserve an itinerary online, roll up a printout of the flight information and stick it through a stack of Lender’s Bagels, a package of Dr. Scholl’s inserts (the town’s made for walking), or a box from a local pizzeria. Add toiletries and present. Then immediately throw out those awful bagels -- you’re going to New York, for chrissake
Steam open a fortune cookie from a Chinese restaurant and replace the message inside with something cryptic like, “We’re going to China!” Or add drama by using the fortune to point to further instruction awaiting in a take-out container, in which you can pack the toiletries, a printout of the itinerary, and a breathing mask
Add to the toiletries some tanning lotion, sunglasses, and anti-diarrheal medication. Roll it all up with your printed itinerary in a beach towel bound in a bow. Garnish by presenting in shorts, a tank top, and a well lotioned nose
Give away a more affordable getaway by plotting an automotive odyssey on a regional map, then fold it in with some Dramamine, an iPod car adapter or blank CD mix, snacks, wipes, and the As Seen On TV Total Pillow for comfy travel. Then throw the whole lot in a Santa hat from the drugstore’s Seasonal section.
AS SEEN ON TV COLLECTION
Gift the full line of As Seen on TV products -- up to 30 at one pharmacy -- for everyone on your list. Works ironically or on poor people
Fast Brite headlight restorer kit, ShamWow chamois, Flex Seal spray sealant
Stretch Genie shot and glove stretcher, InstaBulb stick-up light, OrGREENic fry pan, InstaHang nail driver, Chef Basket metal cooking net, My Cozy Colors laptop desk, Riddex pest control system Sift & Toss cat litter liner, Sticky Buddy lint remover.
For the new homeowner, recent college grad, or dorm dweller, there are a number of products for sale in the average pharmacy that stand alone as gifts
Brita pitcher, Oster blender, Mr. Coffee, toaster, hand mixer, juicer, can opener, rice cooker, heated chip and dip tray, Swiffer sweeper, decorative lantern, candles
Sonicare toothbrush, surge protector, Lasko tower heater, Philips clock/dock
You can also purchase Keurig cups or mugs from Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks
Combine the pharmacy’s photo developing and frames selection to assemble a heartening home decoration depicting you sticking your finger in Lincoln’s nose at Mount Rushmore.
For a bro or college-age scoundrel, the pharmacy is not only a place for itch creams and herpes medicine after the party’s over, it’s where to go before the festivities have even begun! Grab a Santa hat from the Seasonal section and fill it with an electric trimmer, cologne (Obsession, Boss, Drakkar, and Curve), condoms, an Old Spice gift set, and/or a 4-pack of Red Bull.
MOVIE NIGHT KIT
Everything you need for an evening of home theater can be obtained in the same place you get your stool softeners. Grab a couple of DVDs (say, something in a Cameron Diaz or Gerard Butler), some candy (Almond Roca, Whitman's candy, Lindt and Russell Stover chocolates) and wrap it all in a Snuggie or fleece throw from the Kill Yoursel -- er, Home section
Let us know if you end up gifting any of this stuff -- along with the reaction(s) to it -- in the comments below.