Last Minute Christmas Gifts from the Convenience Store

The well stocked shelves of your local convenient store can transform you from lovable loser to ho-ho-hero.
The well stocked shelves of your local convenient store can transform you from lovable loser to ho-ho-hero. | Source

So you've done it again, somehow you've forgotten what day Christmas falls on and are scrambling around the house looking for gifts. No, we don't know how you forgot with the retail Christmas season starting sometime in mid September. Not to mention the copious new stories on "strong retail sales" and Black Friday frenzy induced tramplings. Of course if you looked out the window and saw the obnoxious inflatable ornaments on everyone's lawn and the multicolored lights wrapped around everyone's trees, that could have been a clue too. But this isn't the first year, right? It is an age old Christmas tradition with you. Your procrastination gets your adrenaline pumping and everyone knows you're the family idiot anyway. So really, admit that you want this to happen.

Of course, maybe it's time to stop being the family idiot who gives free back rub coupons to everyone for every holiday. Plus, just to let you know that is a little creepy. At the hour of your revelation however, you are only three hours away from an awkward Christmas dinner and all the stores are closed - or are they? I know you remember that quote from The Boondock Saints, "We're sort of like 7-11. We're not always doing business, but we're always open." Yes Murphy MacManus was talking about the availability of vigilante homicide, but that's besides the point - convenience stores are always open, even on Christmas day..

The great thing about convenience stores, besides being open, is that they have everything you could possibly want for holiday gift giving. So put down the crayons for the back rub coupons, hop in the car, and find your cheerful giving spirit at the corner store. For those of you planning on buying a gift card to your local stop and go, I think you're missing the point (which is no surprise); shopping here is to shop with a flare of creativity. Plus, most likely these places don't have gift cards. I mean really, who would ever purposely shop at one of these places?

So drown out the trappings of Christmas commercialism and opt for a gift which is truly a need and not a want echoing true utilitarian form. Admit it, we all need toilet paper and food - it is the circle of life. Ahh, but to stroke that creative Christmas spirit, you must go beyond the giving of a mere thing and tell a story with your gift. Give something from the heart and inspire the fires that burn in all of us.

This page © Copyright 2011, Daniel Human

The gift of travel never disappoints, well unless it comes from the corner store...
The gift of travel never disappoints, well unless it comes from the corner store... | Source

The Gift of Travel

Just because your gifts come from the most prosaic of places, doesn't mean you can't give a gift that doesn't spark the passion for something prodigious like travel. Start with basic car supplies like windshield washer, motor oil, and transmission fluid. Give them ideas where to go by throwing in a few road maps or an atlas. Just so they have the energy to go on this exciting trip, grab a couple high-octane caffeine filled energy drinks and an extra large travel mug for coffee. Of course, with the price of gas you may want to give your traveler a few lottery tickets too.

Gifts for the Adventurer

For the adventurously rugged compile gifts that inspire their love of the great outdoors. Grab one of those bundles of expensive firewood wrapped in plastic by the door that nobody buys. And what outdoor outing is complete without a six-pack of beer? It's okay, you don't need to buy the good stuff; anything tastes great around a campfire. Make their outdoor experience complete with a few bags of beef jerky and pair it up with a pack of cheap cigars.

Gifts for Lovers

Do you feel like expressing your true hearts desire this holiday? Show you not-so-lucky intended your affection by assembling gifts that absolutely reek of romance. Start with a bottle of the finest Boone's Farm Wine, pairing it up with small coffee cups (nobody said you had to use them there). Next set the mood. by adding some flavored candles or incense and don't forget a sexy lighter. Finally show your intentions, by throwing in a couple multi-packs of condoms. Go for variety here, show your lack if inhibition by exploring the wonderful world of pocket latex protectors.

Great Convenience Store Gifts
Great Convenience Store Gifts | Source

It's All About the Presentation

Now you may be asking yourself how to package your treasures given your lack of wrapping paper and gaudy gift bags. Yes, while everyone else scoured the stores looking for the perfect paper to be carefully cut, fold and tape (and then thrown away) you were playing Super Mario Cart. The option here is to make a statement against the environmental wastefulness of packaging and go green this year. So you know those reusable shopping bags that encourage people to be conservation minded by not filling landfills with the throwaway shopping bags? In my travels, I've noticed many convenience stores have these, of course in New York it is because of legislation and not of eco-consciousness. What better idea is there then to use these bags as gift bags? Like a virus it is the gift that keeps on giving. And what better wrapping paper is there than a Christmas Day newspaper? It is recycling and repurposing at its best.

Despair not this yuletide season! As long as there are convenience stores with disgruntled employees forced to work this holiday there is hope for you and other procrastinators around the country.

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Comments 39 comments

Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 years ago from New Jersey

Outbound Dan,

Besides being practical (for a procrastinator) you really made me smile! I make gift baskets that I think about, but have also been "stuck" at the last minute when someone brought an unexpected guest, or some other emergency. Now I have a few extra boxes of candy or bottles of wine, just in case. The reusable bag was a nice touch too :).

greatstuff profile image

greatstuff 5 years ago from Malaysia

You are funny, like your hub.

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 5 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

Thanks for the compliments Jean and Greatstuff! I was hoping my humor would come out.

Damselfly 5 years ago

LOL! Love it Dan, you are unique!

mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Brilliant, and so true. Very good hub :)

ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 5 years ago from Illinois

Hey - I actually buy that expensive firewood wrapped in plastic! Seriously though, this is hilarious and actually you have some pretty good gift suggestions for procrastinators.

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

This was great lol. I remember drinking boones farm when I was in high school. My friends and I would go to a HS football game and smuggle in a bottle, then go into the washroom and guzzle it down. Thanks for the laughs.

MsDora profile image

MsDora 5 years ago from The Caribbean

This is a hub by a creative genius inspiring creativity in others. Voted UP and INTERESTING!

thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

Some great tips! I am usually very late with buying my Christmas gifts but so far I have been able to avoid the convenience stores. But now I know better and I like the way you write how to put some thought behind while buying basic things! Useful hub and also very humorous!


Claudia Tello profile image

Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

This was a fun read. I loved your idea of the romantic pack! I wish someone gives that to me ;)

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 5 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

Wow, thanks to all of you for you comments. Thanks for reading!

MegStarr profile image

MegStarr 5 years ago from Texas

I loved this Hub, it brought a smile to my face on a cold and stormy night. I have done shopping once at a quick trip for a birthday. I turned it into a movie night gift basket filled with candy, popcorn, and soda. As well as a few Redbox rentals. Worked great and saved me. I love how you have also traveled the trails. Look forward to more Hubs

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 5 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

I actually was going to put a collection for movie lovers in this hub, but pulled it out to add to the readability. But surely a great idea - I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 years ago from Canada

I loved this HUB! So funny, so useful, I need to pass this on to our family idiot so he gets the message that the back rub coupons are creepy not cool. Must share with everyone. Loved it!

Jennifer Stone profile image

Jennifer Stone 4 years ago from the Riverbank, England

Outband Dan... I am that last minute shopper! Every year without fail, although usually it's on Christmas Eve so I have a few more options available to me, and my family seem to think I'm really imaginative... however, as well as funny this is really useful to the likes of me so I'll bookmark it ready for Christmas Eve to save me buying any old tat... :-) Great hub, thanks! Jen

JamieGS profile image

JamieGS 4 years ago

Great advice, Dan! No need to watch TV for gift ideas after reading this blog. I'm heading out tomorrow to my local NOCO or 7-11 store to start my shopping. Might even throw in some scratch off tickets as a teaser to these great gift ideas. Had to laugh because I tend to be that guy shopping on the 24th (pretty sad I know), but now I won't have to travel as far - not with my local convenient store right up the street.

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

@Thundermama I guess back rub coupons could be cool, but when given by a family member they tend to drop the cool factor. Thanks for stopping by!

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

Thanks for the comment Jen, as a last minute shopper you are not alone. I am one of those people that performs best under pressure. My procrastination is merely a tool a for peak performance. With your back up against the wall, and a ham dinner in the oven with relatives on their way over, you can pull out one heck of a present with just a little creativity.

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

Yes but when you get gift ideas on TV, and you call right away (because the can't do this all day), you'll get no just one but two miracle widgets. But that's not all, for a limited time you'll receive a limited edition carrying case, power adapter and widget cleaning device. Glad you enjoyed in Jamie!

ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

Dan - I believe this Hub is how I first "met" you and your sense of humor. When I previously commented one year ago that these were good gift ideas for procrastinators, I had no idea I would actually turn into one myself. If I don't go Christmas shopping soon, everyone on my list may be getting a fabulous utilitarian gift from a convenience store.

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

Though I enjoy giving gifts, shopping for them can be a real hassle. I've got to thinking that perhaps a "convenience store rule" would be a good idea for families overwhelmed with the spirit of giving. All gifts must be purchased in a 7-11 type of facility within the course of 20 minutes.

The Christmas exchange would be amusing to say the least.

Now, go start your shopping Kristin! Thanks for commenting.

Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

OMG! you are a genius! At the rate I'm going I think I'm going to need some of these ideas. Sharing this one.

rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

Cool Hub! Lottery tickets could be great gifts. Well, it's a minute's thrill at the least .Merry Christmas, outbounddan!

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

@SherryHewins - I've been called worse, but there is thin line between genius and madman. Thanks for the comment and passing this around.

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

The only problem with giving lottery tickets is, what if that person wins big - really big. There you had it, financial independence in your hand and you gave it away because you forgot to go shopping. Of course, I'd like to think that the gift-receiver would maybe throw a couple of coins my way. Thanks for stopping by rebeccamealey and Merry Christmas to you too.

MichaelJohnMele profile image

MichaelJohnMele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

Awesome hub...very funny and also full of lots of good more being the Christmas idiot for me. Thanks for sharing.

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

I'm still working on not being the Christmas idiot - I'll let you know how that works out for me. Thanks for reading MichaelJohnMele!

Green Art profile image

Green Art 4 years ago

Fun and practical ideas here! Nice job motivating the poky shoppers trying to find a great gift at the last minute. One of my most memorable gifts was from my grandparents. It was a grocery bag stuffed with essentials, like detergent, soap, toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags and more. It was totally unexpected and everything had a purpose. Thanks for jogging this fun memory! Voted UP, funny, and useful!

KDeus profile image

KDeus 3 years ago from Florida

Nice ideas here! I recall one year when I was in high school and working at a convenience store, someone came in Christmas Eve and did all of his Christmas shopping - including quite a few toys. He could have definitely used this hub!

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 3 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

Ha KDeus - maybe I should post this Hub at the local convenience stores to provide late-hour shoppers with some ideas. Thanks for reading!

JamieGS profile image

JamieGS 3 years ago

Absolutely funny - yet true! I look forward to Dan's holiday post every year; at least I believe there seems to be a trend going on here. The last minute shopper that I am, what would I possibly do without Dan's advice on convenient store purchases - complete with pictures! No need for store coupons and newspaper advertisements with this post.

Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 3 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

It's almost down to that now. Lottery tickets were actually a really popular gift at our White Elephant gift exchange.

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 3 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

Jamie found my trend! Yep, these come out every year around this time. For some reason, a large segment of the population is scrambling for that perfect present. Thanks for reading Jamie.

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 3 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

Part of me is afraid to buy lottery tickets for folks. With my luck, I'd buy them the winning megamillions ticket. Hopefully, they'd be nice enough to buy me a new car or something. Thanks for reading Sherry!

gardener den profile image

gardener den 2 years ago from Southwestern, Pennsylvania

Hi Outbound Dan

Well looking over your Hubs and found this one and decide to read it. What a great Hub on buying Christmas Gifts at the last minute. I never went to a convenient store on Christmas Day. Have to try that on Christmas some year. So thanks again Dan on a great read! Keep up the great work! Gardener Den

Joel Diffendarfer profile image

Joel Diffendarfer 2 years ago from Ft Collins, Colorado

Great article. As I reviewed your gift giving ideas, I looked at them from the perspective of being the nailed it...I would be thrilled with your choices! I personally quit buying gift wrapping or even gift bags...Now, I package my gifts in a 5 gallon Home Depot Bucket...people love it and expect one every, waterproof, and useful.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 2 years ago from Western NC

Haha. And you know what's funny? I haven't gotten my mother-in-law's gift just yet. Why, you ask? Because she has everything. So, I'm going to the grocery store to buy up their poinsettias. For god's sake, she doesn't have poinsettias. To be delivered on Christmas Eve. In my car. With some beer. HAHAHA

Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 2 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY Author

The nice thing about poinsettias, is that they are better in multiples. So if she already has one, it is one of those "the more the merrier" things. For now, I have to go back to wrapping the batteries I bought for people this year. Maybe, I shouldn't have tried wrapping them individually.

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 2 years ago from Western NC

Watch out for battery acid. A leak will leave room for some holey fun!

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