If you've waited until today - Christmas Eve - to do your Christmas
shopping, all is not lost. We've researched hours on Christmas Eve and
even on Christmas day to help you. But one caveat: local ordinances may
prevent some stores from being open according to the corporate posted
hours, so call before you head out the door to confirm a store is open.
Open Christmas Eve
Target until 9 p.m.
Kmart until 10 p.m.
Toys 'R' Us until 10 p.m.
Macy's until 6 p.m.
Walmart until 6 or 8 p.m. (varies by store)
And while malls may not extend hours later on Christmas Eve, many are opening early today to accommodate people who want to shop before work.
If you plan to shop tomorrow - on Christmas Day - it'll be tougher, but it can be done, if you're creative.
Desperate Shopping Spots
Airport Gift Shop: If you're flying to your Christmas get-together, try the airport gift shop. They often have lots of wonderful gifts, including books and fragrances. Also many airports now have electronics vending machines from the likes of Best Buy and other vendors. You put in your credit card and you can buy anything from headphones to an iPod to a handheld gaming device.
Many 7-11 and Cumberland Farms convenience stores will be open along with individual independents or smaller chains (this will vary depending on your location and the franchisee - but many will be open).
They may not be your first choice for gifts, but they offer more than you might expect. You can pick up a lottery ticket. They make great gifts, especially if the jackpot is high. Put them in a colorful candy box with some other goodies and you'll be good to go.
Remember that presentation is key. Arrange it nicely, get some fun magazines, and a Slim Jim. I mean who doesn't want a Slim Jim?
Convenience stores may even have toys. 7-11 has the S107 model RC Helicopter for $29. I flew it around the store I visited (you have to buy the batteries for the remote separately) and it was a ton of fun. They also have prepaid Android Smartphones for just $49 and a slew of gift cards.
Starbucks: If your loved one loves coffee, you're in luck. Many Starbucks will be open on Christmas. Buy a gift card, mugs, some coffee beans and a CD, and you've got a great package.
Trip to the Movies: Movie theaters are open on Christmas Day; in fact many say it's one of their busiest days of the year. So swing by to purchase a gift card for the movies and make a fun gift box with some Twizzlers and some popcorn. It's a gift a movie buff will truly appreciate.
Pharmacies: Many CVS and Walgreens pharmacies will be open. A Walgreens spokesperson told us: "On Christmas Day, non-24 hour stores will be open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Pharmacies open in 24-hour stores and select locations; 24-hour stores always open." Those pharmacy hours are also handy to have in case you get food poisoning from Aunt Marge's Christmas Jello mold.
While many CVS stores will be open, you definitely need to call to check. Their spokesperson told us: "Many stores across the country will be offering extended store hours for the holidays, or are open 24 hours. To locate a nearby CVS/pharmacy or for specific questions about store hours near you, visit the CVS.com Store Locator ( CVS.com/storefinder) for the phone number of your local store."
But these pharmacies are awesome for last-minute gifts. From toys to home and beauty products, books, Crock Pots and As Seen on TV items, they offer a broad selection of gifts. Also many have photo centers where you can print photos directly from your phone or Facebook page. Buy a frame in-store and some wrapping paper and you look like you've been planning a thoughtful gift all year.
DIY: Finally, instead of panicking that you haven't bought something, slow down. Take five minutes away from the computer, and just think about the person you want to give a gift to. What would truly be meaningful to them? If it's a family member, write down some of your fondest childhood memories of them. If it's a cousin or a long lost friend, how about a date card with some potential days on the calendar when you could go grab coffee and really catch up? An older relative - maybe could offer some help around the house or if they're itching to get better connected, offer to teach them how to use Facebook?
Another option is to get crafty: Can you make a little ornament? Cut and arrange some greens as a hostess gift? If you're handy in the kitchen, bake some sugar cookies? I know we're all stressed and time-crunched, but the time it would take to make something is probably about the same as running all over town trying to buy something at the last minute.