very year, tons of crazy people race out on the Friday after Thanksgiving to get all of their holiday shopping done. For the rest of us normals, we like to space things out a bit more. And for the truly crazy, there's always Christmas Eve, right? That being said, what are you to do when you've waited until the last possible chance to get gifts for your loved ones? Where can you shop and still leave with a decent offering?
JCPenney and Kohls/Big-Box Department Stores.
These big-box department stores offer up clothing, jewelry, and more at extreme discounts. Not only do these stores have great deals, but they aren't the sort of store that you're forced to buy a bad gift (who needs a cake-pop maker, really?) for someone. Further, since everyone shopping last-minute assumes that everyone will go to these types of stores, they may decide to go elsewhere to avoid crowds, leading your chosen department store to be relatively empty but with staff on-hand expecting crowds, so the lines move fast.
Last-minute shopping doesn't need to mean giving a crummy gift.
Ulta and Bath& Body Works
Froo-froo-smelling shops may seem like a turn-off or a trap—what do you even get for the girly-girl in your life when there's an entire store to pick from? The thing is, though, that throughout the holidays, these stores will have gift sets available. Nail polish enthusiast in your life? Ulta's got the hottest brands' latest glittery polish sets on hand and ready to go. If you don't know the person you're buying for that well, gift sets are a quick way to cross them off the list without wasting a gift. People will always use soap, right?
Bookstores are another easy target for last-minute gifts. Don't know what someone likes to read? Thankfully, clerks are usually pretty book-wormy themselves and can usually suggest some things that are popular without being too mainstream (so that you don't wind up unwittingly buying 50 Shades of Grey for your 15-year-old niece).
Drugstores or Liquor Stores
This is a little lower-end than picking up a so-called "real" gift, but if you've truly waited until the last possible second to pick up a gift, there's nothing that's stopping you from picking up a bottle of your recipient's favorite booze. As for drugstores, places like Walgreen's or CVS have a lot of the things that Ulta has, plus other knick-knacks and gag gifts—we recommend the drugstore for things like Secret Santa gifts and people you know nothing about.