Last, Last-Minute Christmas Shopping: Five Gifts from the Gas Station
Like Santa's workshop, only it smells like mushrooms and everybody looks like they want to hurt me.
Photo by Philosphygeek via Flickr
You pop out of bed on Christmas morning. You've been asleep for a couple of days thanks to that crazy ass holiday party at the office. You crawl out of bed and remember that you need to be at your mom's house in a couple hours for lunch and merriment. As you reach the bathroom and strain your eyes into the mirror, a horrifying, god-awful thought enters your brain. You didn't do any Christmas shopping.
You race around the house looking for things to re-gift. You start thinking up creative excuses -- you've taken a vow of austerity; you've turned against capitalism; but what about starving children in Africa! You know none of this will fly. You have to get something. You realize EVERYTHING is closed with one exception: the gas station.
What the hell can you get at the gas station? Well, here are five things to consider.
Sure, it isn't fancy imported chocolates from France or Belgian dark, creamy bonbons. But, damnit, Snickers really satisfies! Get the king-size version of that Milky Way and watch the wide smiles on the faces of your loved ones when they unwrap that sweet nougat on the inside. Bonus, IT'S ALREADY WRAPPED. That's why they call it a wrapper! Brilliant! One down, four to go.
Even if you don't have a fancy schmancy gas station/imported wine and beer store in your path, every God-fearing American gas station has a 12-pack of Bud in the refrigerator. If you know mom is watching her weight, grab a light-beer alternative. Less filling and it tastes great. And even the grinchiest of grinches would never refuse a refreshing cold one on a bright and shining Christmas Day...unless she's an alcoholic.
3. Air Freshener
Nothing says, "I love you" and possibly "You smell funny" like a hanging car air freshener. It's practical and deeply meaningful, particularly if it's the pine one that looks like a Christmas tree. They are so cheap, you can buy a few extras to help with trimming the tree and to hang in the bathroom or even as last-minute aftershave like Chris Farley used in Tommy Boy. You'll look brilliant and smell even brillianter.
Virtually every cool toy kids and adults get at the holidays comes with that dreadful warning stamped across the bottom of the box: BATTERIES NOT INCLUDED. Show up this year with an armful of Ds, As, Cs, AAs, AAAs and even 9 volts and you are no longer the jackass who forgot to buy presents, you're the thoughtful anticapitalist who wanted to make sure everyone had a Christmas to remember!
1. Magazines (i.e. porn)
Okay, this might not be good for the kids, but dad, brothers, an uncle, maybe a cousin will appreciate the living hell out of this gift for days and weeks to come (get it!). This even works for gay and lesbian family members. It's why God invented Playgirl! If your family is religious, just grab some gossip rags like Us Weekly and People. Even the "war on Christmas" folks want to know what kind of chic maternity wear Kate is donning for Christmas with the Queen. Everybody wins!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.