It happens every year. We know Christmas Day is December 25. And we are usually good about getting the turkey, ham, brisket or rib roast ahead of time. We are probably pretty well equipped with pantry staples and we have back up sweets from the office party and neighbors' cookie exchange.
But, we always forget the cranberry sauce. Or the squirt can of whipped cream, because we are sure as hell are not going to whip out the mixer and make our own. Or maybe Uncle Bob's new girlfriend only drinks Chardonnay. So, we make a last minute dash to the nearest grocery/ pharmacy/ convenience store that's open.
On Thanksgiving, most of the large chains were open until 4 p.m. For Christmas, most of them are closed, so Christmas Eve is your best bet for last minute shopping and the earlier the better because many stores close a couple of hours early the night before, too. So, we recommend you make a list and check it twice, because forgetting the cranberries is not very nice.
Here's a list of stores with special hours on Christmas Eve and a few smaller ethnic grocers who are open Christmas Day and might make your holiday dinner more interesting.
Stores Open Christmas Eve Only:
H-E-B: Stores open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Curbside 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Home delivery 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pharmacy closes at 5 p.m.
Kroger: Stores close at 9 p.m. (Pharmacy closes at 6 p.m.)
Trader Joe's: All Trader Joe's across the country will close at 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve and will reopen December 26.
Whole Foods Market: The stores will close at 7 p.m. December 24. They are closed Christmas Day.
Central Market, 3815 Westheimer, is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Rice Epicurean, 2020 Fountainview, is open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Aldi: The majority of Houston locations are open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Christmas Eve
Sprouts: Stores are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Target: Stores will be open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Costco: The warehouse store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fiesta Mart: We had a difficult time trying to find out the hours for each Fiesta. They are open on Christmas Eve, but you'll want to call your particular store for closing hour.
Food Town: The store will be open 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Customer Service closes at 6 p.m.
Walmart: The multitude of locations have different opening hours, but they will all close on Christmas Eve at 6 p.m.
Phoenicia Specialty Foods: The Downtown market is open Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Westheimer market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Both are closed Christmas Day.
Stores Open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day:
Randalls: This is one of the few large chains that is open on Christmas. Stores have various opening hours, but each will close at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve. They will open December 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
CVS: The hours for this pharmacy are all over the map, so you need to call ahead. Some of the stores are open for Christmas Day and some are closed.
Walgreens: The stores are open both days, but the pharmacy may have reduced hours. Check with your store. The 24 hour locations run as usual.
23119 Colonial Parkway
This Korean supermarket is large enough to find all kinds of goodies for your holiday celebration. and they are open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
1801 S. Dairy Ashford
This Japanese chain has all kinds of fresh sushi if you're tired of turkey. It's open Christmas Eve from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Christmas Day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.