Or Uncle Bob and Aunt Sally. Or (horror of horrors) your sweetie. Relax, here are 10 respectable gifts you can buy at the 11th hour at any 24-hour drugstore.

By Joseph Guinto

Remember that episode of Friends in which the procrastinating Joey and Chandler are forced to buy their Christmas gifts at a gas station? They give Rachel wiper blades. When she protests, “I don’t even have a car,” Joey offers her a bottle of spray deodorizer and the explanation, “No, but with this new-car smell, you’ll think you do.” That’s not good enough, Joey. When you’re shopping beyond the last minute, it’s the thought that really counts, because the thought is all that’s covering up for your lame gift. And don’t bother with the gas station. When all else fails (and all else is closed), the place to shop is CVS or some other 24-hour drug store, where the selection is, well, less lame. Here’s what to buy and how to explain it.


The Gift The Thought
HoMedics Body Basics ParaSpa Plus Paraffin BathThis hot-wax treatment is actually legitimate — and the ultimate grandma gift. It gives you softer skin, soothes joint pain, and makes candles. Okay, maybe it doesn’t make candles.
Edge Memory Digital Picture Frame or Walgreens frame in convex silverFrame that terrible photo of you and your spouse having dinner with the in-laws, and it will become terribly sentimental.
CVS One-Time-Use Video CamcorderSay that you can use the 20 minutes of e-mailable, DVD-recordable video to make a high-tech holiday card together for next year. That’s so sweet!
Half a dozen bath products with cool names like Canus Goat’s Milk Moisturizing Body Wash and Yardley Soap with aloe and cucumber. Plus loofahs, callus stones, pedicure blocks, and more.Remove the packaging from the sponges and stones, and unwrap the soaps. Rewrap each in ribbon (available near the greeting cards). Put everything in a gift bag. Bam. Instant women’s bath-and-body package. Take that, Martha Stewart.
Conair Body Benefits TherapyPro Shiatsu Roller Massager“Honey, it’ll be like a trip to the spa — only I’ll be the masseur, and the smell of the dirty laundry will be aromatherapy.”
Tweezerman Deluxe Men’s Grooming Kit, Neutrogena Men Skin Clearing Face Wash, Hugo by Hugo Boss Eau de Toilette Natural Spray, a Sports Illustrated, a Maxim, and a gift bagThese gifts — especially the magazines — will make it clear to your guy that this is a bath package for him. And that his eyebrows need tweezing.
Oxo SoftWorks 6-Piece Barware SetWrap this up along with a bottle of wine, booze, or beer, and pledge to cohost a party with the recipient. Then steal back your alcohol at the party.
Philips Cell Phone Multi ChargerGet online, scout trips, and print out possibilities. Scribble “Let’s go somewhere!” on the pages, and package them with the charger, which can juice a phone from a car outlet, a USB port, or a wall outlet. That’s almost a real gift.
Philips Senseo Coffee Pod SystemSpeaking of legit gifts, this one-cup, no-mess coffeemaker will make a lot of people happy. Just say you bought it at Williams-Sonoma.
John Paul Pet Waterless Foam Shampoo for DogsPromise to wash the dog for the next few months. Yes, that’s a lot of work, but, hey, you’re the one buying presents at the drugstore.