Low Concept

Drugstore Shopping Spree

Slate’s guide to last-minute, low-budget gift giving.

Last-minute holiday shopping can be a tricky business. If you’re in desperate need of a gift at 10:30 p.m. on Dec. 24, you’ll probably have to go to the local drugstore. Once inside, you’ll need to find low-cost gifts that don’t reek of desperation. That can be a tall order when body-waxing kits and low-end deep fryers populate the gift aisle.

Just because you gave your holiday shopping no thought whatsoever doesn’t mean you can’t be a savvy gift-giver. Ground rule No. 1: Stay away from the fragrances—unless your second cousin just adores the scent of Shania by Stetson. Still need help? If you’re so lazy that you can’t even find your own gifts at CVS, we’ve picked out 10 thoughtful (or at least conversation-worthy) presents that cost less than $30. You should be able to find them all just a couple of aisles over from the aspirin.

Click here to read a slide-show essay about how to buy last-minute holiday gifts at the drugstore.