Despite the blanket of holiday decorations, the tree sellers on every street corner, the Salvation Army bell-ringers at all store and subway entrances and the barrage of emails announcing holiday promotions galore, Christmas is days away and you have yet to purchase a single gift. To the rescue: Duane Reade. Yes, every New Yorkers’ favorite drug store conveniently stocks merch that can hold its own beneath the tree and won’t disappoint on Christmas morning. Here a sampling of what’s available at the Union Square flagship location:
1. A fine bottle of wine might seem bit more, well, refined but for a beer-lover a 32- or 64-ounce growler ($7 to 10) of craft or local draft an ideal gift. The Union Square growler bar currently stocks 9 brews—Brooklyn Brewery Post Road Pumpkin Ale, Shiner Bock, Shock Top Belgian White—and all the stylish tinted bottle needs to become present-worthy is a simple bow.
2. The next best thing to that fine bottle of wine? An automatic wine opener ($15)! This battery operated version is made by Sharper Image—which may create the impression of a more expensive gift than its price tag conveys, and at the very least won’t give away the fact that it was picked up last minute at your local drug store.
3. A toothbrush is, admittedly, a more practical gift, but a Philips SoniCare ($150) is the gold standard in electronic brushing and a fancy model like this one—it comes with a smart timer, recharge indicator, and five brush modes—will let the recipient know you care deeply about his or her oral health. Best of all, it’s gender-neutral and one size fits all.
4. A trio of these Essie nail polishes ($8.50 apiece) would make an excellent stocking stuffer (especially when wrapped up in brightly colored tissue paper and tied with a bow). Or, make it a more substantial gift by offering up an IOU for a mani/pedi and the recipient’s local nail salon.
5. Construct your own “spa basket” minus the actual basket with a couple of bars of natural soap and body wash (this Goat Milk Soap and Body Wash will do nicely) plus a back-scrubbing brush or loofah.
6. A bottle of perfume (price varies) is a classic holiday gift, and while the days of a single must-have fragrance—Chanel No. 5? Opium by Yves Saint Laurent? Joy by Jean Patou?—may be in the past, a fancy designer version, like this one by Narcisco Rodriguez will likely score points. If not, it can always be exchange—or regifted.
7. Who doesn't like to receive mail—especially when it's not a bill? A magazine subscription (approximately $12 to 24 for a year) is an easy, appreciated, and affordable present: Choose a magazine of interest, add a bow and tell the recipient the subscription's in the mail (even if you have yet to activate it!).
8. Duane Reade is, unfortunately, not known for its toy department, but what school-aged boy wouldn’t be thrilled to score a radio-controlled rally car (with 360 degree spins!)? For girls, we suggest skipping the Barbie makeup kit and Frozen pup-tent and circling back to our 4th suggestion (see above).
9. When all else fails, a gift card or two saves the day and offers a quick and easy (if slightly unimaginative) solution to the gifting conundrum. DR conveniently stocks cards aplenty and in a range to suit virtually every taste and pursuit from Amazon and iTunes to Google Play and Barnes & Noble, to name a few.