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Last Minute Shopping? Our Top Five Places

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I do this every year. I always forget someone or something and don’t realize it until the last possible second. Even with the lists and all the planning, something slips my mind. Last minute additions to the dinner table or unexpected overnight guests can also throw a monkey wrench into the works. Don’t panic. Here’s a handy go-to guide for everything last minute and budget-friendly.


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Paper Goods and Decorations



You run out of wrapping paper, or find out there will be a couple of extra guests at the table, don’t panic. Party City has a ton of stuff. From tablecloths and napkins to plates, cups and dinner ware. They also have Santa Claus and elf costumes! Party City is in the Rivertown Village and they’re open until six on Saturday.


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Uncle Ned and Aunt Betsy forgot to bring the mixed nuts? Underestimate how many bags of chips you’ll go through? Need more nutmeg for the pumpkin pie? Happens all the time and grocery stores usually close early on Christmas Eve and are closed period on Christmas Day. Family Dollar has snacks and basic spices, plus soups, flour and boxed dinners if you need to make more food or replenish supplies in a pinch. One thing to look at carefully though is expiration dates. Family Dollar has two locations nearby. There’s one in Sartell and one in Foley. Family Dollar is open on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day.


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Family Dollar has toys around $5 and $10, but they’re cheap and thus more likely to break, but if you’re looking for stocking stuffers, a game the whole family can play or something small for a toy exchange, Toys R Us is open until 10pm on Christmas Eve, plus you can shop online and pickup in store if you order by 2pm on December 24.


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Need Christmas socks, a sweatshirt, extra sheets, an air mattress, pillows, etc? Kmart is open until 10pm on Christmas Eve. They have online ordering and in store pickup. Target has last minute gifts and last minute guest items. Plus they’re offering a lot of online only deals. Some of the bigger ticket items actually come with a gift card, too. Target is open until 7pm on Christmas Eve. Walmart, like Target also offers clothing, food, bedding, furnishings, movies and anything else you may need like toilet tissue, Kleenex, cards, gift wrap and ribbons. Walmart is open until 6pm on Christmas Eve.


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Gift Cards



If you can’t think of absolutely anything to buy for someone and don’t want to just give cash, gift cards are always an option. If there’s someone on your list that just bought a house, a gift card to a home improvement store, hardware store or home furnishings store is perfect. Know someone that loves music, but you aren’t sure what kind of music they like? iTunes or Amazon gift cards are great. They can also download movies, and TV shows directly to their smart phone or tablet. A gift card to their favorite restaurant or coffee shop always works, too. Especially if you know they like to eat out, but are a cash strapped college kid and can’t always afford to treat themselves. Gift cards for gas stations also work because I (and others I know) hate paying for gas. Thankfully you don’t have to go running around town to find all of these different gift cards. Walgreens has loads of them, they’re everywhere you look and there’s a good number of them that are open 24 hours. Even on Christmas. It’s also a good place to go if you catch a cold and run out of medicine or if someone forgot a prescription at home and home is 500 miles away. Most banks also offer pre-loaded Visa gift cards that someone can spend anywhere that accepts Visa.


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