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7-Eleven Days of Christmas

Oh, thank heaven for 7-Eleven for servicing all of our holiday shopping needs

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The holidays can be stressful and kind of a pain in the ass. Between getting sap all over your icicle fingers cutting down a tree, draping the electric blue lights over every inch of the house, trying to convince mom that you only need one box of tinsel this year, and preparing an impressive holiday spread knowing damn well if you screw up every pizza joint in town will be closed, the holiday season can be enough to give even the most reasonable of us an ulcer or two.

Then there’s the shopping. Jesus’ birthday in our culture would be nothing without presents for one and all. There’s no point in driving to Sumner to cut down a Christmas tree if you’re not going to pile presents underneath, right?

The most taxing aspect of the holidays is, by far, the buying of presents. Not only does it put a major strain on my wallet to shop for cousins and in-laws I probably wouldn’t recognize on the street, but it means I have to pack myself in with the hordes of other consumers searching for the perfect gift for Aunt Carol, and brave the treachery of THE MALL.

Or is there another option?

You know how the marketing jingle goes. “Oh Thank Heaven for 7-Eleven.” This time of year, if you let yourself think outside the box for a moment, it couldn’t be truer.

Last Tuesday, at 1:37 a.m. (a magical time at all 7-Elevens in Washington when the store comes alive with drunks vying for one more case of Ice beer before the 2 a.m. cutoff), I did some major holiday shopping. You’d be amazed at the deals to be had and the gifts to be found at your neighborhood 7-Eleven. Here are a few items I picked up for some of the special folks on my list:

Beef Jerky

Does beef jerky ever expire? Not really. And who doesn’t like dried and seasoned chunks of meat? No one on my list. For about six bucks you can pick up a large bag of jerky, of any variety, and sleep soundly knowing Uncle Mike will appreciate it far more than some lame-ass sweater.


If you’ve got a smoker on your list, know they’re the last of a dying breed — a diehard who’s willing to shell out nearly six bucks a pack for nicotine filled sticks of cool. They probably smoke about a pack a day, and this habit probably takes more from their monthly income than food does. For the smokers on your list, know that there’s not a gift you can give them that will be more practical and appreciated than cigarettes. Buy them a “Buy Two Get One Free,” and watch their eyes light up on Christmas morning.


Nothing will say “I love you” like giving someone on your list condoms this Christmas. I mean, you obviously care about the person. You don’t want to see them get herpes, and that’s a pretty heartfelt gesture. I got my buddy Brett a pack of Trojan Magnums, but filled the box with Trojan Extended Pleasure Condoms with Climax Control Lubricant. This way he can’t lose, and chances are he’ll be opening the box in the dark. It’s not just a gift for his sex life, it’s for his ego too.

Quarter Pound Tasty Big Bite and a Box of Prilosec

If your dad is anything like my dad, he likes foods he shouldn’t and also suffers from crippling heartburn. I’ve seen the man chew a stick and a half of Tums like candy. For him, a Quarter Pound Tasty Big Bite lukewarm off the wiener roller and a purple box of Prilosec should offer the best of both worlds. Of course, the Big Bite will be cold by the time Christmas morning rolls around, but it’s a scientific fact that Big Bites never go bad. Just heat it up and it’s ready to go. Big Bites are what cockroaches will eat after Nuclear Armageddon.

The December Issue of Ebony Magazine

Michael Jackson is on the cover of Ebony. I’m just sayin’.

A Money Order

Deep down, money holds a special place in most people’s heart. Sure, you can search and search trying to find the perfect gift for someone special in your life, but when it comes right down to it, a Benjamin or even a Grant goes a long way. Here’s an idea: if you don’t feel right giving someone a card stuffed with cash, try a money order instead. A money order shows effort; plus, unless they’ve been down and out trying to pay bills without a bank account, most people have never seen one.

Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven. In just under 15 minutes I was able to scratch six names off my list. I plan on heading back next time I need a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Caramel Sutra and whittling off a few more. With 7-Eleven, the holidays don’t have to be stressful, and they don’t have to be expensive. Just celebrate the birth of baby Jesus with pepperoni sticks and mini kegs of Heineken at your local 7-Eleven, and everything will be fine.   


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