The 2023 Last-Minute Drugstore Gift Guide


The 2023 Last-Minute Drugstore Gift Guide

It’s the Thought That Costs

NOT TO GET all meta, but the Service Journalism Desk of Indignity didn’t have time for our usual emergency-last-minute survey, typically including CVS and Duane Reade, for our annual emergency-last-minute Gift Guide. We only managed to get to a Walgreens, but since Duane Reade is owned by Walgreens, it’s like we failed 30 percent less, which we’ll take as an improvement. It’s the Miracle of Christmas!

Arming yourself with that kind of revisionist loser thinking is the way to survive whatever gathering of friends, or worse, family, you’re facing, with complete underachiever confidence as you hand over one of these prizes.

Study our guide and you’ll show up loaded down with a bunch of no-thought hip-shot gift selections which will approximately satisfy the requirement for awarding a gift to any co-worker, distant family member’s child, or, let’s face it, one of your own. Let’s get to our favorite desperate aisle! Happy Holidays!

Flameless Indoor S’Mores Maker is the most expensive item in the whole aisle, $39.99, which is insane, but this could be one of those “gifts for the whole family,” and when they open it, you can talk about how much fun it’ll be to heat up marshmallows over an electric heater, but don’t go crazy and bring along the ingredients for the s’mores, you don’t wanna be around when some kid burns their finger or when it’s time to clean the burnt marshmallow glop out of the electric heater.

Yankee Candle is a no-brainer. Done and done. $24.99, yeah, not cheap, but it’s a Gift, it’s the symbol of Gift, a brand name and some smelly candles! Grab it and get the hell outta Walgreens!

Alright, cheapskate, let’s get to the $5 stuff! Massage Roller must have been a big seller, because they have them again. Or wait, maybe it was not a top seller because they still have them? Anyway, here’s some self care, can’t put a price on that! Well, yeah, okay, five bucks, but let’s relax and focus on the health aspects of this thoughtful gift!

Every year there’s some kinda “stress ball,” and this one is called STRESS BALL. That’s it, five bucks, wrap this sucker up and hand it to somebody if you have one of those annoying Gift Exchanges where people try to trade for the best gift and everybody laughs at the person who got the crappy one, which will be STRESS BALL, ha ha. Remember, don’t put your name on it, and don’t answer when whoever had the $20 Starbucks card yanked outta their hands and got zonked with this thing asks who gave it!

Magnetic Tool Wrist Band could be a way to cheap out on getting a kid a toy that costs way more than five bucks. “Look, it’s a wristband, like Iron Man has, there’s stuff on it that’ll make them use their imagination in real life, not like those stupid video games with the blocks!”

Pet Selfie Prop is the only gift that makes us sad, look at that dog, it’s like, “Arf, you gotta be kidding me, it’s a tennis ball on top of your phone, somebody gave you that as a present? Can I just have some food?”

Selfie is big this season! Look at this thing, Selfie Light, what do you think you take a selfie of with this? No, of course not!

Head Massager is always a hit right away, just because it’s kinda silly, and people put it on their heads and kid themselves that it actually does something besides tickle, and then they’re over it, but you’ll be long gone.

Digital Coin Counter Bank is another puzzler this year. Coins? How do you Venmo those out of the container?

That’s it for the $5 stuff, here comes the pain! There’s definitely a monopoly conspiracy at Walgreens to make the kid items $20 across the board. You need some stuff for the kids! Toys! There’s always a fairy item, and Rainbowcorns Fairycorn Princess Surprise, look at this nightmare, it’s an egg like from the Alien movie, is that the surprise, you get face-attacked by a space parasite? For $20? It’s got butterfly wings and a horn, Jesus Christ, and a tiara. We honestly thought it might be full of some sort of snack made out of corn, because we don’t want this thing invading our dreams with a Selfie Light jammed on its uni-horn.

Metal Machines T-Rex Attack looks great! This thing has it all, a loop-de-loop, and then the car goes into a wild dinosaur’s mouth! OK, yeah, this is the thing where the illustration of the product is better than the product.

If the children are sufficiently advanced you can save about 10 bucks and get them a game, which will take them a while to figure out, and then there will be an argument about the rules, and by then you’ll be in your car headed to the local tavern for some Holiday Juice.

My Squishy Little Dumplings seems to be in the manner of the Unibow-Cornhorn thing we were looking at earlier, with “surprises,” but when you’re two years old, most things are a surprise, so this seems like a win, it’s a rubber doll and when you squeeze it stuff pops out, like what happened to the cat that one time, urgh.

You can’t go wrong with a kid handing them a toy gun, but the parents, that’s another thing, so Zuru X-Shot is a gamble, but at least they include a set of goggles for the little active shooter. Maybe skip this.

Yo Mister White! It’s the Discovery Mindblown Crystal Growing Kit, let’s make some money! Oh. Anyway, the box has STEM on it!

Nerf N-Strike Elite Jolt features “stealth blasting,” which we always thought was called “crop dusting,” but anyway, this is the only bargain toy we found at Walgreens, five bucks, do not aim at eyes or face.

Cocomelon Musical Yellow Play Bus is a play tent and it has a music box that plays “Wheels on the Bus,” and we are bad for thinking this would pair well with Nerf N-Strike Elite Jolt. Do not aim at eyes or face. The packaging is disturbing, somehow, the computer-generated child looking at representations of itself on the bus-tent.

Disney Mickey & Friends Let’s Go has a pop-up book, great for kids, and kids love flashlights, especially flashlights that make 5 sounds!

The Remote Control Puck Light is not specifically a toy, but it’s five dollars, and the right child might find this to be hours of entertainment. We can relate.

This year’s Original Squishmallows plush pillow-floof object is as tired as we are from looking at all the items in the SEASONAL aisle at Walgreens.

Hurry up and make a decision, you are out of time!

Don’t forget the wrapping paper or you’ll be one of those super-chumps who has to buy a gift bag that costs more than the five dollars you spent on the Remote Control Puck Light!


Indignity Morning Podcast No. 188: Planning to plan.

HMM DAILY, Tom Scocca • Dec 22, 2023


IN THEHOLIDAY spirit, the readers of Indignity continue to supply us with Bluesky codes, for people who want to try the still-beta Bluesky social networks. If you haven’t already gotten a code from us, email and we will award Bluesky codes to those who respond, one per reader, first email, first served.


WE PRESENT INSTRUCTIONS for the assembly of select sandwiches from Woman's Club Cook Book of Southern Recipes, compiled by members of The Woman’s Club of Charlotte, North Carolina, Published in 1908. This book is in the Public Domain and available at for the delectation of all.

Thinly sliced bread, 1 cup cottage cheese, 4 tablespoons melted butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt-spoon of salt, a good pinch of cayenne pepper. Mix thoroughly and spread between thin slices of buttered bread.

Chop pimento olives fine, mix with cream cheese; add a dash of red pepper, and spread on thin slices of white bread. Thin the cheese with cream.

These are delicious for the afternoon tea table. Cut thin slices of bread into circles with the biscuit cutter. Spread with good butter and fill with whipped cream seasoned with white pepper and salt.

If you decide to prepare and attempt to enjoy a sandwich inspired by this offering, be sure to send a picture to


The second printing of 19 FOLK TALES is now available for Holiday gift-giving and personal perusal!

U.S. Postal Service media mail delivery takes an estimated 4 to 8 business days, which means from here on out it will be a gamble against the calendar.

For adrenaline junkies and/or Eastern Orthodox shoppers, the author stands ready to hand-fulfill orders as they come in, even at the cost of dealing with that one clerk at the neighborhood post office whose whole thing is trying to start a fight with everyone who steps up to her window. Happy holidays!

HMM WEEKLY MINI-ZINE, Subject: GAME SHOW, Joe MacLeod’s account of his Total Experience of a Journey Into Television, expanded from the original published account found here at Hmm Daily. The special MINI ZINE features other viewpoints related to an appearance on, at, and inside the teevee game show Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, available for purchase at SHOPULA.

FLAMING HYDRA will launch in January of 2024. The FLAMING HYDRA Holiday Preview Spectacular, a rich sampling of the writing and art you’ll enjoy as a subscriber to the forthcoming daily newsletter, is available now for your inspection. FLAMING HYDRA is the work of 60 world-class talents, but that’s just one reason to subscribe. FLAMING HYDRA is a 100% cooperatively owned, ad-free publication with no owners and no investors; just a bunch of writers and artists working together and splitting the proceeds equally.

INDIGNITY is a general-interest publication for a discerning and self-selected audience. We appreciate and depend on your support!