EDITOR'S COLUMN: This Christmas, shop for convenience

It’s already Christmas Eve which means that for a lot of you people out there, there’s only one more shopping day til Christmas.

For many of us, shopping is no fun. It’s something we prefer to put off, like a torture session with Saddam Hussein’s henchmen or a visit to the doctor. Which is why we’re thankful for stores like 7-11 and AM-PM, because they’re there when we need them -- late Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day. They’re the stores we use when we absolutely can’t put off shopping any longer. When Wal-Mart and Kmart have closed up shop, we can still depend in 7-11 and AM-PM to supply our gift buying needs. For the sake of other procrastinators out there, I did a little Christmas preview shopping early Monday morning, when Carol Mathias at 7-11 and Marsha Fruik at AM-PM were finishing up their graveyard shifts. As suspected, between the two stores you can easily fill out your Christmas list for the entire family, assuming you’re not too picky.

At 7-11, Mathias was proud to show off the 7-11 Coffee Collection, a gift box that incudes a cup and mug set plus coffee beans. That should satisfy the caffeine addict on your list. If not, thrown in a pack of Energy Frenzy pills, sure to be appreciated this harried holiday season. 7-11 offers the Holiday Barbie doll, family videos and DVD’s, and cell phones that are free after mailing in two $50 rebates. “I don’t like cell phones, but this is a good deal,” Mathias commented. If the $100 up-front is too expensive, you can settle for a $3.99 Mobile Pop phone, which you suck on and never sends you a bill. “We’ve got something for the whole family,” Mathias noted. And that was just at the front counter. Nearby was a display of Harry Potter mementos, phone cards which are always popular gift items, scratch lottery tickets, Ghiradelli chocolates, and a variety of bottled auto products for the mechanic in the family. “There’s a lot more here than you think,” Mathias accurately concluded.

Both stores offer the old holiday standbys of alcoholic beverages, tobacco products and cigarette lighters. If 7-11 was short of anything, it was sentimental items for the female in your life. For that, your better holiday shopping choice is AM-PM.

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