Last Minute Gift Ideas For Slow Santas

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Last minute gift buying can be a treacherous trip. Swamped by shoppers many Rim country retail outlets will be open on Christmas Eve.

"It is our busiest day of the year," John Coccia said. The owner of the Village Outlet in the Bashas' Shopping Center has been unloading for days. "We will keep unloading until we close -- we keep our shelves full."

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A special ornament to remember Christmas 2002 and much more can be found at Mountain Aire, a gift shop at 605 W. Main Street. With so many great shops in the Payson area, there is no excuse for not finding just the right gift for everyone on your list and giving an even bigger gift to your neighbors, contributing to the local economy. And if you can't decide on exactly what gift to give, let the people on your list pick their own gifts by giving them the always easy, one-size-fits-all gift certificates.

The Village Outlet has a wide range of gift ideas, from wind chimes to fiber optic angels, dragons and western characters.

If stocking stuffers slipped your mind, the Girls' Corner, located in the Rim Country Mall, has loads of good stuff.

"Hair stuff, lip gloss, glitter and I like the little teddy bears they are perfect stocking stuffers," Aubrey Laird suggested for the girls on your list. Laird is the daughter of owners Eddie and Jennifer Harrison

"My mom said I should stop buying stuff from here cause she's running out of ideas for stocking stuffers."

Other last minute ideas can be gathered by wandering the Rim Country Mall, targets for the hunter, a gift certificate from the gym, a small TV with a built in VCR. The mall will be open until 5 p.m.

Craft shops and antique shops will be peddling their wares to last minute shoppers as well, but many mom and pop operations will close early to spend time with their families.

Of course there is the trusty Wal-Mart, home of something for everyone, but alas they will only be open until 6 p.m.

For those die-hard last minute shoppers, Walgreens will be open until 9 p.m. Here is where you find the unusual, trendy, and musical -- but by choosing to shop so late, you have missed your chance at the dancing snowman.

"The dancing snowmen are gone," said Lisa Kenna, head cosmetician at Walgreens.

But they do have the Revo hair brush that turns automatically as you hold it. It's perfect for the for the wild hair person in your life. Walgreens also has the ever-popular and terribly traditional Chia pets and the Ov-Glove, as seen on TV. "It's a mitt to pull things out of the oven - that we can't keep in stock," Kenna said.

So as you arrive home with packages in tow, arriving just as Santa is leaving, please keep these words of John Coccia in mind, "Shop early it makes it easier for everybody!"

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