The rest of the year, impulse shopping isn’t necessarily a good idea. But when the days start hurtling by in December, it’s time to abandon forethought. Spot a miniature rocking horse ($30 at CVS, 215 Park Ave. S., nr. 18th St.; 646-602-8237) that actually neighs and clops when you squeeze its ears? Buy it! And the same goes for the other cheap-and-clever drugstore gifts on the pages ahead.
1. Take turns de-knotting those back muscles (mini-massager, $6.29 at CVS).
2. Mexican-train dominoes are easier than chess, more grown-up than tiddlywinks ($13.49 at Walgreens).
3. Not the sexiest of stocking stuffers, but undeniably useful (shoeshine brush, $4.19 at Duane Reade).
4. One word: “Raaaaaar” (plastic dinosaur, $3.69 at CVS).
5. This remote control will never get lost between the cushions ($10 at Walgreens).
6. Squeaky stuffed hedgehogs are like foie gras to dogs (Booda dog toy, $5 at Walgreens).
7. A little red wagon for the pre-K set ($5 at Walgreens).
8. Hoop earrings in seasonally appropriate Grinch green ($7 at Duane Reade).
9. Save Dad untold sums on haircuts (Conair 21-piece clipper set, $20 at Duane Reade).
10. It was only a matter of time before Chia met Shrek ($18 at CVS).
11. Spanish flash cards get kids at least 26 words closer to fluency ($7 at Duane Reade).
12. A stack of Burt’s Bees lip balms ensures you won’t meet under the mistletoe with chapped lips ($10 at Duane Reade).
13. The smell alone will zap you back to childhood (Silly Putty, $3 at CVS).
14. Rawhide pops are better for a teething puppy than, say, your new Pumas ($4.59 at Duane Reade).
15. The Conair nail-glitter machine is well worth the mess it leaves behind ($20 at Duane Reade).
16. For coloring in books—or on playroom walls, if you’re open to that (64 Crayola crayons, $6 at Walgreens).
17. An obligatory accessory for dress-up time (Ardell fashion lashes starter kit, $6.49 at CVS).
18. A fleece robe makes non-morning-types more presentable ($15 at CVS).
19. It might break by the New Year, but can you really go wrong with the Slinky ($5.29 at CVS)?
20. Just like Mom’s Uggs, only miniaturized (So Dorable baby boots, $8 at CVS).
21. Good for a game of hallway catch when it’s too cold for the park (Nerf football, $7 at Walgreens).
22. Make an exception to the no-rigs-in-the-living-room rule (Motor Max truck, $4.49 at Duane Reade).
23. From one watercolor set, years’ worth of refrigerator art ($7 at Duane Reade).
24. Walkie-talkies tricked out to look like smartphones ($10.49 at CVS).
25. Crank out all manner of marvels, including spaghetti (Fun Factory Play-Doh, $6.49 at Walgreens).
Duane Reade, 1888 Westchester Ave., nr. White Plains Rd., the Bronx; 718-409-5146.
Walgreens, 520 Atlantic Ave., nr. Third Ave., Park Slope; 718-858-8529.
CVS, 215 Park Ave. S., nr. 18th St.; 646-602-8237.