You don't need me to tell you how little shopping time you have left before the big day. What you need -- what we all need -- is some practical help to get the job done. Dollar stores to the rescue!

Whether you're looking for one more small item to put under the tree for a good little boy or girl or a few practical or fun things to stuff stockings with, there's no better place to start than at the dollar store. Here are some ideas from two of the latest flyers:

This is the last day for this 99-cent Only Stores flyer but I'm sure may of these same items will still be available afterward. Their selection of stocking stuffers include mini colognes and perfumes for men and women, including English Leather and Tatiana. For the kids, there are Disney 11" jumbo pens or memo pads with pens and assorted Star Wars toys.


And don't forget the extra batteries for all of the electronic gizmos that may be waiting under the tree. A four-pack or Panasonic alkaline batteries is only 99 cents.

99-cent Only Stores also have gift bags in all sizes, including jumbo for only 79 cents and two packages of 24 count bows is 99 cents. If you haven't decorated the tree yet, you can pick up a set of glass ornaments that would normally sell for $5.99, for only 99 cents and a five-foot extension cord in green, white or brown for only 99 cents each.

Family Dollar's flyer is good to the 24th. They are featuring Barbie Dolls, flip over cars or remote control motorcycles for only $5 each. Hot Wheels, Ninja Turtles figurines or Disney princess figurines would make great stocking stuffers at $1 each, as would a mini four-pack of Play Doh or some Silly Putty for $1 each. Chocolate is always a welcome find on Christmas morning. Palmer Crisp Kringle three-packs, 1.5 oz. solid milk chocolate Santas or 3 oz. double crisp reindeer are $1 each. There's also a Tootsie Roll bank filled with 5 oz. of bite-sized Midgees.

For the older set, check out the bath or fragrance gift sets for $5 each and include a Sudoku or Word Find puzzle book in an adult stocking.

The Dollar Tree flyer kind of flies by but it looks like they have some tasty treats on hand, too, as well as some attractive Christmas mugs for gifting and nothing is more than $1.

Marlene Alexander is a freelance writer and dollar store diva. She writes tips and ideas for decorating using only items from the dollar store.


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