Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Get Your Last Minute Holiday Shopping Done At Costco, Your Personal North Pole

by Cat Bowen

When considering the magic of the holiday season, you might not immediately think of a huge wholesale warehouse where you can buy a 50 pack of toilet paper alongside grass-fed beef and pinot noir, but perhaps you should. Costco has a lot more to offer than you'd think this time of year, beyond the cookie platters and aluminum foil and giant bottles of ibuprofen. If you're in a bind, there are so many last minute gifts to pick up from Costco that are just as good (if not better) than what you'd get elsewhere.

I've been there myself. You've put off those last few gifts until the last minute and suddenly, you have four hours to shop and you still need to buy groceries, pick up wine, and get dinner squared away for the evening. What should you do? It's simple: Go the heck to Costco, the land of all things right and good, and get everything done all at once. Also, if you're really lucky, you will get there on a good sample day at the Costco wine store, and you'll stop caring whether or not the appetizers are perfect, because all of those free spirits are making you a little more of a free spirit, yourself.


The Best Danged Leggings On The Planet

Courtesy of Cat Bowen

I have six pairs of these beauties. Felina leggings are $15 for two pairs, and they are amazing. They're not control top, so they don't try to pinch you to death all day, and if you are tall, the large might be a little big at the ankle and waist, but they're long enough for my six foot frame.

They are seriously the softest things to ever grace my thighs, which is saying something because my husband is naturally hairless and loves cocoa butter.



These slippers are all over Instagram and Twitter and for good reason; they're supposedly amazing. All of my Costco-loving friends rave about them. They're $20 per pair, and I've felt their buttery softness. Why don't I have them? Because they only go up to a size ten and I'm clearly being punished for something.


Reusable Water Bottles

These are my kids' favorite water bottles, and they make great gifts. They absolutely keep drinks cold for a whole day, and they don't sweat in lunchboxes. That's huge when you have a daughter who will legitimately not eat anything if she thinks that her water bottle has "peed" in her lunchbox.


Cutting Board

This is a gorgeous maple cutting board with a deep trench to catch all of the juices from your roast, or prevent errant grapes from rolling off your cheese board.



Costco has a pretty boss book section, and there's always something new to pick up because they so frequently rotate the selections. However, I have noticed that they almost always have some leather-bound Penguin classics as well as more children's and cook books than you can imagine.


Gift Cards

Costco has a ton of gift cards available at a discount. I buy them for teacher gifts: Cheesecake Factory, AMC Movie Theatre, and even gift cards for Mattel.


A Costco Membership

These are a reasonably-priced way to say "I want you to be just as addicted to this store as I am." Because it does happen. It only takes a trip or two, and you're hooked. I love giving these to my parish each year for the "giving" ornaments on the tree. It's easy to forget that the cost of admission to Costco can be prohibitive for some families, and that they could truly benefit from the savings found inside.



The Costco wine section is the happiest place on earth (next to Costco's bakery on free cake sample day). Yes, wine is one of those "easy gifts," but it's not one of those "easy gifts" that people don't love, because they do. It's not hand lotion, it's cab franc.


Gift Basket

There's a ton of gift baskets at Costco; this one is just my favorite. They also had chocolate, coffee, baby, and nut baskets the last time I was there. The ranged from $30 to about $75. They're quick and impressive.


Video Games

The selection changes frequently, but if you ask my 10-year-old, there's always something "you just have to buy." I swear, if I acquiesced each time he begged for a game at Costco, I'd be flat broke. But, if you have a game lover to buy for, they'll have something.

After experiencing a traumatic c-section, this mother sought out a doula to support her through her second child’s delivery. Watch as that doula helps this mom reclaim the birth she felt robbed of with her first child, in Episode Three of Romper's Doula Diaries, Season Two, below. Visit Bustle Digital Group's YouTube page for more episodes, launching Mondays in December.