In our imaginations, Christmas dinner always runs smoothly, without a hitch. But in real life, our kids all catch colds, milk curdles in our coffee, and we forget to buy the fresh sage for the roasted sage turkey. That’s when the pajamas come off, the yoga pants go on, and we run to the store for cold medicine, creamer, and a handful of herbs. But quick errands can be tricky on one of the few holidays when most businesses shut their doors. Find out the best non-Christmas-y things to do on Christmas day.
Fortunately, there are stores open on Christmas Day! Here are the ones you’re most likely to visit—but be sure to check with your location for their holiday hours before heading out. Be sure to know these holiday shopping cut-off dates, too.
Acme: Most locations will be open on Christmas, though hours vary depending on location.
Albertsons: Most locations will be open on Christmas between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Cumberland Farms: Most locations will be open on Christmas from 7 a.m. to midnight.
Giant: Most locations will be open Christmas Day between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Ralph’s: Some locations will be open on Christmas, so check your local store for hours.
Safeway: Like Ralph’s, some Safeway locations will be open on Christmas, so check your local store for hours.
Whole Foods: A handful of Whole Foods stores have modified Christmas hours, many will be closed altogether. Before you resort to the grocery store, buy these cool Christmas gifts before they sell out!
Gas Stations and Convenience Stores
7-Eleven: Most 7-Elevens continue their usual 24/7 schedule on Christmas Day.
Cumberland Farms: Not only are all Cumby’s stores open on Christmas (between 7 a.m. and midnight), but the locations in the Northeast and Florida like to give away hot coffee and cocoa on Christmas.
Circle K: Most should be open 24 hours on Christmas, like every other day of the year.
Dollar Tree: Most will be open for shortened hours.
Speedway: Most Speedway locations will stay open all day, as per usual.
Wawa: This is another 24/7 chain that doesn’t close for Christmas. Here’s what Wawa employees won’t tell you.
CVS: Many CVS stores are open 24/7, but on Christmas, the hours are shorter. Most will be open between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
Walgreens: Most Walgreens locations are open on Christmas Day. Some will be open all day as per usual, and those locations that aren’t generally open 24/7 will have limited hours (likely between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.).
Duane Reade: The sister store to Walgreens, Duane Reade follows the same holiday hours.
Rite Aid: Rite Aid stores are open 24/7 and will remain open as per usual on Christmas.
Starbucks: Go for a gingerbread latte or for last-minute gifts like music and coffee mugs. Starbucks will be open on Christmas this year, but you’ll want to double-check your local cafe’s hours before you leave, as hours vary by location. Here’s the surprising origin of the Starbucks’ name.
Dunkin Donuts: Some will be open, some won’t, so check with your favorite location before you make your Dunkin run.
Boston Market: Select locations will be open. There will also be fully-prepared holiday meals available for pickup or delivery.
Chinese food restaurants: This is their big day. Head to your local Chinatown, where nearly every restaurant is open regular hours.
Denny’s: Stop in 24/7 for a meal on Christmas Day at Denny’s. They will have a limited time menu called Festive Flavors also available.
IHOP: Hours will vary by location, but nearly all IHOPs plan to be open.
Old Country Buffet: Stop in from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Christmas for all-you-can-eat.
McDonald’s: These are independently owned and operated, so some will be open. Here are some of the craziest facts about McDonald’s that you never knew.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse: Yes, you can have a full steak dinner on Christmas. They also have holiday special meals served.
Perkins Restaurant & Bakery: This varies by location, but most will be open with a special holiday menu.
Waffle House: This breakfast-all-day restaurant plans to be open 24/7.
Next, read on for more ideas on where to eat out on Christmas Day.