Volunteers Joan Whitbread and Angie Goh hold one of the more popular items at this time of year at the LGH gift shop – a picture that lights up.

Are you in a panic and need last-minute Christmas gifts? Try your hospital gift shop

Consider this a shameless plug for all hospital gift shops.

If you haven’t popped into your local hospital gift shop lately, there’s no time like the present especially with Christmas just around the corner. Get it? Present. Is that a collective groan I hear?

Hospital gift shops are more than just tiny toiletries, greeting cards and paperback novels. And if you fall into the category of last-minute Christmas shopper like the person who wrote this, they are a time-saver and a life saver. You can get a lot of shopping done during one lunch break without even having to put your coat on.

The best part of all is that 100% of the sales benefit the hospital the shop is located in. Since 1921, sales from the volunteer-staffed Dogwood Gift Shop at LGH have been going directly to the hospital for medical equipment and patient care.

So far this month, I have found gifts and stocking stuffers for a wide range of people – from my pre-teen daughter to my in-laws and Secret Santa recipient (I hope she’s not reading this.)

I’ve purchased foot care products such as moisture gel booties as well as stylish scarves, shower gels and bath bombs. I’m eyeballing a pair of sturdy slippers for my father-in-law, maybe a gag gift for my wine-imbibing sister-in-law, a fancy water bottle for my active niece and an umbrella for my daughter.

Need a gag gift for the wine drinker in your family?

Need a gag gift for the wine drinker in your family?

I do still have a week after all so what’s the rush, right?

And for those into hot yoga or working out at a gym (there are some in every family, aren’t there?), how about those reusable Icy Cool Towels.

And of course, there are the crucial items for patients who may have forgotten to bring in pyjamas or comfort items from home.

Angie Goh, who’s been a volunteer at Lions Gate Hospital for 26 years, says one of the more popular items at the Dogwood Gift Shop this Christmas is a picture that lights up. Christmas ornaments are equally popular (and now 50% off), she says.

Popular items at the Sechelt Hospital gift shop, which recently had its Staff Appreciation Day offering 20% off to team member, include jewelry, watches purses, gloves and scarves.

“It’s a crazy time in the gift shop even in the days before the sale with people putting things on hold,” says Lauren Tindall, Director, Sunshine Coast. “The shop is a one stop superstore for gift shopping.”

And as they say at the Powell River Gift Shop: “You will be surprised at the items you’ll find.”