One in ten Brits reportedly leave ther shopping until the big day itself - so it’s not surprising that the most unlikely places for filling up on festive stocking treats suddenly become a haven of holiday gifts.
Perhaps synonymous with a hundred thousand angry housewives clutching a bunch of bad floral arrangements to their heart, the fuel station may be the last resort for a blues CD and a Scotch egg on Christmas Day.
But it is one of the few retail outlets still open in the 24 hour festive shutdown - where goods can go from checkout to under-the-tree in a short space of time.
So fear not, festive flounderers - here are some last minute gift ideas, from breathalyser suppliers AlcoDigital, to grab-and-go from a fuel station near you:
ROAD MAPS - Fancy going somewhere exotic? OK, granted the M1 isn’t exactly the stuff dreams are made of, but wrap up a road atlas with a ‘surprise’ note inside suggesting they choose their favourite place for a weekend away and hey presto, instant brownie points.
MAKE A HAMPER: Make a hamper – be it car shampoo and a chamois leather or champagne and chocolates, there’s a plethora of hamper-making possibilities on offer at filling stations. Choose a selection of their favourite magazines or sweets and chocolates for the perfect seasonal gift.
SCRATCH CARDS: Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? Buy five scratch cards and pop them in a greetings card. If they win hopefully they’ll let you share some of the money.
HANGOVER KIT: Once all the festivities are over and it’s the morning after the night before, friends and family are bound to be feeling fuzzy-headed. Aside from a bottle of water and some extra strong painkillers, they can also check they are safe to drive with a pocket alcohol breathalyser.