Limited Shopping and Eating Choices for Christmas Eve Night and Christmas Day

John M. Dabbs

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Limited dining and shopping options on Christmas Eve and DayShelby Cohron/Unsplash

There are a few of us who have either been too busy with work or procrastinating. The hours are numbered and options are getting fewer on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The majority of grocery stores will be closed before dinner on Christmas Eve and many restaurants will be closing early too. Many restaurants and stores will also be closed for Christmas.

Christmas Eve options

As stores will be crowded on Friday, December 24th, you may want to opt for curbside pickup if its available where you are going. Walmart is reportedly closing at 6 p.m. and Target at 8 p.m. Christmas Eve.

If things get really bad, or you get sick - you are in luck. Not only are hospitals and emergency services always open, CVS and Walgreens will be open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day - as will many other convenience stores, such as Roadrunner Market, etc.. Dollar General stores will be open until 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve, but will be closed Christmas Day.

Here are the local stores scheduled to be open on Christmas Eve, with their posted hours - though you may want to check with your local store for confirmation:

AldiStores close at 4 p.m.

InglesStores close at 7 p.m.

Food City: Stores close at 6 p.m.

Kroger: All stores and pharmacies will close at 5 p.m.

Publix: All stores will close at 7 p.m.

Sam's Club: All clubs will close at 6 p.m.

Target: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Walmart: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Christmas Day

There aren't as many options for stores and restaurants open on Christmas Day. As said above, CVS and Walgreens will be open, but you'll have difficulty finding other stores open - other than those local stores affilliated with some gas stations. Should you want something to eat or drink, you do have a few options here.

Most of the national chains will be closed, but you will find a few solid options in town.

Starbucks will be open in stand-alone stores, while those based in other stores will be closed, such as the ones inside Food City, Ingles, and other stores who will be closed. McDonald's as a franchise will be open at regular hours during Christmas - but as most McDonald's are independently owned and operated, you may find some with alternate hours.

Dunkin' has altered some holiday and regular hours due to staffing challenges, but they are scheduled to be open in their national chain stores. IHOP is also reporting normal hours during the holidays (note that not all IHOP restaurants are still open 24 hours).

Waffle House will be open, as always, 24 hours every day. In fact, when traveling to Florida and South Carolina in the wake of several hurricanes, my group found that Waffle House is one of the few restaurants which are the last to ever close and first ones to open. My colleague joined me in an order of hash browns and a hamber on light bread. It was the best meal we'd eaten in days - and the only hot one.

All communities are different, and you may have options within your own community that I haven't covered here. If you are going to be in search of anything on Christmas Day and you know it ahead of time, some pre-planning is in order.

You and your family may have options like Ralphie and his family in A Christmas Story, and have the option of eating Chinese food. Check the websites or posted holiday hours in the place you may need to visit. Happy Holidays!

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An outdoor enthusiast with a passion for travel and adventure. John is a professional consultant and photojournalist.

Bristol, TN
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