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It's a mad, mad, mad, mad dash

OW's guide to the truly last-minute holiday shopping

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Your work girlfriend:

Admit it: Everyone, at some point, has a significant other in the office – the cute, marriageable-in-an-alternate-universe peer who still laughs at your jokes, knows your habits and can read your mood with a glance. Although it can veer off into dangerous directions, really it’s a biological outcrop of the proximity paradox – you spend as many hours, if not more, with them than you do your actual life mate. (Spoiler alert: Your life mate has a work girlfriend/boyfriend, too.) Of course, buying a gift for this person is a must, but it’s a task at least as land mine-laden as the office Christmas party. (“Is she pretty? I hadn’t noticed.”) Go too casual and he/she won’t bring you that biscuit combo you love so much on Monday mornings; too intimate and you risk your real relationship or a harassment suit. Split the diff with an hour ($65 plus tip – yes, cover the tip yourself) of Swedish massage therapy at Creative Bodyworks (2111 E. Michigan St., Ste. 206; 407-897-5377; orlando-massage.com). Both genders love a massage and it doesn’t really hint at anything other than, “Thanks for putting up with my shit.” Best of all, the Paypal app has a “Paypal Local” and this place is on it. No paper trail helps keep your chestnuts out of the fire.

Your Guess-Who’s-Coming-to-Dinner Guest:

Everybody’s all atwitter about whom your brother is bringing back from college, but nobody seems to understand just how much lube or how many rainbow sweaters to wrap in fancy paper in order to make the awkwardness go away. Also, where will he sleep? Well, fear not: When you strip the gay away, he’s probably just a person who will probably feel like dying the whole time that he’s around you. Those burps of awkward silence at the dinner table will take care of themselves. Why not go gender-neutral-comfortable with a throwaway fad gift like Forever Lazy ($29.88 at Walmart, multiple locations, walmart.com), because consumerist emasculation makes everything better? Better still, go big ticket and give him (and your family) the gift of peace with a set of Bose AE2 headphones ($134.95 at Target, multiple locations, target.com) so that he can listen to the oonce-oonce of circuit-party abandon – or, more likely, Joni Mitchell – while curled in a my-own-parents-hate-me ball in the guest room. Don’t worry. He’ll be gone by Monday.

Your idiot sister:

She’s aimless. She’s jobless. She smells like incense and she hasn’t showered since she was staying at her ex-boyfriend’s parents’ house. And she’s coming home for the holidays. Balance your karma – which, honestly, could use a boost after the heaping pile of judgment you inevitably forced down her throat the second the words “new tattoo” came out of her chapped lips – with the Ascend DX3000 Extreme Daypack ($79.99), a multipurpose lifeline for the, uh, day-to-day adventurer in your life. Perfect for anyone who could be anywhere (and need to sleep in anything), the Ascend DX3000 is aluminum-reinforced yet nicely padded, features loads of pockets and compartments that will keep the cops guessing for hours and weighs a mere four-and-a-half pounds. They’re available at Bass Pro Shop (5156 International Drive; 407-563-5200; basspro.com). You may not approve of her lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put some style in her life.

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