A late Thanksgiving means Christmas came quickly for families all across the country. Shoppers hoping to pick out the perfect present have six fewer days between the two holidays this year compared to last year.
In the Stateline, there were large crowds at Cherryvale Mall as people tried checking items off their Christmas lists.
For some, like Michelle Zarate, last-minute shopping is a holiday tradition.
“(I do this) every year. I got this from my parents,” Zarate said. “They always go Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve, because they don’t find time usually, and here I am, following tradition. Not really on Christmas Eve. This is an early start.”
Zarate enjoys starting so late in the game.
“You’re just racing,” she said.
Others picked out the majority of their presents earlier in the year, but are using the last few days before Christmas to surprise their loved ones.
“Usually, we’re done pretty early,” said Brandy Leopard. “We do usually just go out the week before Christmas to see what’s new maybe that’s out there, that the kids might have mentioned in the last few days, that says ‘oh yeah, by the way, I didn’t get this, so maybe can I get this for Christmas’?”
Freeport-native Roderick Piggue learned what gifts his wife wanted during prior shopping trips, and then came back to the mall with his son to buy them at the eleventh hour.
“You be shopping with your wife, you know she’s smelling these fragrances and that, and she don’t know you’re actually paying attention, and then you surprise her with it on Christmas,” Piggue said.
Bargain hunters say waiting to shop can pay off.
“You never know what kind of deals you’re going to find the closer to Christmas,” said Leopard. “Everybody talks about Black Friday being the big sales of the year. The closer you get to Christmas, things go on sale just as cheap, if not cheaper.”
To help out last-minute shoppers, Cherryvale Mall has special holiday hours. You can check those at their website.