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No slowdown in shoppers on Christmas Eve

Posted: December 24, 2008 4:01 p.m.
Updated: December 25, 2008 4:59 a.m.

Left: Pam Campbell of Valencia leaves Target with bags of wrapping paper Wednesday morning.

 
‘Twas the day before Christmas and stores were a mess,

And Kelli Stewart of Saugus was shopping and stressed.


"I don't usually wait this long," Stewart said, referring to her last-minute holiday shopping endeavors. She rushed from the doors of Big 5 Sporting Goods to her car, wrist-strapped with UGG boots for her husband and a pogo stick for her son.

"I missed the day after Thanksgiving because we were out of town," she said. "I missed Black Friday. That's my favorite," she said.

It was early morning Wednesday and stores were already abuzz with those down-to-the-wire holiday shoppers.

Last year, Michelle Satorhelyi of Saugus had her shopping done by the end of Black Friday. But after having her second baby recently, she decided not to venture out with two tots. Thus, she was left rushing to get a few items from Target before work at Kindercare Learning Centers.

"I've been so busy," she said. "I usually do it the day after Thanksgiving. I'm one of those crazy people. I have a baby this year so I didn't want to get her up and bring her along."

Some shoppers were stressed and rushed like Stewart and Satorhelyi, but for others, the procrastination was old news.

"We always say next year we're going to get it done early," said Robert Reulein of Canyon Country. He said he wasn't stressing but his wife Diane felt otherwise because she waited till the last minute to get it done.

Nick Wilkins of Valencia, who left the Dollar Tree on Soledad Canyon Road with wrapping paper, admitted he was shopping at the last minute "because I'm a procrastinator."

For sisters Anne Tysver and Jenna Glenn, shopping the day before Christmas is tradition.

"Every year we go with my dad and buy our mom's Christmas present," said Glenn, clutching a Best Buy bag. They also said missing the crazy holiday shoppers is a plus. In the past they've seen bigger crowds on their routine shopping day, but this year they said lines seem to be shorter.

"Usually in the past there's been long lines," Tysver said.

Best Buy employee Kody Rowlett, of Stevenson Ranch, said he expected shopper traffic to pick up around noon and die down by 3 p.m.

"In the past couple days, it's been like a madhouse in here," he said. But Wednesday, he expected to be home by 6 p.m.

Many shoppers seemed to be hunting for their last couple of gifts or stocking stuffers, leaving stores with only one or a few bags in hand.

Andrew Conley of Saugus walked out of a Target with a big red bag containing a sushi set for a co-worker clasped in his hand.

"This time it was a matter of my paycheck," he said. "I spent all of my last paycheck on presents and so I got my check this morning and ran out and got this. This is it, I'm done."

For Veronica Jiminez and Naomi Guzman of Canyon Country, the delayed shopping was also a matter of a paycheck.

"We still have more to go," said Jiminez next to a Dollar Tree cart stocked with stocking stuffers for her nieces.

Gary and Denise Morehead of Valencia, outside Bristol Farms, planned a shopping-free afternoon to relax before heading out with their shrimp cocktail platter and pies to visit family later in the evening.

"It's going to be kind of a low-key Christmas Eve," Gary said.

"Thank God," Denise said.

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