OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - It's the last weekend before Christmas and all through downtown, there are plenty of people stirring-- and buying.
In contrast to the heavy traffic in large retail shopping centers, shoppers in downtown Ocean Springs are turning a last-minute rush into a relaxing experience.
Last-minute shopping for sisters Sheresa Van Antwerp and Roxanna Bennett? Maybe. Stressful? No way.
"We're out shopping for ourselves today," Bennett said. "All the grand kids are bought, everybody's paid for, but we're on our own today."
Hannah Tanner has a lot to buy late in the game.
"I've been really busy," she said. "So, just trying to get it all together."
Retail experts say this weekend will be the busiest time this holiday season for the bricks-and-mortar businesses.
"Christmas has been phenomenal," said Brandin Brosh, owner of Charisma Boutique. "As you can see, it's been a huge weekend for us."
"The Christmas holidays have been nice," said Dena McGrath of Bella Luna Boutique. "We're new, so it's our first season. But, we've been very blessed with the business and everyone shopping local."
Joyce Hicks shops in waves to keep down anxiety. She does her first round in June, then again around Thanksgiving.
"And then, right before Christmas, I get into the craziness of shopping again, but by then I'm not stressed," she said. "No problem. No stress. All fun."
Brad Warren of Mobile waited late, but no problem. The shopping experience here has a few perks.
"Ocean Springs is a nice, laid back place," he said. "There's a lot of things to offer that fit everybody's needs and, plus, it's open container downtown. So, it's a great place to visit."
At Miner's Toy Store, orthopedic surgeon Jim Hudson has turned into a toy building elf.
Merileigh Miner Furr couldn't be happier.
"People are stressed out about packages arriving for things they may have ordered online or shipping," she said. "And they are coming in here so grateful to have real items on the shelves. They buy them and we wrap them. There's a lot of joy here that we're sharing together."