Last minute shoppers have plenty of excuses about why the search continues for the perfect gift for that special someone.
"My boyfriend, he's the last one," says Gabrielle Harvey of Gulfport. "Yes, cause he's so picky."
Those that couldn't find face the hassle took another tact.
"I gave my daughter 200 dollars," says Elise White of Gulfport. "She said she wanted a coat. After she bought it I asked her how much she paid for it. She said 250. I said great, I saved 50 dollars."
But as the clock ticked down to closing time, the rush for everyone to wrap up Christmas shopping season 2005 intensified.
"Since Katrina hit through here I've been working and this is the first time I've been shopping, says Chris Sonnier of Long Beach. "She's shopping for her momma right now."
The lack of shopping options likely did play in part in putting Coastal residents behind this year.
I'm glad the mall opened," says Niki Arnold of Ocean Springs. "I waited so long."
But most didn't seem mind, and some even see the mad dash as a sign of the return to normalcy.
"I think it wonderful the way people are getting out shopping and carrying on with their day to day lives," says James Stevens of Gulfport."
Retailers say Christmas Eve normally barely ranks in the top ten of shopping days, but this year has been quite different.
"We have the same business in Mobile, says Kerry Buckmaster, Manger of Wired Up. "We're doing better than Mobile,. a lot better than Mobile. And yesterday, we did a lot better than Mobile."
Another sign that despite this years hardships, South Mississippi is ready for a happy holiday full of last minute surprises.