Myron Labat had that look in his eyes. He needed one more present to wrap up his Christmas Eve shopping spree. "That's when I always do it," Labat said, standing next to a shelf filled with picture frames. "Never start a day before this, Christmas Eve day. I wouldn't know what to do if I started early."
If cash register lines were any indication, a lot of people waited until Santa loaded his sleigh to fill up their shopping carts. Janice Tiblier didn't think the crowds were that bad. "It's just I've got to go home and wrap and then cook," she said. "If cooking wasn't there, it would be fine."
Wrapping was one Greg Gollott's evening agenda. Buying presents for 10 people filled his afternoon schedule. Gollott started his holiday shopping at 9:00 a.m. "I'll be through probably about 5:00," he said. "Doesn't take long to do this."
The Tiblier women were actually done shopping before Christmas Eve. But their husbands needed more outdoor equipment. So the ladies battled the crowds one more time. That's why Kathy Tiblier had a smile on her face when she said, "Aren't we nice wives?"
Remember Myron Labat. He found his final present and headed home.
Other procrastinators still had a ways to go to buy their Christmas presents before Santa's workshops closed for the holiday.
The surge in last minute buyers was attributed in part to discounts offered by merchants. Economists said store owners were trying to salvage what was expected to be a sub-par holiday shopping season nationwide.