Christmas Eve shoppers jam the malls and stores

By Trang Pham-Bui - bio | email

D'IBERVILLE, MS (WLOX) -- The Christmas cards haven't all been sent and many gifts haven't made it under the tree. Shoppers have their own reasons for waiting so late to finish their Christmas shopping.

"Because I've been working the last couple of days", said Sandi Dubaz of Vancleave.

"This is the least I've ever bought for Christmas and the guilt's setting in, so here I am buying more stuff," said Michelle Roman of Ocean Springs.

When asked why he waited until the last minute, Sam Forehand laughed and said "Uh, I'm a male."

Sam Forehand was among the many procrastinators who jammed the aisles at the D'Iberville Walmart on Christmas Eve. When asked how many people he was shopping for, Forehand responded "Thirteen. Just the kids. That's not including my mom and my step dad, so I got a lot of shopping to do."

"It's pretty steady and very busy all day," said Assistant Manager Richard Gherke. "It gets real hectic at the end of the day, when we try to close down and get people out of the store."

Last-minute shoppers searched for deep discounts and those must-have items, like Guitar Hero and the Wii game system.

"Toys have been a huge success this year, and we're still selling quite a bit of electronics as well," said Gherke. "And a lot of last-minute impulse. Maybe the gift set aisle is pretty popular today."

Michelle Roman's sons seemed pretty excited. They found one of the hardest toys to find this year -- Bakugan games.

"Ebay and online Bakugan is way more expensive than this. This is much cheaper," said her son.

Once the gifts were in the carts, the next challenge was get them wrapped and ready by Christmas morning.

"I'm sure they'll enjoy it. Have a good time tomorrow morning. That will make it all worth it," said Forehand.

The next shopping rush is the day after Christmas. That's when shoppers head back to the stores to return or exchange gifts and redeem the gift cards they received.