Shoppers flood malls for last-minute gifts

December 24, 2011 6:37:01 AM PST
If you were among the thousands last-minute shoppers, any store or mall you went to on Friday probably felt like a battlefield.

The crowds were unbelievable and it was difficult to maneuver even down the isles of some stores. At 10pm -- an hour before Memorial City Mall was set to close -- cars were still packed the parking lot. But even at other malls and stores across the Houston area, things were no different.

"It's awful. Getting a parking spot is probably the worst," shopper Natalie Radke said.

"People are just bumping into you left and right, tripping over you," another said.

With less than two days till Christmas, last-minute shoppers packed the malls shoulder to shoulder, shopping until they drop.

Some had good luck, others not so much.

"So we're looking for iPads and they are out everywhere pretty much," Radke said.

But the now skimpy shelves are no sweat for the McNicoll family, as last-minute shopping is somewhat of a tradition.

"We wait until December and then there is a "2" in the date -- 20, 21 and that's when we start," Brian McNicoll said.

For others, the holiday shopping procrastination goes a little deeper than that.

"It's payday also, that's the big deal," another shopper said.

But whatever the excuse, the frantic search for presents continues as the clock ticks down to get those gifts under the tree before it's too late.

On Christmas Eve, stores across the Houston area likely will close earlier, so if you still haven't finished your shopping, you should get an early start.


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