Amid the hustle and bustle, shoppers pick those last-minute gifts

Posted December 24, 2018 5:37 a.m. EST
Updated December 24, 2018 5:58 p.m. EST

— At Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, Christmas Eve foot traffic was steady, but not overwhelming.

The National Retail Federation says about 7 percent of people still had gifts to buy on Monday. Most major retailers opened early and planned to close early so that employees have time for their Christmas preparations.

Kohl's in Cary's Crossroads shopping center was open all night. The store, which keeps its doors unlocked 24 hours right before Christmas, has been open for more than 170 hours straight.

Managers told WRAL News they had six or seven customers in the wee hours of Christmas Eve morning. Jeff Pollard, a manager at the store, said the Cary Kohl's expected Monday to be another huge shopping day. "We've had very big days here lately -- it's been good," he said. "We have a lot of great sales going on."

The most popular item on shelves this Christmas? Air fryers. "It's just one of those things -- every year there is something that is popular," said Pollard.

At Cary's Honey Baked Ham store, staffers told WRAL News that people began lining up to claim their holiday hams starting at 6 a.m. The line is known to snake around the corner, and the holiday "ham traffic jam" is a Triangle tradition.

The store has 3,000 hams ready to meet the Christmas demand.

John Nichols flew across the country from Hawaii to visit family in Raleigh he hasn't seen in years. But first, he was picking up some gifts.

"It's definitely all about family," he said. "The presents are just a little additive, but yeah, we're stoked."

Larry Daniell and Devin Pulliam both admitted to looking for a few last-minute gifts for their wives.

"I've been working a lot so I haven't had time to get anything done. I had to come out and find something for her last minute," Pulliam said.

Lawanda Hill used Christmas Eve as an excuse to leave the men at home. Hill shops on Christmas Eve every year with her daughter.

"It's a tradition for the girls to get out on Christmas Eve, get out in the hustle and bustle and feel that Christmas spirit," she said.