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Holiday shoppers still at it

December 24, 2002|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

TRI-STATE - Shoppers hit the stores Monday in an effort to find to find last-minute Christmas gifts for friends and family.

At Prime Outlets in Hagerstown, Zales Jewelers security guard Chuck Byers, 60, said he's seen enough bustling shoppers to realize procrastination only breeds frustration.

"I got my shopping done two weeks ago," he said.

Some people say they prefer to finish their holiday shopping at the last minute.

It's a tradition for Janice Jones, 40, of Pikesville, Md., to go shopping two days before Christmas.

Jones carried a list of names, not gift ideas, with all but four names scratched off.

"I just buy whatever I feel like buying them," she said.

Jones said the bargains are the best thing about last-minute shopping.

The crowds aren't though, said Eula Walters, 58, of Martinsburg, W.Va., who was pushing a baby cart with child and shopping bags in tow through the Valley Mall in Hagerstown.

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Walters said she usually starts her Christmas shopping in January, but always ends up having to make a few last minute purchases.

Pam Timmons, 48, of Shippensburg, Pa., said a Lenox coupon prompted her to shop at Prime Outlets Monday.

"I've had my shopping finished," she said. "Today was just fun."

Timmons, walking at her own pace through the outside corridors of the outlets, said shopping was a dream Monday compared to the crowds she'd been encountering.

"Hustle, hustle, hustle," said Roger Wright who was weaving through mall customers while listening to music on his headphones.

Wright, 41, of Hagerstown, said Christmas Eve would end his shopping woes. Although he said he felt rushed, Wright said he still gets joy out of seeing people happy at this time of the year.

There is time to relax even in the midst of panic, according to Tiffany Bowers, 24, who took a break and sat down after three hours of shopping.

Bowers, of Martinsburg, W.Va., named her grandfather, sitting next to her, as the most difficult person on her list for whom to buy a gift.

"He has everything," she said.

Sherry Yost, 39, of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., was running into the same problem while trying to buy gifts for friends.

Yost said she usually gets her shopping done early, but hasn't been in the Christmas spirit, which made it tough to get out and shop.

Work got in the way of Angela Zeger's shopping plans this year, she said.

Zeger, 24, of Hagerstown, said she had one more present to buy and then she was hanging up her credit cards.

"I hate shopping because I'm not very good at it," she said.

Steve Robinson, 20, of St. Thomas, Pa., said spending money is his favorite part of holiday shopping, and running out of money is his least favorite part.

"There's always so much more you want to get people," he said.

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