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Lists a gift for shoppers

December 10, 2007|By Bethany Tremblay, herald-Mail Intern

TRI-STATE ? Many Tri-State area residents are making lists and checking them twice as the last days of shopping before Christmas close in.

While some shoppers, like Cami Nigh of Ranson, W.Va, are only just starting to search for the perfect gifts, others have been shopping for months. Zita Ritchic of Hagerstown said she began her shopping in Reading, Pa., around the middle of October.

Sandra Baughman of Hagerstown said she likes to get her shopping out of the way early because it makes the holiday season less hectic. She said she usually starts one month in advance, leaving time at the end of December to plan and prepare three large dinners for family and friends.

The biggest source of relief for Hagerstown's holiday shoppers is taking a list of gift ideas with them as they shop. Ric Lillard of Clear Spring described himself as "a list person" and said his list makes shopping quicker and easier.

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"Many kids makes for many lists," said Sally Warner of Waynesboro, Pa. "It's finding what they want that is the difficult part."

Lists come in both paper forms as well as mental lists. Nigh said her mental list includes a general idea of what the person would like, so she can look for a more specific gift to pop out at her while she is shopping.

Tammy Donato said not having a list with her while she shops makes the task more difficult. Donato is trying to spend less on her gifts, using the bargain shopping technique for most of her gift ideas. Not having a list, however, makes her believe that she will not be as successful as she hopes in her plans to spend less this year.

Many people share Donato's ideas about holiday spending and are planning to spend about the same amount as they did last year on gifts. Ritchic said she usually has a set amount that she will spend on gifts from year to year.

While Mary Rowzee of Hagerstown said she will be spending less money on her credit card this season, she has found herself spending more cash. Rowzee has many out-of-state relatives who she will send money to so they can buy themselves things that they know they will use and like.

The usual start to the holiday shopping rush is the day after Thanksgiving, but most shoppers said they began looking for gifts at the beginning of December. Rowzee said finding time to shop this year has been difficult.

"I'm pretty behind this year," said Kimberly Grant of Hagerstown, who started her shopping the first week of December.

Breathing a sigh of relief for any last-minute shoppers, Donato said she is not worried that her Christmas shopping has only recently started. This year she has noticed that store shelves are still full, despite the rapidly approaching Christmas Eve deadline.

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