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Modus shoperandi: Many reasons drive last-minute shoppers

December 26, 2018

Holiday shoppers still have time to find a last-minute gift before Christmas.

Most stores will be open at least part of the day today, regardless of what motivates the buyer.

For some shoppers, procrastination might drive them to the store.

“I’m typically a last-minute shopper anyway,” said Patrick Wells, of Owatonna, who was shopping at ABC and Toy Zone on Sunday. “That’s what makes it more exciting.”

Some last-minute customers are trying to preserve present parity for their recipients.

“You’re laying everything out the night, two nights, before Christmas and see someone is one or two short,” said Steve Nordhus, co-owner of ABC and Toys. “Then they come in in a panic mode.”

Kaytlin Nelson, who was shopping with Wells on Sunday, said she typically shops Black Friday.

This year, the two are shopping last-minute for her son who was recently diagnosed with epilepsy. They hunted the aisles for items that a child can squeeze, twist and throw. They found plenty of options — stress balls, fidget foam foods, emoji gels and other items.

“It’s going to be trial and error,” Nelson said.

One Rochester family spent much of Sunday trying to track down a pickle Christmas tree ornament.

“It’s an old German tradition,” said Rick Koch. “The tradition is you hide a pickle in the tree.”

Whoever finds it either wins a prize or gets to open gifts first Christmas Day, Koch added.

Rick, Kathie and Emily Koch spent much of the day trying to track down an ornament. A real pickle isn’t in the cards because of family pets.

The three tried Hallmark, Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Home Depot. A stop at ABC and Toys Zone yielded no results. Clerks there confirmed Target was out of pickle ornaments as well. Their next stop was Fleet Farm.

In past years, the family has resorted to printing and coloring a paper pickle and laminating it with tape.

“Looks like we might have to laminate some pickles again this year,” Emily Koch said.

Some people wait to shop until inspiration finds them despite running out of time.

James Klomps spent time Sunday wandering ABC and Toys Zone to find something that inspired him for his niece and nephew.

“I’m looking for something that sparks their creativity,” he said.

Initially, he was thinking puzzles, but for a 4-and-a-half- and 8-and-a-half-year-old, those become exercises in endurance and not creativity, he said. He decided to wander the aisles until something caught his attention.

“I want to like it too — whatever I get,” he said.

Amy Schemmel did last-minute shopping Sunday in part because her kids, twins age 9 and and another 15, spotted some things during their visit to the toy store to see Santa Claus on Saturday. She said walking through the store helped inspire some gift ideas so she returned Sunday to shop.

“I still prefer shopping in person to see the things and feel them,” Schemmel said. “And, I get ideas walking around the store.”

ABC and Toys Zone is open today until 3 p.m. However, Nordhus added he’s sympathetic of last-minute shoppers.

“If someone comes up at 3 p.m., I’m not going to turn them away,” he said. “If I ever get out of here before 4:30 (p.m.) on Christmas Eve, that would be a first.”

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