Oklahomans may have been dreaming of a white Christmas, but the timing of Thursday’s winter storm was less than ideal for retailers. As snow and ice blanketed the state, dedicated shoppers still made the trek to malls and stores on Christmas Eve.
"They came because no matter what the weather is, Christmas is still tomorrow,” said Audrie Thompson, manager of Penn Square Mall. At Norman’s Sooner Mall, there was a line before noon to visit Santa Claus and shoppers in nearly every store, although traffic had dipped slightly compared to a typical Christmas Eve, said Lynn Palmerton, the mall’s manager. "It’s surprisingly busy considering the weather,” she said. "Maybe it (the snow) is putting people in the Christmas spirit.” However, by mid-afternoon, the mall closed in response to worsening weather conditions. The day before, Penn Square Mall was packed with shoppers, many likely trying to get ahead of the storm. Steffani Hobbs, of Yukon, pushed a stroller loaded with bags while her almost 2-year-old daughter, Samantha, walked alongside pushing a miniature shopping cart.