Braving 20-degree weather, Edmond resident Chrissey Glavan was in the thick of it on Monday afternoon at the Quail Springs Best Buy.
“I've been out since 11:30 a.m., and I've only been to two stores,” she said, desperately clutching her to-go cup of coffee some three hours later as she browsed the electronics at the busy Best Buy.
Earlier, Glavan had braved the intersection of Pennsylvania Avenue and Memorial Road where she witnessed one woman toss out an obscene hand gesture as she sat through three red lights. All of this in search of a last-minute Christmas gift for her husband — some gadget for the couple's surround-sound system called a receiver.
“I didn't even know what a receiver was — I had to call my brothers,” Glavan said.
Local retailers have been dealing with an onslaught of last-minute Christmas shoppers over the past few days due to a shorter holiday shopping season and icy weather in the metro area over the past few weeks.
“We try to close the doors at 6 p.m. (on Christmas Eve),” said Brian Friden, sales manager for Best Buy as shoppers and other workers darted around him in the crowded aisles.
“There's usually some people still shopping — we try to give them some time,” Friden said.
The lines at the electronics retailer's Internet sales window were long and getting longer Monday. Two small children shrieked as the younger — a toddler in footie pajamas — knocked over a large sales promotion sign with glee.
It was a busy weekend at Quail Springs Mall, with the crowd running over into Monday.
“We are expecting a very busy day today and tomorrow,” Jeannette Smith, marketing manager for Quail Springs Mall, said Monday as Christmas Eve loomed ominously. “We'll open the doors at 8 a.m. tomorrow — and we will have people here waiting to shop.”
Many will continue to shop until the mall closes its doors at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve — and even after that, Smith said.
“We will let them know at 6 that it's time to wrap things up,” Smith said.
At the nearby Toys R Us, shopping carts piled with everything from oversized stuffed animals, boxes of Legos and rolls of wrapping paper lined the aisles. Perhaps their attached shoppers had simply had enough and walked out, abandoning their prospective purchases, fed up — but it's not likely.
Beleaguered shopper Kathy Sneed of Choctaw was shopping at Toys R Us for her six grandchildren, ages 2 to 11, her cart stacked high with mechanical toy cranes and other goodies.
“I hate shopping, so I always wait until the last minute.” Sneed said. “Hopefully, after the holidays, life will go back to normal.”
While waiting in line to buy a Star Wars Lego set for his nephew, John Argo, a computer programmer from Denver, already has plans for what he will do after Christmas is over.
“I'll go home and sleep,” he said.