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Many shoppers wait until last day

Demitrius Guy waited until Friday to buy his girlfriend a Nook, a tablet computer, which he gave her before she left town for Christmas.

Why did he wait so long?

He figured he might get a last-minute deal. But as Wednesday turned into Thursday, and then Thursday into Friday, he saw no deal in sight, and decided to pull the trigger on buying the tablet.

And then on Christmas Eve, he was at Glenbrook Square Mall, looking for presents to buy members of his family.

“I’m a procrastinator,” the 20-year-old said.

He’s not the only one.

A phone survey released by Visa last weekfound that 16 percent of consumers had not purchased a single gift and planned to do all their shopping at the last minute.

One Visa official called this “panic shopping,” and there were signs of that happening Monday.

All along the corridors of the malls and throughout the halls of various department stores Monday, shoppers young and old were browsing through games, racks of clothes, perfumes, jewelry and everything else.

Some looked frustrated; some looked worried; some stared off into space as they looked for that final item with the Christmas dawn approaching.

At Glenbrook Square, there were people carrying large sacks of whatever they found during their late excursion. At a few of the local Kohl’s stores, lines quickly wrapped around the main aisles.

At a local Walmart, people filled carts and rifled through DVDs and video games.

For his father, Guy had found a … well he didn’t want to share what he found, in case his dad read the newspaper before the family opened presents today.

He was still eyeing some things for his sister.

“I don’t know why I wait,” he said.

Kara Williams, 17, was also doing her Christmas shopping late – which for her, she said, is usual.

A restaurant worker, she is like many others – her job gets in the way of getting the shopping done.

“I just don’t make it out here,” she said.

Still, there were others who tried to make the last-minute spree fun.

Stephanie Griggs was shopping at the southwest Walmart with her two adult daughters, a notebook with several lists inside held in her hand as she pushed a cart.

“This is when we can do it without the kids,” said Griggs, referring to her grandchildren, who were with a baby sitter.

This was the second year her and her daughters – Samantha Griggs and Roxanna Love-Stone – did their shopping on Christmas Eve, they said.

Is it stressful?

“Of course not,” Stephanie Griggs said, holding up her notebook. “Look, we have a list!”

But the little shopping trip also provided something else for the women, before they spent time with other family members.

“This is mother-daughter time,” said Love-Stone. “Don’t tell that to our brothers.”

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