Last minute Christmas shopping wars: how to avoid it

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On the Friday before Christmas, shoppers fled to the stores. At noon, it became nearly impossible to park a car and cross the street on foot at the Brier Creek Commons.

With the clock ticking down to Christmas morning, many folks rush to the mall to buy their last minute gifts. There are those that fight the crowd, and others who skip right by it by either shopping in the morning or shopping online.

For the holidays, the Crabtree Valley Mall and the Triangle Town Center increase their hours for more people to shop. The first hours that the mall opens, the parking spaces remain empty and the stores deserted. A few hours later, however, parking spots are filled by a madding crowd.

Victoria Chase, junior, works at Hollister Co in the mall usually five hours, three days a week, usually on the weekends. Chase dreads working during these winter holidays because of how vicious and greedy customers can get.

“[Customers are] rude. And Grumpy. And demanding,” said Chase. She wants the customers to understand that the employes are only human and can only do so much.”[They need to] be aware that other people have to clean up the mess they make and know its not always the worker’s fault if we don’t have something,” said Chase.

A better alternative to avoid lines and chaos is online shopping. While one may not be able to have their gifts immediately, he/she does not have to deal with the hassle of crowds.

Mrs. Wilkerson, English teacher, has accomplished most of her holiday shopping for the past five years online. “(Shopping onlines) is easier and more convenient than dragging two kids into stores and finding the time to go, especially now that my older one is in middle school. It just isn’t worth it. Sometimes, I have (the gifts) sent to work or to my home and just pretend (to my kids) it’s for some other relative.”

Wilkerson also boasts that the prices are usually better. “Especially when it comes to children’s clothing. I can get a better deal at Children’s Place online and more of a variety than hitting Children’s Place at Triangle Town,” said Wilkerson.

In advice to online shoppers, Wilkerson said, “When you online shop to make your life easier, shop from places that where if you don’t  like it, you can take it back to the physical store instead of having to mail it in. I don’t shop at Amazon that often because I don’t want to worry with having to send it back in.”

Whether one finds shopping online easier, in the morning or even in prime hours, one fact is for certain: the Christmas shopping wars have started and will last for a few more weeks.

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