Last-minute holiday shoppers discuss mall turnout, pandemic shopping

Holidays

GREECE, N.Y. (WROC) — Thursday was Christmas Eve, which means if you waited until the last minute to get your holiday shopping done, there’s a good chance you were at the mall.

Christmas Eve at Greece-Ridge mall started with a packed parking lot.

“Had to sneak away from the wife get her a gift and I’m just in the holiday spirit,” said Daryl McCullough.

“I own my own beauty salon and spa,” said Crystal Banfield. “It’s been crazy busy with clients so I decided to take this day for shopping.”

Posted in store windows and doorways throughout the mall are reminders on how to be safe in a pandemic: wear a mask, stay six feet apart when possible. These signs, also symbolizing how different this Christmas season feels.

“The smiling, the smiling I miss that and I miss being able to hug loved ones,” said Banfield.

“Trying not to think about it stay safe take it day by day,” said Rodney.

Christmas Eve did draw crowds – but shoppers say the mall wasn’t as packed as previous years. They say they felt safe for the most part, with people wearing masks and giving each other space. While these safety concerns make Christmas feel different, many say it’s still special. That extra time spent with family is what matters most.

“Different but it will bring us all together, stay in household spending more time together,” said McCollough. “Christmas is about family, about fun and good times,” he said.

Wilmorite Malls will closed at 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and will remain closed for Christmas day. Mall officials say they’ve been encouraging shoppers to get their holiday shopping done early this year, to thin out crowds amid the pandemic.

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