GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Eleventh hour shoppers are not alone. So many people do it every year, stores have extended their hours for people with a variety of reasons for waiting to the last-minute.
Christmas Eve is not traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, but it’s also not the slowest.
Not only did Dennis and Candy Polk drive four hours from the U.P., they aimed to make the most of this Christmas Eve. They started their shopping before the sun was up.
“We don’t have a Toys R Us where we live. The closest is in Traverse City and that’s over three hours,” said Candy Polk. “So, when we come down to celebrate Christmas Eve with my side of the family, we go do our shopping in the morning.”
At Meijer, there was a rather composed group of shoppers. Some with lists.
“It’s so that you don’t have to go [back to the store] three times in three days,” said Michelle Haaksma.
Others, like year-round shopper Dorothy DeKracker, offered some helpful advice.
“Through the year you see a sale on something, that’s the best time so that you’re not all bogged at Christmas time,” said Dorothy DeKracker. “Most of the time, after Christmas, there are a lot of great sales.”
But, perhaps many people could relate to Alisha Reichert. She is shopping for two preteens.
“It is only two people and it’s the hardest two people,” said Reichert. “I don’t want to opt for a gift card or something. I want to get a present.”
While she sticks to a strict budget for Christmas shopping, it falls by the way side when time is running out.
“Price isn’t what I am worried about at this point.”
Toys R Us is one store that is staying open around the clock. Beginning Friday, December 21st and running till 10 p.m. Christmas Eve, the store will be open 88 straight hours for last-minute gift-givers.
Macy’s is also staying open around the clock at some locations. However, Macy’s stores in West Michigan will not follow that schedule. They open 7 a.m. Christmas Eve and close 6 p.m.
Best Buy: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Target: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
As for the mall hours around West Michigan:
The Lakes Mall in Muskegon: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Crossings Mall in Portage: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Rivertown Crossings in Grandville: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Woodland Mall in Kentwood: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.