Last-minute shopping wraps up

Last-minute shopping wraps up

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With just hours to spare before Christmas dinners and gift exchanges were to begin, Little Rock shoppers were out in force Friday, combing stores for the perfect last-minute gift for friends and family.

At the Crown Shop on Rodney Parham Road, his fourth stop of the day, Jeremy Greenwood was looking for the perfect presents for his significant other and his extended family members, he said.

Greenwood shops last-minute “pretty much every year,” he admitted, but said he was “finding it hard to find the right gifts” this year.

When buying gifts, Greenwood has his eye out for “something that’s a little different, not expected,” he said.

Greenwood guessed he’d be going to two more places before calling it quits.

Another person who was improvising a gift last-minute was Randy Feliciano, who with Lululemon bag in hand said he had been lucky enough to get a gift for his fiancee after just one stop. He was still hunting for a few items for “white elephant” gift exchanges.

Feliciano was shopping at the Promenade at Chenal, and he said the crowds at the outdoor shopping mall were “pretty mild this year.”

He said he typically has more of a plan for holiday gift-giving, but that a busy year had led to him “planning it as it goes” this Christmas.

At Best Buy on Bowman Road, Brandon Drawbaugh was wrapping up some shopping before he set out to get the perfect gift for his girlfriend — a ring.

“Not that ring,” Drawbaugh clarified, but one to go with some jewelry he had bought her on other special occasions, like their anniversary.

He had worked out the one he wanted, but had been dismayed to discover that the nearest store that had it was in Rogers, about a three-hour drive from Little Rock.

At 2 p.m., he was preparing to make the trek there and back, after telling his girlfriend he would be in late Friday.

Drawbaugh’s gift-buying experience had a “rough start, but it’s gonna end up well,” he said.

Some were determined to make this Christmas, in the second year of the covid-19 pandemic, special, even if their travel and get-togethers were still limited.

At the crowded Walmart on Bowman Road, Sarah Dreher was on the hunt for stocking stuffers and other gifts for her family.

It was her second shopping stop of the day, with more likely to come, Dreher said, and the shelves were “very very picked over” at this point.

She’s not usually gift-shopping so late in the season, but this year had been a roller coaster, and Dreher had only truly started the day before.

“It’s definitely been a last-minute scramble,” she said, as other shoppers weaved past her in the aisle.

Dreher and her family had not been able to see each other last year because of pandemic safety concerns, but were set on getting the immediate family together again this year, including her grown children.

“We’re gonna make it a good Christmas,” Dreher said.

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