Some Christmas shoppers unfazed by winter storm

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WICHITA, Kan. -- Sleet, freezing rain and, eventually, snow were not enough to keep some Wichita shoppers home Saturday.

With it being the last Saturday before Christmas, some shoppers said they had no choice but to venture out.

"Unbelievably and embarrassingly, I'm just starting," said Tracee Adams.

Adams said she could not let the weather keep her from making her shopping rounds in the Delano district, though it certainly slowed her progress.

"I'm going to try to be safe out here," she said. "Drive very safe and carefully and slowly, but I've got to keep going."

Father and son duo Andy and Charlie Nolan were braving the weather to pick up some gifts at Watermark Books. They decided to use the weather as an excuse to get even more into the Christmas spirit.

"Yeah, it's fun," Andy said. "Maybe we have a chance for a white Christmas."

"Hopefully it snows tonight," Charlie added.

While the winter weather wasn't enough to keep all shoppers home, it did have a noticable impact on business.

"We were very, very busy this morning and then all of a sudden about 1:30, things slowed down quite a bit," Watermark Books owner Sarah Bagby said.

It was a busy Saturday morning in Delano, too, said Jill Bell, an employee of Bungalow 26. However, by mid-afternoon, business had slowed to a trickle.

"The weather has really slowed things down, but we would rather that people stay home and be safe and spend time with their families and come check us out on another day that's a little bit more shopper-friendly," Bell said.

Both Bell and Bagby expect holiday sales at their businesses to be strong this year. They noted Saturday was the only day so far this shopping season with tough driving conditions.

Shoppers expected the rest of their day to go smoothly, if slowly.

"This morning, the roads were excellent and it got a little worse this afternoon, but not too bad," Andy Nolan said. "People are taking it slow and not too bad."

"If we respect the weather, respect the roads and respect each other, I think we'll be fine," Adams said.

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