Local shoppers in search of last minute holiday gifts

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Sydney Nightingale was surprised when she hit the stores.

"Yesterday was a lot worse. I'm glad that Christmas Eve everyone decided to stay home with their families,” Nightingale said.

She was shopping for a last-minute gift and thought she'd be fighting the crowds. While a lot of stores are picked over, she's looking for something sentimental.

In fact, everyone seemed to be looking for one last gift.

"Shopping…. Getting our last-minute things for tonight and tomorrow," Kelly and Brandi Thomas said.

Some shoppers weren't just looking for to buy gifts, but to also spend some quality time with family.

"We're trying to get some games to play instead of doing it on your cell phones. For Christmas everyone will play games and talk to each other instead of looking at their phones,” Kelly and Brandi Thomas said.

"I'm shopping for a little thing that my boyfriend's family does called Dirty Santa. It's kind of like a gift exchange,” McKenna Douglass said.

To the relief of many, not all stores were closed on Christmas Eve. This last second push is critical to retailers looking for one last surge before the end of the year.

While online shopping continues to compete with box stores, the National Federation of Retailers says it expects December sales to increase by four percent from last year.

As for Nightingale, she finally did find that special gift.

"I got an ornament for my grandparents. It's a make a wish ornament and it says, 'In loving memory' of my uncle that just passed away a little while ago,” Nightingale said.

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