12/21/07 — Few big crowds yet

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Few big crowds yet

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on December 21, 2007 1:46 PM

Last-minute shoppers perused the shelves of retail merchants in Goldsboro today, looking for those final Christmas gifts. But there was little of the frenzied shopping locally that has marked the past few weeks.

Angela Faison of Goldsboro was at Target, looking over items. She said she decided to hit the stores when she got up and saw the rain falling.

"I felt a lot of people would not be out this morning. I'm taking my time. It's all about family anyway," she said as she walked through the store's toy section. "This is not last-minute shopping. This is normal. I'm not going to get myself into a frenzy."

Chancey Thompson of Seven Springs also was at Target, picking up some things for her baby, who was at home sick. She said she was pretty much done with her Christmas shopping, having gotten an early start the day after Thanksgiving, beginning at 4:30 a.m. She said that she and her husband got 80 percent of their gift buying done on "Black Friday."

Tracey Akin and her friend, Christy Cox, were finishing up their lists this morning. They said they expect to be finished today and plan to relax on Christmas Eve. Mrs. Akin has five children, and Mrs. Cox has one on the way.

"We're going to a friend's house for Christmas, and I want to make sure everybody gets something," Mrs. Akin said.

Aaron Nighswander, 15, was making sure that he had presents for everyone on his list. He and his mother, Becky Nighswander, also said they expect to finish shopping today and be able to spend the weekend and Christmas Eve relaxing.

"This will do it," his mother said. "He had to wait this year for me to have time off from work to bring him."

This is the favorite time of the year for store manager Jeff Diggs, who said business has been very good.

"We've had a wonderful Christmas," he said, adding that customers who were unable to find certain popular items seemed to understand the shortage.

The most popular item this year, the Wii video game system, has sold as fast as he has been able to get it in the store, he said.

"We do better with the PSP and Nintendo," he said.

The electronics, especially Ipods, are popular with the older boys, and for those 10 and under, the rave this year is the Robo Raptor, Robo Sapien and Robo Quad.

"All kinds of video games and equipment are the cat's meow with the older kids," he said. "And so are the sport tables like air hockey, pool and ping pong."