12/24/08 — Shoppers scurry for presents, bargains

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Shoppers scurry for presents, bargains

By Anessa Myers and Catharin Shepard
Published in News on December 24, 2008 1:46 PM

Thousands of Wayne County shoppers checked their lists twice Tuesday to make sure they had everything they needed to go under the tree Christmas morning.

Many were out for just a "few small things" or "a little something else" to buy for their loved ones or for themselves.

Annette Edwards and Deborah Robinson were taking a quick break from shopping, just talking around a Berkeley Mall bench.

"I'm still shopping," Ms. Edwards said. "I still need to get an Xbox game for my son."

Ms. Robinson said she was just "out roaming -- that's it."

But if the two found a few "last minute sales" along the way, they said they wouldn't be able to resist.

Ms. Edwards said she was going to be picking up a few items on her list on Christmas Eve, too, but Ms. Robinson said she was done after Tuesday.

"I'm finished," she said. "I have to work (today)."

Marcie Lane was shopping in Old Navy.

She said she was buying "mostly stocking stuffers."

But she wasn't rushed. She had done most of her shopping in the last few months.

"I start early, and I keep on shopping right up to the last minute," she said.

Hope Wolske was out buying a gift for herself, one she said was well overdue.

"I've about got everything else for the people on my list," she said. "Momma needs to get what she wants."

A single mom, divorced for 11 years, Ms. Wolske said she recently lost 121 pounds after having gastric bypass surgery and was about to go on her first date in more than a decade.

"I'm excited and a little scared, if that makes any sense," she said. "But I need some makeup first."

Bertha Sanderson of Mount Olive was taking the day a little easier than most.

The 72-year-old said she had taken care of everyone on her list.

"I'm here with my daughters," she said as she sat on a bench in the mall. "They are looking to find a little something else for their grandchildren, and I'm just sitting here waiting. I'm just people-watching.

"A lot of these people have such a serious look on their face, like they know what they want and they are going to get it."

But she wasn't alone. Her great-grandson, Chase, was sitting with her.

He said he had finished his Christmas shopping, too, and was excited for Thursday to come, even if he already knew what he was getting.

"I'm getting Guitar Hero World Tour," he said with a smile.

Other shoppers, like Verna Keen, hadn't started their shopping quite as early as they might have liked to and were scrambling to find their closest loved ones the perfect gift.

"I'm doing my last (shopping) today," she said, as she was looking for presents in Belk. "I'm running behind this year."

Earlier, Jerry Rouse of Snow Hill was in line in the store, looking for something for his wife, whom he said was the hardest person to shop for.

And he wasn't done there. He was going to be out late, he said.

"I have one more present to get after this," he said.

Luanne Munro said she was getting some more shopping in as well.

"We're going to have a house full," she said.

Two of her children and their best friends would be coming to her house.

"I wanted to get them gifts so they don't feel left out," she said.

Michael and Betty Pelt of Mount Olive were still roaming the mall, looking to find a perfect gift for Betty.

Normally, Michael said that Betty picks out her present, and he buys it.

"Or one year, I saw something I really wanted, had it wrapped and put on it 'From Michael; To Betty,'" she said.

And this year, Michael hadn't bought his wife a gift, simply because she hadn't picked one out yet.

"I'm still looking," Betty said.

Brandi Sullivan was out looking for a present for her best friend.

"They have been best friends since middle school," her mom, Joy, said.

The 18-year-old from Pikeville said she wanted to find something that her friend would especially enjoy this Christmas.

And tagging along just for fun was her brother Michael.

The trio normally tries to come out every year a few days before Christmas as a tradition, they said.

This year, Brandi was the only one who needed to still buy presents, they said.

Still other shoppers, like Dan Newell, were just out because it was something to do.

"I just came out here because my daughter told me to," he said.

Larry Hartney and his son, Daniel, were two more of the shoppers at the mall. It's something they always try to do.

"We usually try to come out every year around Christmas," Hartney said.