For Imperial resident Ralph Monroy, buying a last-minute gift for his 6-month-old son on Christmas Eve was not the ideal strategy, but when he couldn’t find the right gift, Monroy says he had to hit the stores.
“I waited because I usually take care of my son and I’ve been working, so I haven’t had the time,” he said.
Monroy was one of many local shoppers that raced to stores in pursuit of the perfect last-minute gift Monday.
“People usually wait to the last-minute because usually they have a busy life and are always working and can’t find the time,” Monroy said.
With a majority of major retail stores having closed their doors between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. Monday, shoppers were racing against the clock for their gifts.
“I didn’t know what to get. I just rushed and grabbed something,” El Centro resident Frank Zapata said as he was walking out of Target on Monday.
No stranger to the last-minute frenzy, Zapata recalled having to rush out to the stores during past Christmas eves, hoping to grab any gift that might buy him time until he could buy a better gift.
“The worse gift I’ve ever had to give someone was chocolate-covered cherries,” Zapata said, shaking his head. “That was a pretty bad one.”
Apart from the frantic stress that comes with shopping for gifts, some last-minute shoppers were out late for the savings.
“People wait to the last minute because of the sale prices. There is a lot of stuff that have sale prices marked down right now,” Imperial resident and Target employee Viola Flores said as she and her husband, Rene, loaded bags of wrapping paper and toys into their car.
For other last-minute shoppers the real stress is less about the price of the gift and more about who the gift is for.
“Girls are very hard to shop for; you have no idea what they want,” Chavez said.
Having had to buy last-minute pajamas as a gift for a friend, Chavez says he will try to be better prepared for next year’s Christmas.
“I’m going to definitely try to finish the shopping early next year,” he said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: With an early press time Monday night, we held onto this last-minute present for today’s paper.
Staff Writer Celeste Alvarez can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at email@example.com
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