They were out in droves Saturday -shoppers for whom the looming date of Dec. 25 came too quickly.
"Late? I thought I was getting a jump on things," said David Erickson of Washoe Valley. "I guess I shop a little later than most. Some people are busy I guess."
At Telegraph Square, several Carson City novelty shops were full of customers looking for the perfect, last-minute gift. Erickson pursued the selection at Scandia Plus and advised last-minute shoppers to look for small stores and stay away from the malls.
Barbra Holmer, of Dayton, wandered through Scandia on Saturday, looking at boxes of colorful ornaments and pondering over the European chocolate selection. She looked as if she were on top of things, and speaks of last minute shopping like a pro.
"I've been working too many long hours, and I haven't had time (to shop,)" she said. "People (are shopping late) probably because they forgot someone on their list, or they're like me and time ran out. Or they just waited for the last minute."
Holmer confessed to waiting until Dec. 24 in previous year to shop. Her advice for all who are out today: "Wear comfortable shoes. Plan to be out a while, the lines will be long and have a lot of patience. Lots of patience."
Berit Koskin, Scandia owner, doesn't usually open her store, which has a host of Scandinavian goodies and other unique merchandise, on Sundays but plans to open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. She has no clue why people wait until the last day to buy Christmas gifts.
"I have so many to buy for, I couldn't do it," Koskin said. "(The holidays are) certainly better than the rest of the year for business."
Marlene Cale, of Carson City, tried on a hand-embroidered sweater in the store, taking a different bend on her last minute shopping trip.
"I've been running around for everyone else, but today I'm treating myself," Cale said. "I'm running around to see if there's anything I like."
Kurt Garrett looked a little tired Saturday, his eyes a little red.
"I've been working nights and I haven't seen daylight for two weeks," he explained. "So I'm trying to get a lot done today."
He found the perfect last minute gift for his girlfriend at Lofty Expressions - a special ornament to mark the couple's first Christmas together.
Robin Lucas and Don Cartwright, of Carson City, were buying a few final gifts at Lofty Expressions for people on their Christmas lists. Lucas said he usually shops two to three weeks before Christmas, but for some people the holiday just "sneaks up on them and they realize it's Christmas."
"It's kind of fun (to last minute shop) because everyone else is out," Lucas said. "But you have to be very patient because everyone else is out. Patience is key, and remember the holiday spirit."