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New Yorkers Head To Stores For Last-Minute Shopping

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Time is most certainly running out and shoppers at the Staten Island Mall and Union Square were looking to snag last minute gifts and a few deals, too. NY1's Jon Weinstein and Steve Kastenbaum filed reports.

Everyone seems to have their own reason for waiting till the last minute.

“For the sales and people work best under pressure sometimes,” said one shopper at the Staten Island Mall on Christmas Eve.

“You just want to make sure you get the right thing for the right person,” said another.

“It’s a tradition. My father used to come, me and my two brother used to come every year with my father shopping and my father passed away last month, so I'm gonna take a tradition with my boys, I'm gonna come every Christmas Eve and we'll go shopping,” said a third.

The crowds at the Staten Island Mall started light, but picked up quickly as shoppers tried to beat the clock.

“I don't know what to do. I just started and I got a lotta more stops to make,” said a fourth shopper.

Mall officials say traffic is up this holiday season over last year and they believe that should mean good results for retailers.

“Lines form before we opened ‘till just when we're gonna close, early in the morning until 11 o'clock at night,” said Donna Panattieri of Gerald Peters Goldmine Jewelers.

And there's always someone frantically searching for a Christmas gift for their spouse.

NY1: Why did you wait so long?
Shopper: I looked at the calendar.
NY1: Ok so what are you going to get?
Shopper: I got her a couple of bracelets, some clothes, whatever I could my hands on at this point.
NY1: Are you worried that your wife is going to see this and know you waited to the last minute?
Shopper: I'm worried that she's gonna watch the news.

This final day of shopping is a chance to squeeze every last dollar out of consumers.

But many of those working in the stores say they're ready for the shopping spree to end.

“People are still here and they think the mall is not gonna close, I'm like ‘Guys come on, I gotta go, for real, get outta here,’” said one mall employee.

Once all the last minute shopping is done, the mall will get busy again the day after Christmas, but for a whole different reason.

Meanwhile, at Union Square in Manhattan on Tuesday night, there were no shortage of shoppers looking for last minute deals.

As the stalls closed up at the holiday market for the last time and business owners packed away their goods into waiting vans, shoppers rushed off to their final destinations.

With the clock ticking down toward midnight people turned their attention away from shopping and material items and thought about the true meaning of the holiday.

“Well I'm hoping that it's a better year for everybody than last year was and that people are more hopeful and people stop and think about the next guy. I think it would be nice if we're all more compassionate and giving for the coming year,” said a shopper at Union Square.

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