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Tonya Papanikolas ReportingIt's the last full weekend before Christmas. That means the holiday shopping season is in full gear. Traditionally, the Saturday before Christmas is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. But this year shoppers are leaving more gift-buying until the very end.
As of last week, the average person was a little under halfway done. While Santa seems to be taking it easy the week before Christmas, many holiday shoppers are just getting down to business.
Douglas Smith, Holiday Shopper: “Yeah, men usually do that. You know it’s anywhere form seven to three days out, so this year I’m a little earlier than most years.”
Smith isn't alone. As of last Tuesday, 37 million people hadn't even started their shopping.
Peter Sosnowski, Holiday Shopper: “It’s my first day out and I figured Sunday is a good day to shop in Salt Lake City, on Sunday mornings. So I came down from Park City and I’m nailing it.”
At Brookstone in the Gateway Mall, the manager says sales are picking up.
Mary Abildskov, Brookstone Store Manager: “Shoppers were a little late in getting started this year, so now, they're coming in with their list in hand, and we're just getting everybody crossed off one by one."
This year the National Retail Federation says consumers will spend 219-billion dollars on their holiday gifts, up four and a half percent from last year.
Kim Stanek, Holiday Shopper: “We tend to spend a lot on Christmas, and I lived up to my reputation (laughs).”
Mary Abildskov: “People are spending more this year. Part of that, I think, is because it snuck up on people."
So what are the hot items? It may sound simple, but almost half of shoppers buy books, CD'S, videos or video games. Target says anything related to Playstation is a huge seller. The toy aisles tend to be crammed with people and children's Leap Pad Learning Systems are popular.
At Brookstone, foam pillows are the hot ticket.
Mary Abildskov: “People use them for a lumbar support, they use them for a travel pillow. They're great for travel pillows."
Whatever people buy, they've got less than a week now to finish those lists. The stores are probably going to be packed all this week; one of the most popular last-minute purchases is gift cards or gift certificates.