Last-minute shoppers crowd area malls ahead of Christmas holiday

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Last minute shoppers visited stores across Central Indiana Monday, looking for gifts before the holiday.

 On Christmas Eve, Castleton Square Mall was busy.

 “I think I like it ’cause of the excitement. I say it takes 364 days to think about that perfect gift,” Ben Jones said.

 Jones prefers shopping for presents under the Christmas deadline.

 “I think subconsciously I do it on purpose because I like the excitement and the rush of getting that last minute thing because it seems like the last minute thing ends up being the perfect thing,” Jones said.

 Jones was searching for gifts that his wife would like.

 “Today is just for my wife. So, I know that sounds bad that I wait for her, but you know, I always want to get her that perfect gift,” Jones said.

 Jones said getting to the mall could not have turned out better.

 “You know today, it wasn’t too bad. I was here Friday and it was bad, but it was nighttime. But today, actually, I got here pretty quickly,” Jones said.

 Other shoppers agreed with him.

 “For it to be Christmas Eve, you would’ve thought it would have been more traffic, but nah, nah it’s not bad. We’ve really been out shopping the last couple of days and it’s like… you just can’t remember everything. It’s too many kids,” Tara Parham said.

 Another shopper, Clayton Sims, also thought it was fine.

 “It didn’t seem too bad today. The roads weren’t bad, now later on it (might) be,” Sims said.

 Sims learned his lesson last year.

 “I’ve been there, done that and I don’t want to do that anymore,” Sims said.

 He finished shopping last week and decided to go to the mall Monday to buy his wife extra gifts.

 “(I bought) more stuff for the wife. She’s a good woman,” Sims said.

 Several businesses across Central Indiana close at 5 or 6 p.m. There are exceptions. For example, there are some Toys R US stores that close at 9 or 10 p.m. If you would like to know whether a store will remain open, call ahead or check online.