TAMPA, Fla (FOX 13) - Stores, both big and small, were crowded Monday with shoppers who waited until Christmas Eve to finish making their final gift purchases.
At Wiregrass Mall in Pasco County, people started arriving early.
"Just trying to do some last minute shopping, cramming it in -- probably wasn't the smartest idea," said Ian Sourk, who added he felt, "zero pressure. None. None at all."
Hyde Park Village in Tampa was buzzing by the time stores began opening at 10 a.m.
One of the more packed stores was Sur la Table.
"[I'm buying] a few things for the wife, a little extra things. But other than that, we're pretty set," said Bart Riccardi.
"We are out today because my husband wants potholders for a Christmas gift and we've been married for decades and we found it's better that he pick out his own gift and then give it to me and say, 'please wrap this for me,'" another shopper told FOX 13.
Last minute shopping is not exactly uncommon. According to the National Retail Federation, 7 percent of shoppers planned to wait until Christmas Eve to finish buying presents. More than 40 percent wanted to be done by last week, and an additional 24 percent planned to wrap-up their shopping this past weekend.
Several shoppers in Hyde Park said they just enjoy being out on Christmas Eve, especially when the weather is so beautiful.
"We're ready already, so there's not too much but something might hit our eye," said John Calvert, who was visiting family in Tampa. "I think just being out on a day like today -- it's a good excuse, just the sun is out and people have time to just stroll."