(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Thousands of people hit the stores on Christmas Eve to get in some last-minute holiday shopping before the doors close.
Price Chopper Store Director Debbie Kempf said their store saw a pretty steady stream of people coming in throughout the day - just enough to keep them busy, but not enough to make the day chaotic.
The grocery store, located at 2219 N. Belt Hwy., said several people were coming in to buy lots of seasonal items like eggnog, foods for Christmas dinner and more.
"A lot of people were just getting those last-minute items: cool whip for the pies, or french fried onions for the green bean casserole, or something just to take to someone's home - maybe a centerpiece or some flowers," Kempf said.
To prepare for the big day, Kempf said they made sure the store was fully staffed, stocked and ready to go.
"[Customers] are in a hurry, they've got a lot of last-minute items to do and so we try and make their experiences as quick and easy for them as possible," Kempf said.
Nationwide, stores were dealing with millions of Americans grabbing holiday gifts and groceries on Christmas Eve. In fact, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said 39 percent of shoppers said they plan to wrap up all their holiday shopping by Dec. 18th. But, six percent of them said they would be waiting until the last minute.
The NRF also stated that the average American will spend about $700 this holiday season, making the national total roughly $465 billion.
Price Chopper said they saw thousands of people come into their store Tuesday alone, and while it kept them on their toes not all of it was so bad.
"It's interesting to see the different items that people are looking for sometimes and what they're using them in," Kempf said. "They'll share that they have a family recipe that they're looking for those special items for, and it's really interesting to hear what everyone does."
Price Chopper closed at 6 p.m. Tuesday evening and will remain closed on Christmas day.