WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- It's almost time to tear into the presents under the tree and eat the feast with all the fixin's, but some folks in the Cape Fear are waiting until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping.
It may not be Black Friday, but it's the Friday before Christmas, and those cash registers are still cha-chinging as shoppers hunt for the perfect handbag or ham.
"If you don't have to be out here, don't,” shopper Sandra Dykes warned. “The crowd is just terrible. Well, it's traffic. The store is calm and peaceful, but the traffic is terrible."
Dykes said she intended to have made her list and checked it twice by now, but a last minute request from her daughter changed that.
She was one of the hundreds that ventured out to Target less than two days before the big day: Christmas. Executive Team Leader Chris Seitz admits the store is crazy but says employees try to keep the chaos calm.
"Everybody definitely behaves, but the atmosphere overall is a little hectic,” Seitz said. “It is very busy and packed in the store, but we definitely keep an upbeat attitude and make sure the guests enjoy their experience."
Seitz says the business comes with the business, but managers try to take care of their employees just as much as their customers. He said the new additional groceries mean additional customers because last minute shoppers are now also looking to make a fantastic feast, something Apple Annie's knows all about.
"We have the ovens and the people, and it kind of helps people spend time with family and friends and not have to worry about being in the kitchen,” Apple Annie’s co-owner Christine Longordo said.
Longordo says Christmas is definitely the busiest time of the year for the bakery.
"We love the fact that we are this busy, and everybody puts 110% in,” Longordo said.
Retailers from big chains to local shops love the fact that business booms around Christmas, but some shoppers say it's just too much.
"There's a lot of people. I went to Wal-Mart earlier and got really anxious and had to leave right away,” shopper Taylor Hescock said. “Yeah, it's not my ideal situation."
While the shoppers we spoke with were ready to get out of the store, some folks told us off camera it just wouldn't be Christmas without the chaos.