Christmas Eve Gift-Buying on With Countdown to Holiday

first_imgKelly Donato, of Ocean City, and her daughters, Mia, 7, and Tessa, 6, grab a few more things on their list for Christmas in 2019. By MADDY VITALECountdown to Christmas was on.With just hours left to grab those stocking stuffers, gift baskets and other last-minute presents, shoppers in Ocean City seemed determined and did less browsing and more laser-focused buying on Christmas Eve.“I had to pick up a few things for my in-laws,” said Jocelyn Palaganas, of Ocean City, as she held up a shopping bag. “I need a few more last-minute gifts. I need to buy a few sweaters.”Without missing a beat, Palaganas hurried down Asbury Avenue to her next shop.Ocean City provides a backdrop for the Christmas spirit. And it begins when the decorations are put up in the fall to make the downtown shopping district more festive.Jocelyn Palaganas, of Ocean City, buys some last-minute gifts at stores along Asbury Avenue.Red bows, wreaths and old-fashioned lantern streetlights wrapped in garland make even the most bah-humbug person smile and feel a bit of good spirit during the special time of year.On Christmas Eve, the parking lot behind City Hall was full and there were few vacant parking spots along the street.Shoppers toted bags and zig-zagged from store to store.Some people purchased the typical hats, gloves, books, sunglasses and shirts, while others bought some more unusual items, such as a ukulele.Kelly Donato, of Ocean City, and her daughters, Mia, 7, and Tessa, 6, knew time was ticking while they were hunting for a few more things to get on their list.“We just need a few more last-minute Christmas gifts,” Donato said.The girls didn’t seem to mind heading out for a stroll downtown with mom, either.But shopping wasn’t exactly on the girls’ minds.“I can’t wait for Santa!” exclaimed Tessa.Mia also said she was really excited about Christmas and what would be under the tree.Festive decorations and Christmas music add to the holiday cheer along Asbury Avenue.Dave Coffey, manager at B & B in Ocean City, said there had been a steady stream of customers doing some last-minute shopping over the last couple of days.“We had a great day yesterday. Customers have been coming in to get gifts because they said the online ones aren’t arriving on time,” Coffey noted.Some shoppers, such as Glen and Jennifer Lattner, of Budd Lake, N.J., make Christmas in Ocean City a tradition each year.“We come meet our friends for brunch as Uncle Bill’s (Pancake House) and then we do some shopping,” Glen said.“We love coming down at Christmas,” Jennifer added. “We get to see the decorations. It is very festive.”Glen and Jennifer Lattner, of Budd Lake, N.J., visit Ocean City on the holidays every year.last_img

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