Shoppers take last-minute gift buying in stride

Brittany Beck, left, rings up items for Sue Bedison at the State College Target, 315 Colonnade Blvd., on Dec. 24, 2014.
Brittany Beck, left, rings up items for Sue Bedison at the State College Target, 315 Colonnade Blvd., on Dec. 24, 2014. CDT photo

Dana Zuhlke examined four sets of earrings, trying to decide which ones were the right gift for her daughters.

“She’s been looking at them carefully for a while,” Amber Forever Amber co-owner Joseph Bound said. “That happens quite a bit, because people want to get something their friend or loved one will really like.”

Zuhlke, of Halfmoon Township, isn’t always a last-minute shopper. She cited her work as a teacher at State College Area School District as a reason she was behind in her Christmas shopping this year.

She said shopping at the Amber Forever Amber kiosk in Nittany Mall is a must for the holidays.

“They fit my daughters’ tastes, so I’ve shopped here a lot,” Zuhlke said. “I’m leaning toward the owl earrings, but I’m still thinking about it.”

The thought behind each gift is important.

That’s why Patricia Phillips, of Harris Township, said she is usually a last-minute shopper.

“I think we all do a little bit of last-minute shopping, but I get most of my shopping in now,” she said. “I can wait for a few months and get ideas from family and friends about what to look for and have a little more time to think about what I’m getting for people.”

She bought two candles from the Good Scents Candle and Gift Shop kiosk in Nittany Mall. The shop is located in Millheim.

“This one is for me, and this one is for someone else,” Phillips said. “Isn’t that what we usually do? We see something we like so much we have to have one for ourselves, too.”

Lynne Belcastro, of Howard Township, said it was her first time shopping on Christmas Eve.

“I normally have all of my presents wrapped and ready to go, but this year is a little more special,” she said.

In a new relationship, Belcastro wanted to get an extra gift at Target for her boyfriend’s sons.

“I’m enjoying shopping for them,” Belcastro said. “The 4-year old will be easy to please, and I think I’ll get the 7-year old a pretend shaving kit, because he adores everything his daddy does.”

David Panko, the Patton Township Business Association president, also shopped at the last minute for his letter carrier.

“We just realized in my office that we didn’t get a gift card for our mailman Barry, and we have to get him a gift card every year,” Panko said.

Getting Barry — Panko did not know his last name — a gift card is a must for Christmas.

“He’s incredible,” Panko said. “He’s one of those people that you’re always happy to see, because he’s such a delight to be around and to interact with every time he’s at our office. He’s the embodiment of Christmas spirit.”

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