Christmas Eve

Despite Pandemic, Incoming Storm, Many Last Minute Shoppers on Christmas Eve

NBC Universal, Inc.

“CHRISTMAS!,” shouted 5-year-old Angelique into our NBC CT microphone.

Like a kid on Christmas or in this case, Christmas Eve, holiday cheer was easy to spot Thursday night even after such a tough year.

“It’s been a hard year for everyone, but we’ve been fine'" said Angelique’s mother Angela Marrera, of Queens, NY. "Thank God. No sickness, nothing,”

After negative COVID-19 tests, this festive family told us they were stopping for some sweet treats at the Trader Joe's in West Hartford before making their way to their cousin's house here in Connecticut.

Traffic on New Britain Avenue in West Hartford was stop and go all day with people buying last minute presents, grocery shopping, and stopping at the liquor store.

“This is my last stop, for Titos,” said Berna Redwood of Windsor, leaving Total Wine & More in West Hartford.

She just bought some vodka to make a cocktail, “Going to wrap the presents and finish cleaning up because I work in the morning.”

While some waited in lines to last minute shop in the Corbin's Corner shopping plaza, others went the curbside route.

“I’m a last-minute person. I’m sorry. Hey, hey that’s just how it goes,” laughed DeShawn Hawkins of West Hartford.

Staying inside your car was a smart way to avoid the sprinkles from the incoming storm.

“We just got 20 something inches a couple of weeks ago,” said Hawkins. "We can handle anything. We can handle a pandemic the last year. I mean, we’re good."

While this West Hartford shopper didn’t experience any shipping problems this holiday season, some we spoke to did.

“It’s historical levels of packages. Historical levels,” said United States Postal Service Strategic Communication Specialist Amy Gibbs.

“People are going to have to be patient this year. We’re doing the best we can. We have 644,000 employees out there pulling Christmas through the door really,” she said.

USPS said for those whose “Priority Mail Express” deliveries didn’t arrive by an expected date, head to their website to see if you’re eligible for a refund.

“Our employees have been working so hard this year through the pandemic, we had the election, now we have the holiday season,” said Gibbs. "I really think it’s time for our employees to be home with their families and put their feet up."

While some USPS carriers will still be making deliveries on Christmas Day, others will get to enjoy the day off.

So like a kid on Christmas morning, even those running last minute errands on Christmas Eve did so with a smile.

Or at least it seemed so behind their masks.

“Merry Christmas to you all!,” shouted 5-year-old Angelique.

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