By Kristina Rex

BURLINGTON (CBS) – According to the National Retailer Federation, seven percent of shoppers will buy their last gift on Christmas Eve.

At the Burlington Mall Monday, the crowd was a mix of Santa visitors and last minute shoppers.

The line for Santa was long, with kids young and older waiting to see the man in a red suit.

“I want him to know where our house is, because we recently moved,” said 10-year-old Maddy Penafiel.

She waited in line for her annual Christmas picture with her four older siblings, and to ask Santa for a pair of pointe shoes for ballet.

The Penafiel family gets their annual photo with Santa at the Burlington Mall. (WBZ-TV)

While families like the Penafiels were there for tradition’s sake, others were on holiday shopping crunch time.

“It just takes a while for the spirit to kick in,” said Jack Cleary, who makes a habit of shopping on December 24 each year. His final gift was (spoiler alert) perfume for his wife.

Others said they just couldn’t get around to shopping until Monday.

“We had finals last week so we’ve been busy,” said UMass Lowell students Liam Rutherford and Sheila Joyce.

The Burlington Mall on Christmas Eve. (WBZ-TV)

Hundreds joined them at the Burlington mall in the final shopping hours, sporting festive attire and rushing for the last minute presents.

Much to shoppers’ surprise: all at the mall was calm and bright, and lines were not overwhelming.

“I don’t think it’s too bad compared to years past, so I’m pleasantly surprised,” said Joyce.

“This is the slowest I’ve ever seen it,” said Jack Cleary.

Some shoppers say it’s because Christmas Eve is on a weekday, or maybe online shopping is to blame for the quieter lines.

For some families at the mall, however, clicks on a computer can’t beat the tradition of the Christmas Eve mall trip.

Kristina Rex


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