Shoppers brave the last minute rush for Christmas gifts

Traffic becomes congested with late shoppers around the Riverchase Galleria. (

Olivia Miller's got the excuses.

"I've been out of town," she said. "I didn't know what people wanted."

It's how she justifies last-minute shopping before Christmas. Some people ask "Why would you want to do that?" Miracle Hicks, however, says "Why not?"

"Why not?," she said. "It's Christmas."

Shoppers say the stores, like Target on Highway 150, are not as crazy as you might think.

"Service has been good and it's not too crowded," Miller said. "And they still have a decent selection."

"It's rather relaxed," Donald Taggart said.

And, practical, for some. Big gifts, like bikes, can be difficult to hide from children

"There's also a lot of small stuff and stocking stuffers," Target employee, Nathan Hamblin, said. "They're coming in and picking that up also."

Other than last-minute deals, shoppers are also grateful for how the traffic is handled for those last-minute trips.

"The Hoover Police Department does a great job with routing traffic this time of year," Taggart said. "I think that keeps a lot of the stress out of peoples' lives."

And less stress is a good thing, especially three days before Christmas.

"It just puts you in the Christmas mood," Hicks said. "Being out with everybody and getting last-minute toys...really just being Mrs. Claus."