Holiday Crawl — Not Holiday Rush — at Stores on Christmas Eve

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Every year, plenty of us that wait until the last minute to finish holiday shopping and then brave the crowds at the stores the night before Christmas, but this year it seemed a little different.

At Westfield Mission Valley, many shoppers were surprised at how slow it was Thursday night.

Adria Fox and her family came to do some shopping, but she said they were mainly there to get some air.

“I looked at the parking lot, and I was like, "It doesn’t look too bad,' ” Fox said.

Santa's photo booth may have been full, but the lines elsewhere were nonexistent.

“I was thinking it was gonna be busy, but, based on the times we’ve been to the malls during COVID, I figure most people don’t wanna fight any crowds and they did a lot of shopping online,” Fox said.

The Lanzagorta family said they were only at the mall for the Santa pics.

“Mostly online shopping for sure," mom Kim Lanzagorta said about this year. "Lots of curbside and deliveries. Just, you know, the new norm.”

Some shoppers actually wait until the last minute on purpose.

“All the sales are right now, and I don’t know -- it feels like there’s kinda like not that many people, I guess, so far," Summer Maguire said. "There’s just not a lot of stuff and that’s fine. Everyone’s scared because of coronavirus. Yeah, no one wants to be near each other, so they’re like, 'If there are gonna be a lot of people, we shouldn’t go.' ”

It turned out to be more of a crawl than a holiday rush, and maybe that’s a good thing.

“I’m enjoying it," Fox said. "It’s a time to be out with my kids. We haven’t been out of the house much."

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