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Near the front of the store, Aaron Kisicki swiped his finger across a Nook tablet, mulling over what to get his father.

And back at Gateway, Lincoln Kiwanis Club members Gary Muckel and Dayle Williamson watched as people entered the mall, greeting them as some dropped extra change into the pair’s Salvation Army bucket.

“I can relate to that,” the 68 year old said. He crossed the final items off his shopping list in Omaha on Friday as he waited for his daughter’s flight from Nevada.

Williamson, 82, knocked out his shopping Saturday morning at Tractor Supply Company, where he whipped through the store with ease, picking up calendars for his grandchildren.

Waiting until the last minute,Muckel said, is “part of the excitement of Christmas.”

Across Lincoln, SUVs and vans rolled through parking lots, searching for empty spots. Inside, shoppers searched the shelves, grabbed gifts, waited in lines and headed out with bags in hand.

“This is the day we plan for,” said Jenny Bayer, store manager at the SouthPointe Barnes Noble.

A full staff was on board to help with the busiest day of the year for chain booksellers. The building gets crowded, Bayer said, but everyone is in good spirits for the holidays.

This year, games and toys are popular, she said especially Spirograph, an art toy popular in the 1970s. Of the books, Bill O’Reilly’s “Killing Jesus: A History” is a top seller, along with “100 Things Nebraska Fans Should Know Do Before They Die” by Sean Callahan.

At Dillard’s in Gateway, UGG Australia boots and high end handbags from Michael Kors and Coach are hard to keep on the shelves, said store manager Howard Underwood.

Last minute shoppers many of them husbands and boyfriends frequent the perfume and jewelry sections, Underwood said.

“They come in and they pretty much have this clueless, confused look,” said Dillard’s employee Megan Jorgensen.

After just two months on the job, Jorgensen has seen it often: They sniff a few perfumes, are overwhelmed by the smell and prepare to give up, she said. If she can intervene before they leave, she can usually make a sale.

“You show them one fragrance and they go with it,” she said.

His job as a land surveyor keeps his schedule tied up, with little time to shop.

Kisicki, who stood over the Nook at Barnes Noble, arrived in town Friday night. The 35 year old flew home from Vermont for the holidays, and started and hoped to complete his shopping on Saturday.

“I have a short list of things I think people want and a much longer list of blanks,” he said. “I’m hoping to fill in those blanks as I go along.”

Depending on how long that takes him, he planned to spend most of Saturday scouring the stores. The nice part about coming home, though, is that gifts for his friends back in Vermont can wait another week.

“I’m typically a frantic, last minute shopper,” he said. “The holidays sneak up on me every year.”

Some years, he has a big ticket item he knows he wants, but it could either be out of stock or out of the right color like a certain GPS running watch this year.
ugg classic short navy Shoppers scurry for last minute gifts