Are more men Christmas Eve procrastinators?

By Chuck Weber

WELLINGTON, FL (WFLX)-It never fails. Procrastinators flock to malls and shopping centers on Christmas Eve.

At the Mall at Wellington Green, we saw kids, men, and women-- all looking for last minute gifts. But many store managers tells us they always see more men than usual on Christmas Eve.

"It's the last minute men," observed Connie Angrisani, manager at Brighton Collectibles, a store selling women's accessories. "There are a couple of women, but mostly men. But that's okay. We're prepared for it every year."

"That's when we get paid, at the last minute," said Chris Bythwood, with a smile, explaining why he carried several bags with presents for his wife and mother-in-law..

When Mike Rumpf was asked what he was doing at the mall on Christmas Eve, he replied, "Panicking. I thought I had the right idea. Now there's been a change of plans." Rumpf explained his wife had started talking up another gift idea.

Store managers are trying to put a good face on the holiday shopping season. The consensus is customers were definitely spending money more carefully. And even though sales were off from last year at most places, some stores actually report an increase.

Asked if she had cut back this year, shopper Carmen Arco said, "I said I would, but I honestly didn't. And I'm ashamed to say that and I should have, because I'm a single mom. I really haven't."

People still want to have a Christmas, maintained Steve Polen, manager of the West Palm Beach Target store. "I think in the end, you know, people are still planning on having a good holiday, regardless of what the economy is," Polen said.