Last-minute holiday shoppers in good spirits

News-DemocratDecember 22, 2013 

The Huff family, of Mount Vernon, visited St. Clair Square Mall on Sunday not for holiday shopping, but -- believe it or not -- for fun.

"We are just here to have fun," said mother Misty Huff, 42.

Her daughter, Katie Huff, 11, had just gotten a golden retriever stuffed dog from Build-A-Bear Workshop. It was an early Christmas gift from her 13-year-old brother, Justin. He said he saved up to buy his sister her present.

Justin won't be left out though. Katie said she got him a halter and a rope for his show cow.

What were other shoppers doing at the mall Sunday? Here's what a few had to say:

"A picture with Santa," said Chris Abu-Aita, 32, of Collinsville, who was at the mall with his 18-month-old son, Maroun, and wife, Fida, 24. They went Christmas shopping Saturday, but came back to the mall Sunday for a portrait with Santa.


"Finishing up Christmas shopping with my parents," said Mike Johnson of Belleville. He was at the mall with his girlfriend Sarah Brede, 25, of Belleville. Mike said he still had a dozen or so presents to get Sunday afternoon but hoped to have all his shopping done by the end of the day.


Ed Schaffner of Swansea had done all his shopping at the mall Saturday but came back to tag along with his wife. He said the first trip wasn't too painful. "Oh, I'm a fast shopper. I know what I want and I know where to get it," he said.


"Shopping. We are procrastinators," said Deandre Long, 21, of O'Fallon. He was shopping with his girlfriend Journi Green, 21, of Mitchell, and 3-month-old daughter, Fallon.

When asked who he's buying for, Deandre said, "for her and her," referring to his daughter and girlfriend.

Deandre hoped to get done shopping quickly. "I try not to spend too much time at the mall," he said.

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at 239-2562 or

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