December 27, 2004
Caitlin McLellan had $32 in Christmas money to spend, including $22 in Grandma bucks and $5 from the tooth fairy. “I’m a rich kid,” the 6-year-old Monument girl said, showing off the new, one-less-tooth smile that contributed to her fortune.
She was in the right place at the right time for plunder: Chapel Hills Mall, where day-after-Christmas bargains beckoned. Caitlin’s family waited until about noon Sunday to join the traditional Dec. 26 spree that had some shoppers standing outside store doors at 6 a.m. Noon was early enough for Caitlin. “After this, we are going to Target to get my horse,” she said. Then, Caitlin and clan were heading to wherever else the ads took them. “We kind of shop until we drop,” said her grandmother, Terrie Correll, clutching a wad of sales fliers. Meanwhile, Karen Davis and her son Andrew, 19, were searching for a hooded sweat shirt at Kohl’s department store on Powers Boulevard. “I really only came to get him a hoodie,” she said. While in the store, they decided to pick up a few things . . . and a few more . . . and, well, it led to about $800 worth of stuff. They had a good excuse. “We haven’t done our Christmas yet. The kids decided to wait until Dad gets back,” she said. Dad is Lt. Col. Michael Davis, an Air Force Academy teacher who will be in Baghdad until Jan. 13. There were football games on TV, but shopping was the sport of the day Sunday. All over town, shoppers filled carts with half-priced holiday hoopla to gear up for next year. Anna Bottema nabbed a $12 mate for her yard reindeer. “We bought a light-up reindeer. His head moves. We’ve got one at home, but his head doesn’t move,” Bottema said. Justin Becker, an assistant manager at Target on North Academy Boulevard, said shoppers were waiting for the store to open at 7 a.m. “It has been extremely busy all day long, and it is still going,” he said Sunday night. “Lots of returns, lots of sales.” Palmer Park Wal-Mart co-manager Martin Rayo said Sunday morning clearance sales started slowly at his store. “We came back to normal after church,” he said. Lugging shopping bags instead of books was a change of pace for Carol Butler, 32, an Arizona State University doctoral geology student who rarely has time to shop. She bought nine $20 stadium blankets for $4 a pop. “We were wandering around Mervyn’s, and I saw gifts to give my fiance’s family for next Christmas,” she said. Her mother, Nancy, noticed more than just bargain hunting going on inside the mall. “It’s a lot of just spending time together. There’s kids with their parents. There’s the moms and daughters like us, spending quality time together,” she said. “People are very nice. It’s not rushing, it’s not a hustling-and-bustling type thing. There’s a lot of good cheer.” CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0253 or firstname.lastname@example.org