Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

December 27, 2013

Twas the Shopping Day After Christmas

Peace on Earth extends to post-holiday shopping

VALDOSTA — For many, imagining the day after Christmas at the local mall could bring forth ideas of a George Romero-style experience complete with mass pandemonium and fighting for your very life as you  battle against other locals to return those less-than-pleasant Christmas gifts. However, this was not the case on Thursday afternoon at the Valdosta Mall.

While there was still quite a crowd at the mall, it was not the angry horde that many may have anticipated. Instead, families gathered with their children to spend their Christmas cash and gift cards, which was a heartwarming sight to behold this

holiday season.

One such family was the Rowell family consisting of mother Laurie and her four children, Madison, Joshua, Eugene, and Lauren Thomas. Even her 2-month-old granddaughter, Lauralynn Thomas, enjoyed a fun-filled day of shopping with the family. They all gathered on a bench contemplating where they would be going to eat once shopping was done and generally enjoying each others’ company.

On the opposite side of the mall was a grandmother from Lakeland, Cindy Duncan, who watched her three grandchildren happily playing in the kids play area of the mall. Her niece, Suzy Black, visiting from Augusta, sat alongside her as they enjoyed what they referred to as a “bonding day” at the mall. They both agreed that this was a fantastic day to simply sit back and relax with the kids.

Also visiting from another city, the Nguyen family of Atlanta enjoyed a meal in the food court together with a large group consisting of everything from siblings to cousins. Already loaded down with shopping bags, they indicated that their shopping trip was far from finished as they planned to hit even more of the mall’s sales.

Not only was this a time for reconnecting with family, but friendships were also enjoyed during this day of post-Christmas fun. Valdostans and life-long friends Shalanda Mosley White and Jerrie Doyle now live in Virginia. They reconnected in their hometown to take advantage of gift cards they received for Christmas. Both with smiles on their faces, there was no other way they’d rather spend their day than as best friends shopping together to catch all of the great deals.

Enid Santana, Valdosta Mall’s marketing/speciality leasing manager, said this year has been smooth sailing during what is typically considered the most hectic shopping time of the year.

“With the shorter holiday, we’ve been pretty packed,” said Santana, referring to the abbreviated period between a later Thanksgiving this year and Christmas. “It’s been good and we have been pleased with the outcome.”

With Black Friday starting earlier this year, Santana said there was much less pandemonium with that annual shopping event, too. The future of holiday shopping appears to be on a positive upswing with fewer grinches and more holiday spirit and camaraderie.

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