MILWAUKEE — The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot this year. But what still seems to be the same? Those people racing against the clock to make sure their holiday is perfect. With Christmas just hours away, it hasn't stopped people from grabbing those last-minute gifts or changing their travel plans to be home with their families this holiday. They're just doing it in a safer way.
"It’s going to be a very different Christmas. We’re going to probably get together and have a zoom call with everybody, all the rest of my family members," said one shopper, Alice Bush.
Shoppers headed to some of their favorite stores on Christmas Eve to grab those last-minute gifts for their family and friends.
"People are doing an awful lot of last-minute toys, so toys are a big deal, they’re doing last-minute apparel, appliances are really big this year," said Meijer Store Director, Steve Talbert.
"I just came to pick up a couple of remote-control cars for my dogs because they’re bored, and we’ve been home so much," said Bush.
With a shopping cart in one hand and a list in the other, customers made sure they got what they needed, while also taking safety precautions.
"Just keeping a mask on and washing my hands the minute I get into my car," said Bush.
"It’s a matter of people trying to stay away from each other a little bit, people making fewer trips," said Talbert.
For those making last-minute trips to be home with their families this Christmas, they're also taking steps to make sure they stay safe.
"I think people are just like falling back from it and just protecting their loved ones I know I am. My little cousin, she has a heart problem and heart disease. I think if you have elders or somebody with conditions you should definitely be considerate of that person. Everyone should just be considerate of everybody," said one traveler, Marlene Mancilla.
And while it’s not an ideal situation, many say getting to spend time safely with loved ones this holiday in any form is a blessing in itself.
"This is my first time seeing my family since the pandemic, so I’m really excited," said Mancilla.
"We’ll get together, we’ll be safe, but it just makes everything kind of better a little bit at the end of the year," said shopper, Josh Dahlen.
On TMJ4's Facebook page, those who weren’t out traveling or shopping, shared some of their favorite Christmas Eve traditions and preparations which included baking Christmas cookies, watching classic holiday movies, and wrapping presents for the big day.