Late Shoppers

Two days before Christmas you can find two kinds of shoppers in the store. The one with a purpose, buy it and get out. Clerk Jani Frances spots them easily. "Especially the men. They come in, say, 'I need something for my wife.' You match an outfit up. They say, 'Fine, wrap it up."

The other shopper roams the store looking pathetically lost. A man picks up pair after pair of fuzzy slippers said, "I don't know what I want yet. It's hard to choose when you're buying for a woman."

And then there's the independent man. A man shopping for a billfold commented, "When I see it, I'll know it."

Or you may be among the seven in ten Americans who buy gifts for themselves, even though consumer experts advise against it. One shopper disregards the tip. "I don't buy too many things for myself. I buy for everybody else so when I see something I like and the price is right I buy it."

Consumer experts also advise you to be wary of impulse buys. Nothing more can add up a bill, but then you may decide you can't leave the store without a pink crochet water bottle.

No matter when you shop it's important to remember the reason behind the season of giving. Norm Johnson faced death last year. He searches for the spiritual meaning of Christmas. "I made it a point in October to see how long it would be when anybody was talking about Christmas in a conversation with me when they would mention the word 'Jesus' or 'Christ'. So far noone has done that."

Keep that in mind when caught in the shopping frenzy.