By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There are three more shopping days until Christmas. If you still have gifts to buy, you’re in good company.

The National Retail Federation estimates just more than half of Americans have completed their list. About 6 percent will still be shopping on Christmas Eve, with another 5 percent buying presents after the holiday.

Roseville Center was bustling with people searching for the right gift, mere days before families will open presents.

“It’s just inevitable. It’s not like I purposely put it off,” shopper Tom Vukelich said.

“I’m not one to just get something done right away,” shopper Chelsea Johnson said.

Some shoppers purposely put off gift buying until they have to.

“I don’t do six months in advance. I don’t do Thanksgiving, I’m like, I’ll go the night before or two days before and I’ll get what I need,” Shalonda Johnson said.

This year the weekend leading up to the Monday holiday gives people a cushion. And stores are sure to cash in.

“The weekend before any holiday, but particularly Christmas, is going to be a blockbuster weekend. We’re going to see a lot of activity,” retail expert and University of St. Thomas Professor Emeritus Dave Brennan said.

Brennan said deep discounts and a good weather outlook will be factors.

“As you draw closer it’s the procrastinators and opportunists that are left going online or shopping in the store,” Brennan said.

University of St. Thomas’ annual survey found metro households will spend roughly $950 on gifts. That’s up 3.5 percent from last year, in part because of our economy.

“If we look at Minnesota, 3.1 percent unemployment is pretty fantastic,” Brennan said.

Gretchen Ritschel was done shopping, but came back for more.

“This is all just bonus, this is like I’ll throw more money at it for fun,” Ritschel said.

Brennan warns it’s a little late for online shopping to arrive in time, unless you want to pay a lot for shipping. Many stores have a ship to store option you can take advantage of.

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