Last Minute Holiday Shoppers Out in Full Force

Lynchburg, VA - The River Ridge Mall was busy with last minute shoppers Monday, buying gifts to put under the Christmas tree.

Millions of Americans, though, have put off their shopping for Christmas Eve.

ABC 13 wanted to know the science behind procrastination.

"You know us guys, (barks). We wait until the last minute to get everything," said Keith Ballengee, laughing.

Ballengee is not alone.

Psychology experts estimate 20% of Americans are chronic procrastinators, and it isn't necessarily because of laziness.

Chronic procrastination has been linked to personality issues like ADHD, passive-aggressive tendencies, revenge, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

For others, the holiday is simply overwhelming given all the choices both in stores and online.

"I hate to go Christmas shopping. So I put it off as long as I can," said Brandy Ramsey.

Some stores are even enabling the procrastinators by staying open later and even offering some last minute deals.

Toy's R Us and Kohl's are staying open around the clock until Christmas.

Inside Bath and Body Works, the clock is ticking and pressure's building.

"Our typical last minute customers they grab what they can," said manager Renee Camp.

The top three gifts given by last-minute shoppers: gift cards, cash and wine or liquor.

Merchants say there's one bright spot to a struggling economy.

"I think this year was a lot better for the customers as far as planning. The economy's low, so a lot of people don't have much money to spend, so they have to be really strategic," Camp said.

If you're reading this story, and realizing you also have some shopping left to do, there's still time.

River Ridge Mall will be open until 10 p.m. Monday and until 6 p.m. Tuesday.