Trucks caked in mud lined the parking lot outside the Shops of Ardmore Friday.
Inside, a man in his 40s fumbles through colorful sweaters in the JCPenney ladies section. At Bath and Body Works, a young man in boots stomped from lotion to lotion, ultimately settling for a soothing candle.
‘Tis the season; the annual sporting tradition of last minute shopping has arrived.
With the countdown clock to Christmas winding down, shoppers were flocking to the local mall and downtown shops Friday and Saturday to close out their Christmas lists.
While some were putting the finishing touches on their arsenal of gifts, others were on a perilous mission; embracing the chaos of last minute gift acquisition in one glorious trip.
Ardmore resident Cortez Houston decided to do all his shopping Friday night at The Shops of Ardmore.
Houston didn’t walk in blind. He got tactical.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Houston scouted his targets, calculated his budget then stormed the mall Friday with a clinical strike.
“I had a game plan,” Houston said. “Instead of spending the whole day looking around, I did a little window shopping before, so when I got my money correct, I could come in at the last minute and get it done.”
Ardmore resident Jason Womack walked briskly through the halls of The Shops of Ardmore with several trophies already in the bag. He was on a mission.
Womack said with family and work it’s been hard to find time to do his shopping. He had done some shopping online, but came to the mall to complete his gift giving Friday night.
”We’re always last minute shoppers,” Womack said. “My wife and I coordinated our times so we could knock down as much as we can in one time.”
Hibbett Sports employee Justice Ruhnke said as the Christmas season gets closer, the shopping gets crazier.
“It’s been chaotic,” Ruhnke said. “The closer we get to Christmas, the more chaotic it gets. Closest thing I’ve seen to this is tax-free weekend.”
The shopping bonanza wasn’t just limited to The Shops of Ardmore Mall. The shops in downtown Ardmore also welcomed their fair share of last minute shoppers.
Hayden Hunt, The Stag, said shopper turn out had noticeable  improved.
“We’ve been busy all day,” she said. “Black Friday was busy but this feels like it’s been a record day.”