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Last-minute shoppers crowd Memorial City Mall to get gifts under the tree

Every year, people inevitably wait until the last minute. But they prove it's the thought more than the timing that counts.

HOUSTON — It's no surprise that today — like every year — there were still plenty of people looking for gifts at the last second.

At Memorial City Mall, shoppers were all on missions of their own, checking their lists twice. One dad we met, James Wright, admitted to being late.

“I picked the one day to come…I shouldn’t come, to come right?”

But he was grateful that he was able to check everyone off his list with just hours to spare.

"You don't want to do what I did. It's very strange that it worked out. I feel very thankful. I almost feel like it's Thanksgiving!" he said.

It's a rush for those working too, like Waleed Qureshi, who was working at his family's perfume store in the mall. It was so busy they had to call for backup.

Referencing his relatives he said, “We had to call her husband and she works over here. We had to call her husband to help us out even the last couple of days. So this whole week has just been a sprint.”

Shopper Hanan Hassan was looking for a custom gift for her cousin at the Custom Tee stand, which was packed all afternoon.

“It’s just a perfect custom gift," Hassan said.

She, like many people we spoke with, said they were just too busy to get here earlier.

“Work… I’ve just been working, so today happened to be the perfect day," Hassan said.

Shopper Kimmeyon Wallace just had a baby and was looking for something for his girlfriend.

“I figured I’d just do my shopping when I get a chance but it ended up taking too long!”

Shannon Stein was prepared and ordered a gift online a while ago but it never came. He had to come in person to make sure he had something his grandson could open.

“I find it to be a little more liberating to go into the store and actually buy it," Stein said.

And as shops began to close, the relief finally set in for these last-minute shoppers.

“Like the weight lifted off my shoulders.," said Hassan. “I found what I needed so I can go home.”

And while they all were looking for different products, each of these shoppers proved it's not about what's under the tree but really who is around it.

“It’s all about the connection with the friends and family. That’s the best gift of all," said Stein.

Zack Tawatari on social media: Twitter | Instagram

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