Holiday shopping, deliveries ramp up ahead of Christmas

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — It’s crunch time for people who waited until the last minute to do their holiday shopping and deliveries. The eleventh hour shopper made for slow-moving traffic, large shopping crowds and a final post office rodeo to deliver everything they can before Christmas.

“Everybody seems to procrastinate,” Tom Kassion, a longtime USPS worker.

He’s been delivering mail for 28 years and knows how busy things can be the week before Christmas.

“It’s overwhelming,” Kassion said. “We have so many Amazon parcels daily. My route alone, I probably average over a hundred a day.

“There’s days where I’m out delivering packages between 7 and 7:30 at night. My mail truck is lit up like a lightbulb,” he joked.

There was bumper-to-bumper traffic and a jam-packed parking lot at Woodland Mall on Friday.

“It is very busy,” laughed Katie Champlin. “I’m from Mt. Pleasant, so this is kind of like uh.”

Champlin had three generations of her family with her as she headed into the mall. They were there to complete a Christmas tradition: the family photo.

They said no crowd could cancel their portrait.

“You need to be patient [and] you need to be aware,” her mom Leslie Hodsden added.

24 Hour News 8 talked to other groups coming out of the mall.

“It’s a lot of people in there,” said one man.

“You don’t want to go in there,” said another young man.

Their group said they fell into the traffic trap on 28th street on their way to the mall then found more congestion upon their arrival.

The main advice each group offered was for people to be patient.