Rush hour arrives as Christmas approaches

Amanda Jess
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Shoppers pack mall during last weekend before Christmas

NEW GLASGOW – T’was just days before Christmas and all through the mall, all the shoppers were rushing, to grab that last doll.

Many people chose to grab their Christmas gifts at a St. FX merchandise kiosk set up in the Highland Square Mall. Pictured are Shauna Holmes, Carla Rogers MacEachern, Mary Doiron, Ginger Fitt and Kenli Ross.

Highland Square Mall was a flurry of activity on Saturday, with many starting and finishing their Christmas shopping.

Dodie MacDonald of Westville was one of the last minute shoppers.

“I always say I’m going to do it earlier, but I’m a procrastinator.”

MacDonald spread it out over two days, and finished buying his gifts on Dec. 21.

Although the hallways were crowded, MacDonald said the worst part was trying to find somewhere to park.

He made it a little easier on himself by stopping at the giftwrapping station in the mall.

MacDonald goes to the kiosk run by SPCA volunteers every year.

“It’s a lot less stressful,” he said, adding that he likes to make the donation to the animal shelter as well.

They recommend people give donations between $1 to $10 for each gift, depending on its size.

Wendy Carruthers is one of the volunteers. She’s been doing it for at least five years, she said.

“It’s a great thing to raise money for the animals,” Carruthers said.

The gift-wrapping began on Dec. 12 and goes until Dec. 24.

It’s one of the SPCA’s biggest fundraisers of the year, Carruthers said.

She had only been there for 15 minutes and the two volunteers had already wrapped gifts for three customers.

Employees at a St. FX clothing kiosk were also very busy on Saturday.

I always say I’m going to do it earlier, but I’m a procrastinator. Dodie MacDonald, of Westville

Ginger Fitt manages the campus store at St. Francis Xavier University. They have a mobile station built for hockey games.

Fitt is from Stellarton and decided they should bring it down to Pictou County to try selling items in the mall for the holiday season.

She said it’s been going very well, estimating that they’ve sold more than $10,000 worth of items.

“I’ve been lugging merchandise down every day,” she said.

One of the employees, Mary Doiron, said it’s been fairly steady since they opened.

“Everyone has someone there,” she said, adding that there are many St. FX graduates in the area.

Fitt said they barely got it set up on Dec. 6 before people were buying gifts.

It’s also offered an opportunity to give students employment. Fitt said they hired two early acceptance students from the area to work at the kiosk.

She’s hoping to bring it back in August before classes start up again, offering parents a chance to grab campus clothing.

Saturday was their last day selling in the mall for the holiday season.

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda 

Organizations: St. Francis Xavier University

Geographic location: Stellarton, Pictou County

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