Shoppers wind down the season

Westfield Capital mall and Olympia Farmers Market draw crowds but for different reasons on Christmas Eve

rboone@theolympian.comDecember 25, 2012 

Westfield Capital Mall and Olympia Farmers Market were two destinations for shoppers on Christmas Eve, one for those dashing through the mall in search of a last-minute gift; the other, a place to linger before it closes for the winter.

The mall Monday was the scene for people who had little time left.

Chrissy Fralich of Rochester was there with her husband and three children. The shopping for the kids was complete; now it was time for the Fralichs to buy gifts for each other, Chrissy Fralich said. She planned to buy a video game for her husband and was hoping to receive a box of candy from See’s in return.

Teenage brothers Harley and Buddy Graf of Yelm also were doing some last-minute shopping. Harley was buying for his girlfriend, while Buddy was hanging out with this brother, possibly to get something for himself.

Harley Graf, who expected to spend $60 or $70 on his girlfriend, said he wouldn’t have waited so long to shop, it’s just that it was hard to find a ride to the mall.

Twins Terri and Sherri Klinger of Montesano, both 58, had wrapped up their shopping about 11 a.m. Terri Klinger, who bought five gifts Monday, wouldn’t have waited so long except that she got sidelined by the flu for two weeks. Her sister, Sherri, meanwhile, bought two microphones, with plans to sing Christmas songs with all her nephews and nieces.

Gift wrappers also had their hands full.

Seniors from Black Hills High School in Tumwater were busy wrapping gifts to raise money for the class of 2013, senior Ashley Wiesner said.

It was so busy Monday that Wiesner had wrapped 20 presents in her first 40 minutes on the job, she said.

The customers? Mostly men.

“A lot of men in general,” Wiesner said, “but dads in particular today.”

She described them as “hurried, grateful and good tippers.”

Monday also was the last day of the season for the Olympia Farmers Market.

It wasn’t so much a place for last-minute shoppers; it was a place to enjoy one last time before it closes for the winter.

“I love it,” said longtime Olympia resident Joy Justis about the market. Justis likes it so much that she shops once a week at the market, buying all her produce, she said.

The market, which will reopen in April, ended its season on a busy note, assistant manager Ashley Powell said. The past weekend was busy because it fell before the holidays, she said.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com theolympian.com/bizblog

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