Shoppers pack Woodland Mall looking for last minute Christmas gifts

Posted at 10:57 PM, Dec 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-23 22:57:53-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Thousands of shoppers across West Michigan headed out for some last minute gifts on Friday.

At the Woodland Mall, it's also the biggest night of the year to get your picture taken with Santa Claus.

Some shoppers say it took upwards of 30 minutes to find a parking spot, but also say it was worth it to find the perfect gift.

"I actually have most of my gifts done," said Ellie Eggleston, shopping in the Made in Michigan store. "My friend called me yesterday and asked if we could go shopping."

"I've been in Arizona and just got back so now it's time to do all of my shopping," said Ben Walton.

Business owners say the past week has been hectic, but Friday was the busiest so far.

"It's been amazing," said Joaquin Torres, manager at Lush. "The energy has been really high here. We have a lot of happy customers and they love our products. It's a great quality gift to give to a lot of people so everyone is just coming in ready to pamper all of their loved ones."

It's also the busiest day to meet Santa.

"My sister is going to go up there too, but she might scream the whole time," said 7-year old Isabella Kazmierski. "You know how babies are."

Representatives from the Woodland Mall say the day before Christmas Eve is normally their busiest shopping day before Christmas, but Christmas Eve hasn't fallen on a Saturday in a few years so they're expecting it to be pretty busy as well.

The Woodland Mall is open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.