By Heather Janssen

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It happens every year — people wait until the very last minute to grab their gifts, even during a pandemic.

The last-minute holiday hustle was evident at Arden Fair Mall. Tusundra Nunley showed up early and hoped to beat the crowds.

“Towards the evening, it’s going to be awful,” Nunley said. “A lot of people are waiting because a lot of us are working. We can’t get off. This is the last minute deals we have to get.”

The self-admitted procrastinator waited until the very end to finish her shopping, and she wasn’t alone. A packed parking lot showed others doing the same. The number of people out and about was the reason some people left.

“It’s busy, that’s why I left to go somewhere else,” said Anthony Segura.

A state stay-at-home order still in place begs people to limit how many times they leave their house. But with the clock ticking down to Christmas, some felt they had no choice but to take a risk and head to the mall.

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“We know we’re taking a chance going in,” said one shopper, Yvonne. “Having the time – it’s time more than anything.”

Crystal Hornsby and Misaela Gomez took that chance, too. The pandemic is the reason they’re shopping last second.

“We tested positive a few weeks back,” Gomez said. “It put the shopping on pause for the time being.”

The pair was nervous about what they’d find inside.

“I think it’s going to be crazy,” Gomez said. “I’m scared and I don’t want to touch anything.”

Certain stores had long lines, plenty of people with bags in hand grabbing their gifts with just hours until Christmas.

As for holiday plans, many shoppers said even though they shopped in person, most everyone was choosing to keep to themselves this Christmas.

Heather Janssen