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Holiday shoppers pack local shops two days before Christmas

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Posted: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 4:30 am

Last-minute holiday shoppers crowded Killeen Mall on Monday afternoon, capping a shopping season that’s been short yet steady.

“We had a shorter shopping year,” said Truly Texas owner Terri Baumann. “People are shopping later ... but it’s been very steady this year.”

Baumann noted that Thanksgiving fell on the tail end of November this year, leaving customers with less than four weeks to finish Christmas shopping.

Truly Texas has been in the mall for more than 20 years. Baumann mans two shops in the mall, one featuring only Christmas items. She opened it in early November for seasonal shopping and will consolidate all items and shut its doors by the end of the week.

Ronnie Barnwell, of Phoenix, shopped at Truly Texas with his wife. The family is in town to visit cousins in Harker Heights.

“We’re looking for (white) elephant gifts and kids’ gifts,” Barnwell said. “It’s been hectic but (it’s) not as crowded here.”

The Barnwells did much of their holiday shopping in advance, celebrating their Christmas at home before traveling to Texas.

At Truly Texas, the most popular items sold this year were Texas artwork, flags and maps. Many people also gravitate toward the locally-made food products.

“We ship all over, too. We’ve had more shipping this year than previous years,” Baumann said. “We’ve had a wonderful holiday season.”

Deborah Good and her daughter held shopping bags at the edge of the food court, preparing to hit their next store.

The pair, who live in Helena, Mont., is in town to visit Good’s other daughter, who gave birth a week ago.

“Shopping has been great once we got to Texas. There is way more to offer here,” she said, comparing Texas to Montana.

Mother and daughter were on the hunt for gifts for Good’s husband, who stayed home. They will celebrate with him on New Year’s Eve.

“Everyone’s been incredibly nice,” Good said, describing the shopping trip as “smooth.”

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