Shoppers crowd local malls on Christmas Eve

SEATTLE -- The rush was on as 11th-hour shoppers scrambled to beat the Christmas countdown clock.

For some, it was a desperate, last-ditch search. Others waited to scoop up late-breaking deals. Mike France showed up at Southcenter Mall with his wife and infant son, unfazed by the crowds.

"As far as past years have gone, this is the best it's been," France said.

Steve Gray of Renton sat down with his two children outside Macy's after finishing off his own Christmas list, then watched watched holiday procrastinatorS dash about.

"We come down and see all the - mostly guys - who forgot that Christmas was coming," Gray said.

Some shoppers blame their rush on the shortened holiday season - six days less than a year ago. Many stores responded with round-the-clock, marathon hours for people who couldn't fit gift-buying into their busy schedules.

"There's always something last minute. Once you get everything wrapped up, you go shoot, 'I forgot something,'" said Leigh Parker, who picked up a digital picture frame for her grandmother at Best Buy.

The pace was just as frenzied at "The Pro Shop" near CenturyLink field. Hawks gear is in high demand, but Virgil Sinclair said getting the right gift has still taken him some time.

"I usually get it together early but my son, last minute, wanted a Sydney Rice jersey instead of a Russell Wilson jersey."

The National Retail Federation says one in ten shoppers wait until Christmas Eve to wrap up their list, before they can devote time to people who matter.