This weekend made it seem as if York had time-traveled to spring.
Just a couple of weeks after snowstorms dumped more than a foot of snow on the county, the last weekend before Christmas was a balmy one, with temperatures reaching 71 degrees Sunday morning.
For many holiday shoppers and store owners, it didn't feel quite like Christmas. And with a late Thanksgiving this year, there were six fewer days of shopping before the holiday.
"I think it didn't dawn on people that Christmas was so close to Thanksgiving," said Caroline Morris, owner of Kimman's, a gift shop in York City.
Snow or no?: The holiday season started very slow, but the weekend before Christmas picked up a lot of momentum, she said.
"A lot of people are hustling this last weekend to get it all done," she said.
Morris said she's extended the store's hours, and she and her staff have stayed late for the past five or six days.
"It's been a very good holiday season," she said.
Kim Lentz of Wrightsville came to Kimman's to put the finishing touches on her holiday shopping. As Morris wrapped her gifts in boxes, she marked the initials of each recipient on the box for Lentz's reference.
"And that's why I shop here," she said. "You don't get personal service in the mall."
But the weather, which hovered in the 60s on a drizzly Sunday, didn't feel right, Lentz said.
"It feels a little strange," she said. "I would rather it be snowing, to be honest. I like a little snow."
The month's early bout of snow didn't change much at Sears in the York Galleria, said Matt Bowen, assistant manager of its appliances department. Although the snow has moved around some sales promotions for Sears, it hasn't hurt business too much, he said.
"It hasn't really ruined a full day," he said.
People have been buying shovels, ice scrapers and other winter gear, he said. The electronics section has also been busy, selling a lot of tablets and gifts for kids, he said.
"It's been good. We had a really good day (Saturday) and steady (Sunday)," he said.
Why wait: In contrast with many of her customers, Christina Clarke, owner of Sunrise Soap Co. in York City, planned for the holiday season months ahead of time.
Since the soap she makes takes three weeks to dry out, she began making Christmas scents -- such as the top-selling spiced cranberry and gingerbread cookie varieties -- in October.
"We're cranking out Christmas in October and selling in November," she said.
But shopper Raegan Zittle of Spring Garden Township admittedly gets a late start each year.
"I'm not one of those people that gets started in July ... I'm a big procrastinator," she said.
And for Greg McGowan of Glen Rock, who went shopping at the Galleria with his two teenage daughters, a late start is unavoidable.
"It just works out that way," he said. "It's a busy time of the year."
The mild weather was a highlight of the shopping trip, McGowan said.
"It's my idea of winter," he said. "It could be like this until March, and I'd be good."
-- Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.