Shopping the day after Christmas every year has been a tradition for 15 years and counting for three York friends.
Roxann Fahs, Jill Sherman and Rena Prowell made HomeGoods on Loucks Road their first stop on Wednesday morning - well before the weather turned nasty - to find deals on Christmas decorations.
"We stock up on gifts and decorations for next year," said Fahs, of Manchester Township.
"And it's a social thing," Fahs said. "We have fun together."
The trio of friends agreed that stores didn't seem as crowded as other years.
"The traffic seemed to be a little bit lighter too," said Prowell, a Hellam Township resident.
They were visiting Pier 1 Imports, Christmas Tree Hill and A.C. Moore in hopes of finding more bargains, as long as the weather held.
A giant 6-foot-tall ceramic Santa Claus led Charles Kiger to HomeGoods on Wednesday morning.
Kiger, 60, of York Township, spotted the item two weeks ago. He kept checking back to see if it was still in the store, while he waited for the price to go down.
He asked store employees about after Christmas sales and was told it would be marked down the day after Christmas.
Kiger called the store to make sure the life-size Santa Claus was still there Wednesday and they agreed to hold it for him.
"He was $160 down from about $600," said Kiger, who doesn't usually shop the day after Christmas but said this deal was too good to pass up. The Santa will go on his balcony at home.
Discounted Christmas cards were what Norma Keller, 81, was after on Wednesday.
Keller said she looks for bargains every year on the day after Christmas, sometimes for gifts, but always on items like cards and home decor.
Bargain hunting the day after Christmas has been a tradition for Jen Ream, 37, ever since her daughter, Brianna Swartz, was born 18 years ago.
"Everything is cheaper and a lot of it is usually half off," said Ream, of North York Borough. "Most of it's for next year. I don't like paying full price for wrapping paper, especially because it just gets ripped open anyway."
Each year they shop for more decorations to add to their holiday collection, said Ream.
Ream's four other children were still sleeping when she left at 7:30 a.m. to head to Walmart with Brianna.
"We just wear sweatpants and go," said Ream.
Another mother-daughter duo at Walmart early Wednesday morning was Paula Dugan, 57, and Christina Dugan, 34, both of West Manchester Township. For about 20 years they have gone shopping the day after Christmas to prepare for next Christmas by stocking up on decorations and gifts, as well as getting food and candy on sale.
Julie Lartz was at Old Navy to spend a gift card that her son received. He didn't want anything so he gave the gift card to his mom.
Lartz began her Christmas shopping on Black Friday and was pleasantly surprised by the lack of crowds the day after Christmas.
Lisa J. Clark, 31, from Virginia, was shopping at Old Navy for discounted clothing for her son.
"We find the best deals," Clark said. "Like coats that are 75 percent off so you only pay $17."
- Reach Chelsea Shank at 505-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org