NORTHBOROUGH, Mass. — As the hours ticked closer to Christmas, last minute-shoppers along the Route 9 corridor and across Central Mass were busy checking their lists and making sure they had everything for a happy holiday.
Monday morning shoppers at Toys R Us in Northborough were getting last-minute gifts. Dave Newbie of North Grafton, however, wasn't buying toys. Holding onto a newly purchased baby gate, he explained that his grandson was coming in from New York to celebrate the holidays and he had to secure the house.
Shopping seemed "pretty calm," Newbie said. "I was surprised how fast I got in and out."
Bill Stewich of Shrewsbury said he got lucky with his last-minute Christmas gift, a replica light saber for his son. "I found the last one," he said.
As Stewich was departing, the parking lot outside of Toys R Us at Northborough Crossing began filling up and traffic on Route 9 began to build.
In Westborough, the parking lot at Julio's Liquors was already packed Monday morning with shoppers getting last-minute wine, beer and spirits. Owner Ryan Maloney said business was brisk on Sunday also
"Now, we're into the procrastinators," he said, noting that the store closed late on Sunday and opened an hour early Monday.
"The week leading up to Christmas is our World Series," he said. "It's matter of stamina and duration. These are very important days for us."
So far, it's been a strong holiday season for Westborough's Tatnuc Bookseller.
"I think we're probably a little bit ahead of where we were last year," manager Charlie Napoleon said Friday, before the weekend rush. Napoleon said books such as "No Easy Day" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" have helped drive sales.
"It's been pretty strong," he said.