For me, Christmas shopping begins in downtown Vicksburg

Published 2:37 pm Wednesday, December 4, 2019

With the holiday season upon us, the thoughts of some turn to the task of Christmas shopping.

I’ve always been a late shopper myself. For most of the holiday seasons since I’ve been old enough, those many years ago, to shop on my own, I’ve waited until the last minute to do my Christmas shopping.

Sometimes, work has caused the delay, but most of the time my delay has been the result of plain old procrastination.

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When we’ve lived in larger cities, the task of shopping for that perfect gift was an arduous challenge — fighting traffic, finding a place to park, negotiating through crowded stores only to learn the item I craved for one of my loved ones was scooped up only seconds before.

I’ve also waited until Christmas Eve to shop. My last such foray occurred one evening on a Dec. 24 when my then- 8-year-old daughter wanted a certain castle for her action figures, resulting in a late run to the local Kmart and getting lucky enough to find one of the last ones. If I remember, the castle had those dreaded words no adult wants to see, “Some assembly required.”

I will have to admit I’ve gotten better with my shopping habits over the past few years. Part of the reason is online shopping. The other is having access to our local stores where I can find parking and don’t have to fight crowds.

Yes, I have admitted I shop online. But that move is the last resort. Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve made it a point to shop local first, and Vicksburg is no exception. In the eight years we’ve lived here, I’ve made it a point to start my Christmas shopping downtown.

The only time I go online or someplace else is if I can’t find what I want locally. That is very rare.

Part of the reason for shopping locally is the desire to find something wonderful and unusual for my wife, and the stores downtown fill that niche in my holiday shopping. I’ve found a number of gifts at the local stores that I wouldn’t find online or in Jackson. Besides, the traffic’s much lighter, it’s easier to find a place to park and I enjoy the exercise I get by walking from store to store.

Sometimes, I don’t immediately find what I’m seeking, and make several return visits before I make a purchase, but the return trips are not a chore; the sales staffs are friendly, and occasionally I’ll bump into someone I know.

So with the beginning of December and the start of the Christmas season, I’m beginning to build up the momentum to start Christmas shopping, and when I’m ready I’ll head downtown looking for that special something for that special someone in my life.


John Surratt is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. He can be reached at

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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