NAPLES — 'Twas the Saturday before Christmas and all through the Naples area, the stores were full of people scurrying about in the holiday spirit.
"Everyone is in good cheer," said Greg Woodard of Naples as he left the Toys R Us on Pine Ridge and Airport-Pulling roads Saturday afternoon.
His wife, Pam Woodard, admitted that she didn't really want to go to the toy store just days before Tuesday's big holiday, fearing a shopping rush and perhaps some stress.
"It wasn't too bad though and everyone is friendly," she said.
The couple had most of their shopping done and were just picking up some stocking stuffers and making sure their grandchildren each had the same amount in gifts.
"All the big presents are already wrapped and under the tree or up in the attic waiting for Santa to come," Greg Woodard said.
Most of downtown Naples, particularly Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South, was busy with walkers and casual shoppers. Yet parking was available and the pace of people on the sidewalks suggested most weren't stressed about holiday shopping.
"I have just a little bit left to do," said Jo Pfeil, 52, of Naples.
The Fifth Avenue South resident planned to finish her Christmas shopping Saturday. Fifth Avenue South and a golf pro shop were her last stops. She knew just what she was going to get at each place.
Husband Dick Pfeil, 60, had a different story to tell about his shopping.
"I haven't started," he said, adding that he just plans to ask for forgiveness.
"I pay, they shop. No really, my daughter will take care of it when she gets here," Dick Pfeil said.
Their son, Spencer Pfeil, 22 and visiting from Chicago, said he did all his shopping in Illinois, bringing the gifts on the airplane.
The family was a mixed bag of shopping styles as were many of the people out and about Saturday.
At Coastland Center mall in Naples, Tom Bogo of Naples said he was just starting his Christmas shopping.
"It was good in there," he said as he walked out of Macy's, explaining that retail workers and cashiers were efficient and the lines weren't long.
"I've lived in Naples for 25 years. It's been like being on vacation for 25 years. I feel relaxed," he said as he headed next to Best Buy in North Naples.
Best Buy shoppers said it wasn't overly crowded there, either.
"I'm done," said Ken Schatfield of North Naples as he left Best Buy. "They got me in and out no problem. It was the busiest I've ever seen it in Best Buy though."
Stores at Waterside Shops, including the Barnes and Noble bookstore, were packed, but several people said it didn't take as long to find a parking spot as they thought it would.
One of the busiest plazas from early morning through early evening was the newly renovated Naples Plaza across from Coastland mall.
Merchants in Naples Plaza said they were pleased with the turnout Saturday.
Next door to Publix, West Marine was benefiting greatly from the grocery store's success in anchoring the plaza.
"Publix taking over has just been great. People are saying 'yes' to buying things instead of 'no.' We don't know why, but for us, things are great," West Marine General Manager Stephen Baglia said.
The store was exceeding its goals Saturday and overall for the holiday by at least 10 percent, Baglia said.
But his own holiday shopping list still needed some work, he admitted with a smile.
"I'll be shopping tonight after work, and (Sunday) and on Monday," he said.
Baglia laughed while talking about his last-minute shopping style: "I enjoy it though. For me, that's what feels like Christmas."