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Harford shoppers spend holiday money, shop for next Christmas during post-holiday sales Tuesday

April Alexander of Whiteford pushes her daughter Sara in a shopping cart as they get ready to shop for holiday deals at the Walmart in Fallston on Tuesday, Dec. 26.
April Alexander of Whiteford pushes her daughter Sara in a shopping cart as they get ready to shop for holiday deals at the Walmart in Fallston on Tuesday, Dec. 26. (Brian Krista / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Denise Duchacek, of Kingsville, got a head start Tuesday on next year’s Christmas shopping at the Fallston Walmart store, loading up on half-priced gift wrap.

Duchacek is almost a year ahead of schedule, as she was shopping the day after Christmas 2017. She was one of a number of shoppers who hit retailers in Harford County Tuesday to either spend money or the gift cards they received for the holiday Monday, exchange gifts or take advantage of deep post-Christmas discounts.

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“Just the gift wrap and stuff I can use next year,” Duchacek said about what she bought.

She said she shops right after Christmas every year.

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Another Walmart shopper, Frances Smith, of Forest Hill, was a first-time post-Christmas customer. She used a Walmart gift card she got for the holiday.

“They have great sales in there,” she said in the store parking lot after moving her goods from her cart to her car. “If I had more money, you would have seen two carts full of stuff.”

Smith said she plans to shop the day after Christmas 2018, too.

“Oh yes, I’ll definitely go next year to save some money,” she said.

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April Alexander, of Whiteford, and her 6-year-old daughter, Sara, visited Walmart Tuesday to purchase items such as replacement Christmas lights, plus some toys and clothes using gift cards and cash they received.

Alexander, who had just arrived at the store, expressed hopes that prices had come down from before Christmas.

She does not shop the day after Christmas every year, but she did this year “because we need the Christmas lights.”

She said most of the bulbs in her current lights work, but parts of the strand are becoming worn.

“We have lights,” Alexander said. “It’s just the last year we’re going to use those specific strands of lights.”

The holiday lights were still twinkling at the Harford Mall in Bel Air Tuesday, as a steady crowd of shoppers cruised the corridors and store signs advertised deep discounts or clearance sales.

Victoria’s Secret had 50 percent off on items. New York and Company advertised up to 80 percent off on “everything.” There was a clearance sale at Payless ShoeSource. And GameStop offered a winter sale from Tuesday through New Year’s Eve, with up to 50 percent off “the biggest [video] games of the year.”

Ron Cornell, of Joppa, went to the mall to return some gifts. When he saw a 50 percent-off, “end of season clearance” sale at the Hickory Farms Holiday Market kiosk, he couldn’t resist.

Cornell purchased a Festive Cheese Sampler.

“It looked good and [was] a good deal,” he said.

Cornell owns a power washing business, Green to Clean, and the holidays are a slow time for him, but he said he expects business to pick up again in February and March.

He said he enjoyed his shopping experience at the mall Tuesday.

“I thought it would be packed, but it's not,” he said.

Kristin Blizzard, of Havre de Grace, shopped with her 9-year-old daughter, Lindsay, 7-year-old son, Nolan, and niece and nephew, Cassie and Kyle Jasper, ages 13 and 9, of Bel Air.

“The kids had money and gift cards that they had to spend today,” Blizzard said, joking that the money was “burning a hole in their pockets.”

Blizzard also picked up some items for herself at Bath & Body Works that were 75 percent off.

“We always go the day after Christmas to get all the sales,” Blizzard said, adding the mall was not as crowded as she expected.

“It's been a real good experience,” she said. “It's not as rushed and busy as it is before Christmas.”

Her daughter, Lindsay, picked up a pair of sneakers at Payless that had colored lights along the edges of the soles — a woman walking by stopped and complimented the girl on her choice.

“I like your shoes,” she told Lindsay.

Blizzard’s son and nephew picked up Nintendo Switch game systems at GameStop, she said.

Cassie Jasper, Bilzzard’s niece, said she purchase a shirt and perfume.

“I like going to the mall, getting a bunch of stuff,” Cassie said.

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