TERRE HAUTE —
Christmas trees throughout the Wabash Valley have been decorated and prepared, but some presents just have to wait until the last minute to wrap.
Inside the Petland Store facing Honey Creek Shopping Center, Rhonda Sparks and Zaryn Hayden cuddled a small Havanese puppy while pondering its potential as a future member of the family.
“We’re wanting to, but we’re not sure yet,” Sparks said Sunday afternoon of their decision to purchase the small puppy, which happens to represent the national breed of Cuba.
Petland Store employee John Ramsey said in his two years of work there he’s found that Christmas is a particularly busy time for the store specializing in pets from dogs to ferrets and birds.
“Quite a few,” he said of Christmas pet sales. “With puppies, it’s a lifetime of love right here. They bring happiness to people who might not have any other family.”
Holding a small dachshund puppy, he said that breed and others that remain under five pounds when grown are especially popular right now. For the bigger dogs, huskies are selling well, he said.
Nationally, analysts report this year’s shopping trends have clothing as the most popular gift, followed by electronics, toys, movies and shoes.
A year ago, shoes didn’t even make it into the top 10 gifts for the season, but overall sales of athletic shoes rose 3.4 percent to $3 billion for the three months ending in November, and sales of women’s fashion footwear grew 3.2 percent to $6.12 billion.
Meanwhile, Baesler’s Market bustled Sunday afternoon as shoppers bought fresh supplies of food for holiday parties. Red bows adorned baskets of jams and jellies, next to jars of honey, fruit and vegetables.
Deli manager Kristey Engle said the locally owned store continues to draw holiday crowds who enjoy high levels of customer service and fresh product.
“We make everything fresh. Nothing is pre-made,” she said, noting the last few days have raised sales of meat and cheese trays and various kinds of sandwich platters. “And they’re buying spiral-sliced ham. We sell more fried chicken than you can shake a stick at. It’s amazing how much fried chicken we sell at Christmas time.”
For the holidays, her own favorite is the Oven Gold turkey, she said, adding customers will probably be shopping for food right up through the big day itself.
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Associated Press contributed to this report.