ROSELAND PARK, Kan. — The proverbial “last minute” is here.

Many stores are preparing to close for the Christmas holiday Friday evening. They’ve been crowded with last minute shoppers all day, as those final opportunities to gather the goods comes and goes.

Stores have been more crowded this Christmas Eve as compared to a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic left retailers in a tough spot.

The final handful of shoppers arrived in time to pick up gifts and goods on Christmas Eve.

Store managers at Rally House on the Country Club Plaza opened the doors for customers Christmas Eve. It’s their final shot to play Santa and score Chiefs gifts and Kansas City themed novelties before the store closes for the Christmas holiday.

“The days leading up to today are more of a rush because people feel like they have to get it before it’s gone,” said Albie Felix, manager at Rally House. “Now, they feel like because it’s Christmas Eve, it’s there, it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. Everybody’s going to find something for someone.”

Retailers FOX4 spoke with say customers are also smiling because they aren’t running into supply chain issues. Rally House prepared for them as did the Price Chopper store at 151st Street and Metcalf Avenue.

Grocery store director Kim Svoboda spent Friday serving customers who had forgotten the last few produce items as well as baking ingredients.

“It’s a fun occasion,” Svoboda said. “This is when we know it’s Christmas. Everybody’s in a good mood. Everybody’s wishing everybody Merry Christmas. Everybody knows we get out of here early, so the employees are all in a good mood. The customers are happy.”

Expecting mother Sarah Genord is happy to get the last few items purchased, so Christmas Eve and Christmas Day can arrive. She’s relaxed but she detects other customers aren’t as jolly.

“I just walked in, so hopefully relaxed,” she said. “If you look at everyone else’s faces, I can tell a little bit stressful.

Both stores, as well as the Walmart in Roeland Park close at 6 p.m. They’ll be closed on Christmas Day along with hundreds of other stores. Most of them will re-open on Sunday, Dec. 26.