NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WTVA) - It's no secret with the country facing tough economic times people are selective when it comes to shopping for the holidays.
For one city in north Mississippi, no matter the circumstances people will turn out to shop for the ultimate bargain.
The sound of a cash register opening is the sound merchants in 30 stores have been waiting to hear, and with those cash registers abuzz, it means holiday shopping is underway as an estimated $100,000 is spent in five hours.
"Our Holiday Open House is their initial kickoff to get their Chirstmas list ready and try to get those gifts done for their families," added Vickie Duke, New Albany Main Street director.
With a challenging economy one bright side the Holiday Open House is the feeling Christmas is just around the corner.
"Well I'm just looking for Christmas gifts for the family and enjoy seeing everybody in New Albany," added Patricia Thompson, shopper.
Besides being a popular tradition, one reason why shoppers enjoy coming to the annual Holiday Open House in New Albany is because a lot of things are on sale there that they say have sentimental value.
"When you come here you can get something special and unique that you normally wouldn't find at any department store," adds Kim Fly, shopper. "I've gotten pieces of jewelry over the years for my children monogrammed and it's so sentimental, we can look back and remember when we were there. In New Albany, we got that piece of jewelry or piece of pottery."
"We found an ornament that said, 'I love you to the moon and back,' which is what we tell our daughter every day," added Aimee Carr, Pontotoc resident. "That's something when she gets older and moves out of the house, she can take with her and have on her Christmas tree."
What better way to lift people's spirits than watching family and friends open presents.
"I really enjoy watching my family open gifts just to see the looks on their faces when they get something new and unique," adds Laura Butts, shopper. "It doesn't have to cost a lot of money, just something that is special to them in some way, and this is a great place to find that."
On the flip side to that, some shoppers will pay anything if it's worth the extra cost.
"Really, the price doesn't matter," added Butts. "If I find what I want, I'm going to get it."
Store owners in downtown New Albany say they participate in the Holiday Open House because they can do in five hours of business what they would normally do in one to three weeks.