The holiday season has officially begun, which brings the start of the gift shopping season. While many people are still deciding on what to gift their loved ones, the shops of downtown Auburn have been preparing for some time now.

                  “We set up for Christmas sometime in September” said Kasey Benson, a sales associate at Wrapsody. Wrapsody staff set up for Christmas the day of the Auburn versus LSU game. Benson said that the staff likes to decorate early because it is what they are known for.

                  Another reason Wrapsody likes to decorate early is because it helps customers get a head start on gifts.

                  “It’s definitely one of our biggest seasons of the year so we try to get it out as early as possible” said Benson.

                  Wrapsody just had its Christmas open house where they stayed open until 8 p.m. and offered customers 25 percent off their purchase.

                  On Black Friday Wrapsody will have another event where they will open at 8 a.m. and offer customers 20 percent off their purchase.

                  Benson said that the Auburn locals tend to shop closer to Christmas.

                  “Our biggest thing is to make sure we have a lot of merchandise out,” said Benson. She added that it is important for the merchandise to be set out in an attractive way and to make sure that customers are familiar with the store’s layout, since it changes frequently.

                  One of the biggest challenges of the holiday season is finding a special gift for a friend. Benson’s advice to a struggling gift giver is that unique gifts are always a good pick and surprises are great around Christmas.

                  While some gift shoppers know exactly what they are looking for, others like to browse and ask around. At Ellie in downtown Auburn, store owner Kelly Poole said that her employees try to talk with the customer to find out what the best gift is for their situation.

                  Ellie has already been decorated for Christmas and the staff has been picking out gift items for a while now. Poole said that she tries to stock up on items that mothers would pick out for their daughters.

                  While Ellie has already held its Christmas open house, they will also be offering deals the day after Thanksgiving during “Blue Friday” in downtown Auburn.

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