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Shopping areas packed Monday

The Albany Mall food court is busy just before 2 p.m. Monday as day-after-Christmas bargain shoppers take a break before shopping again.

The Albany Mall food court is busy just before 2 p.m. Monday as day-after-Christmas bargain shoppers take a break before shopping again.

ALBANY — Apparently the Christmas shopping fever extended into the day after the holiday for hundreds of people Monday.

With stores offering discounts of 50 percent and more, people packed into the Albany Mall to take advantage of the day off from work — with Christmas falling on Sunday, many businesses were closed Monday — to shop, eat and share family time.

Cordele resident Tom Ward said he liked having the day after Christmas off to shop. He likes it so much, in fact, he'd like to have it become a regular part of the holiday schedule.

"We're here to take advantage of all the big sales," Ward said as he and his family left the mall. "I wish the Christmas gift exchange was later in January so we could buy our gifts during these day-after sales."

Ward's son, Jason, said he was spending the money he got for Christmas. In an unscientific survey of people, not many said they were exchanging Christmas gifts. Discounts were what attracted them.

"Why am I here?" said Dontavious Nelson. "It is 10 percent-and-better discount day."

It was also a day to eat at the food court or hang out over coffee at Books-A-Million's Joe Muggs Coffee Shop. Married for 52 years, Merlin and Dora Bragg enjoyed each other's company with books.

"We just like reading and coming to Books-A-Million," said Dora Bragg. "This is a good day to do that."

In the computer age, the coffee shop came in handy for its wi-fi access as Heather Matthes registered a video game she got for Christmas. A Knoxville resident in town to visit family for Christmas, she found the coffee shop the most convenient to open her laptop and access the Internet.

Sitting across from Matthes, Jerry L. Pope said he had to return a gift book to the store.

"It is a W.E.B. Griffin series and I got the one out of order," Pope said. "I like to read them in order."

Andrea Milner's family hit the mall to have pictures taken of her grandchildren. They also had lunch at the Sunset Grill.

"We had to have some Christmas pictures of my grandbabies," Milner said. "They are twins. After lunch we didn't really shop."

The Associated Press reported that Monday was expected to be a busy shopping day, citing one expert who said it may be the third-biggest shopping day of 2011 behind Black Friday and the Saturday before Christmas.