McALLEN — The days following Christmas can be just as hectic as the days preceding it, and for good reason considering the number of gift cards and returns anticipated after the holidays. Wednesday proved to be no exception for local retailers, as scores of shoppers flooded area establishments.
La Plaza Mall, Trenton Road businesses and big box retailers such as Walmart, Target and Best Buy witnessed a wave of people seeking to exchange their gifts or redeem the credit in their gift cards.
Tomas Perez was among those who descended upon local businesses on Dec. 26.
“I bought a camera case, but it was too small for my big camera, and too big for my small cameras,” he said with a chuckle, while inspecting camera bags at Best Buy on 10th Street in McAllen.
Perez was hoping to fit three cameras in one bag; his SLR Nikon, Sony and Canon cameras. He said that the camera bag he was returning was a holiday gift from himself to himself — an impulsive buy while shopping for others.
“I was always looking for gifts for my family, only to find a gift for me,” said Perez, of Mission, who spent Christmas Day with his family from Sunnyvale, California.
At Best Buy, dozens of employees donning their familiar cobalt blue polos were seen frantically assisting customers.
Tina Cazarez, of Edinburg, was also those roaming the aisles of Best Buy on Wednesday afternoon, together with her husband, Martin. The couple was redeeming $20 in rewards cash, which was earned from the Christmas gift Martin bought Tina from the store.
Tina, 23, got Martin a blue and black Traxxas Truck, while he got her a rose gold Insta Square camera and the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
“It (Christmas) was really, really good. We spent it at home together and we both love the gifts we got each other,” she said.
The couple decided to purchase the 2016 movie, “Deepwater Horizon,” because they both enjoy watching action movies together.
Jacob Maciel, a University of Texas Rio Grande Valley student, was also at the electronic store with his younger sister and older brother, all of whom were hoping to spend the gift card their parents gave them on Tuesday.
“I maybe want to get a game and some equipment for singing,” said Maciel, 19, who spends his free time recording covers of his favorite songs.
For Christmas, his parents also gave him a stand for his microphone and sound equipment. Maciel hopes to release his covers in January.
Twelve-year-old Bryson Whitlow was with his mother, Gina Vasquez, trading the Beats headphones his uncle gifted him for a pair more comfortable for his ears.
“I like the ones with bigger ear cuffs,” said Whitlow, who attends South Middle School in Edinburg. “They just feel nicer on my ears.”
Whitlow walked away with the Beats Studio 3 Wireless headphones, and said that his favorite artist is the American rapper, Ski Mask the Slump God.