SIERRA VISTA — After Christmas sales started happening throughout Sierra Vista on Thursday, with customers flocking into stores looking for deals on everything Christmas. Armloads of wrapping paper, garland, ornaments and lights delighted bargain shoppers as they loaded their vehicles with great finds.

“Hobby Lobby actually started cutting prices early in the holiday season, and I got a lot of good deals before Christmas, so that worked out well for me,” said Kathy Ashton. “Today (Thursday) I’m out looking around at other stores in the area to see what kinds of sales they’re having.”

The after-Christmas sale at Dillard’s in Sierra Vista is always a big draw, and Thursday was no exception. From ornaments, to holiday home decor, prices dipped down by 50 percent in most cases, and customers swooped in to take advantage the savings.

Carmen Chastain had her eye on a six-foot tall wooden nutcracker she wanted for the foyer of her home.

“From the moment I saw him, I really wanted him, and vowed I would be here first thing Thursday for the store’s after-Christmas sale. He’s absolutely beautiful,” Chastain said as she watched Dillard’s employee Miguel Morales load the new addition to her Christmas collection into a waiting SUV. “When Dillard’s has sales, they’re usually fantastic and I try to get here for them.”

Chastain said she particularly watches for Dillard’s sales the days after Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s.

“This nutcracker is close to six feet tall, and is a colorful European-looking soldier. He was $1,000 full-price and when I saw he had been marked down to half-price, I grabbed him. “

Josh Paiz and his fiancée Kelly Torrey said they look for after-Christmas bargains every year to help stretch Christmas dollars.

“By taking advantage of the sales, we’re able to find quality gifts for family and friends at some really good prices,” Paiz said. “We’ve found some great deals by shopping after Christmas.”

For the first time this year, Elizabeth Roy had a rustic tree in her home.

“I’m here to look for rustic ornaments for my Christmas collection,” she said. “I really liked the way my tree turned out and plan to add to it, so I’m here looking for new ideas and decorations. I’m finding some beautiful ornaments here that will go along with the rustic theme that I’m doing.”

While the store’s home department bustled with bargain-shoppers, customers also made their way to the jewelry department where prices dropped between 30 and 40 percent on some items.

“Every year, I say I’m going to get flashy Christmas jewelry for different events that I attend during the holidays, and I never get around to it,” said Jennifer Mason, who was visiting family from the Phoenix area. “I had some free time, so decided to get out and do some shopping. So far, I’ve been to Target, Hobby Lobby, Beall’s, and now Dillard’s and I’m amazed by the savings.

“It’s always fun to go Christmas shopping during the holiday season, but the after-Christmas sales are fun, too.”

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