NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – This past weekend was busy as holiday shoppers swept through and local businesses are expecting that momentum to continue up until they close this Saturday.

“Last year was kind of a busy start in the beginning. Everyone was worried people were going to run out of things and this year it’s more of a slow burn towards getting to Christmas,” said Andre Boulay, co-owner of A2Z Science & Learning Toy Store in Northampton.

Boulay said this year’s holiday rush is more like what we saw before the pandemic but what are people buying this year?

“Oh they’re buying so much stuff. They’re buying cozy things to keep their loved ones warm, hats, gloves socks. You name it,” said Katie Rennie, owner of 25 Central.

Katie Rennie, the owner of 25 Central, said many people are buying gifts for themselves this year but when it comes to finding just the right present for their loved ones, people are being intentional… something Assistant Manager Madie Wright also said at Ten Thousand Villages.

“With the state of the world and after all the craziness I think people are really putting effort and love into what they’re giving instead of giving to just give a gift. They really want someone to love what they’re getting,” said Wright.

The National Retail Federation expects a healthy year for holiday spending, up by 6 to 8 percent compared to last year alone.