WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) — With Christmas less than two weeks away, people across western Massachusetts took the weekend to catch up on holiday shopping.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers begin shopping earlier and earlier, to avoid stress and stay on budget. This year the NRF reported 61 percent of shoppers began in early November.

“Almost done. I’m trying to get it done today,” Joanne Burns told 22News.

Others, like Michael Duran, were just getting started with their holiday gift buying on Sunday. “I just started,” he said, “I’m one of those who waits until the last second.”

During the 2021 holiday season, experts predict online sales will jump from 11 to 15 percent over last year. However, 22News spoke with some local residents who said they prefer the experience of shopping in the store.

“Sometimes online when you order you won’t get it on time, and gifts get messed up, people waiting, kids crying,” Carmen Calderon said.

“I like to see the stuff, I like to feel it. and check it out before. Sometimes I get online if I need to, but most of the time I like to come in and do the stores,” Burns said.

The NRF expects consumers to spend more than $843 billion on holiday shopping, compared to $777 billion last year.