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Americans Crowd Malls, Airports Ahead of Christmas Holiday


Millions of Americans are crowding shopping malls, airports and highways as they complete last-minute preparations for Monday's Christmas holiday.

Traditionally, the days just before Christmas are among the biggest shopping days of the year, as people rush to buy presents for their loved ones.

Earlier in the week, President Bush urged Americans to do more shopping to keep the economy strong, and consumers are doing just that. Macy's department store in New York City has pledged to remain open 24 hours a day until Christmas Day.

A leading survey institute, Neilsen/Net Ratings, says that, in addition to those crowding department stores, the number of people doing their Christmas shopping online is up 20 percent from last year.

While shopping may have gotten easier this year, traveling may be tougher.

Air travelers across the country are still facing delays after a major snowstorm caused a nearly three-day shutdown of the international airport in Denver, Colorado. Denver is a major transit point for several airlines.

And drivers in several regions are facing stormy weather and an increase in gasoline prices.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.
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