Macy's in Herald Square opened at 7 a.m., and some stores are remaining open around the clock.
Kohl's is open 24 hours through 6 p.m. Monday evening.
"It's the rush, it's the energy," said Diane Graham, a shopper.
What you need to know: List of retailers open on Christmas Eve for last-minute shoppers
Dressed in her holiday best, Gallagher was up early looking for bargains.
"It's the people I forgot on my list, maybe they were a little naughty," she said. "But now I've decided they were nice."
Rex Berger is on the nice list. His parents took him to see Santa so the man in red knows exactly what to put under the tree.
"A lot of LEGO architectures," Rex said.
The National Retail Federation says most people have actually finished their holiday shopping, but about 7 percent of Americans will be hitting stores Monday during what is considered a strong economy.
Higher wages and low unemployment means spending is expected to be up about 5 percent over last year.
And if you did wait until the last minute, there is some good news -- experts say the deals are there.
"If you're going to end up at the store, look for discounts of anywhere between 60 to 75 percent off," retail expert Hitha Herzog said. "And you're looking at electronics savings of anywhere between 45 to 65 percent."
And believe it or not, it's not too late to shop online.
Some stores like Target are offering in-store pick up on Christmas Eve, and Amazon is doing free same-day shipping in select areas if you are a Prime member.
If you use the Prime Now option, many times come with two-hour shipping if you order by 9 p.m. Christmas Eve.
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