Coming storm, thoughtfulness impact Christmas shopping

Thursday’s storm is expected to drop 2 to 4 inches of snow in the city.

SHARE Coming storm, thoughtfulness impact Christmas shopping
Cedric D. Thurman, 58, shops for Christmas presents Wednesday at The Silver Room in Hyde Park ahead of the winter storm.

Cedric D. Thurman, 58, shops for Christmas presents Wednesday at The Silver Room in Hyde Park ahead of the winter storm.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

If you haven’t yet bought your spouse a Christmas gift, consider reading something else.

Cedric D. Thurman was leaning over a jewelry display case at The Silver Room boutique in Hyde Park on Wednesday. He’d already bought “11 or 12” gifts for his wife of 28 years.

“I don’t necessarily need one more thing, but I want to get one more thing,” said Thurman, 58.

And like most Chicagoans, he’d been listening to predictions of blowing snow and bone-chilling cold starting Thursday.

“I just realized that tomorrow I’m probably not going to come out, certainly not after about 2 o’clock. Then I just have to worry about shoveling snow and figuring out how to do that when it’s a 20-degree wind chill factor,” he said.

Serious cold is coming, even if it isn’t likely to dump the 13 or so inches of snow some early computer models had predicted.

Kevin Donofrio, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville, said we can expect about 2 to 4 inches of snow in the city Thursday afternoon.

“The snow, at least for the Chicago metro area, isn’t the biggest concern with this system. It’s really what’s going to happen right behind the system,” Donofrio said.

Expect wind gusts of about 50 mph Friday, temperatures crashing to below zero and remaining that way all day and wind chills of about minus 30 degrees — the perfect conditions for frostbite. Cold, too, on Saturday with slightly more tolerable weather for Christmas Day, Donofrio said.

Pamela McCoy, 61, looks for Christmas presents for her family at The Silver Room on Wednesday ahead of the winter storm.

Pamela McCoy, 61, looks for Christmas presents for her family at The Silver Room on Wednesday ahead of the winter storm.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Pamela McCoy, 61, was shopping alongside Thurman at The Silver Room. She’s also not a last-minute shopper.

“These are for people in my family that I know have unique tastes and also have a lot of things. So I’m trying to think about what they like, what they don’t like and what might surprise them,” McCoy said. “I’m giving it some thought, and it’s taking me longer.”

McCoy, who lives in Hyde Park, was also debating whether to cancel the food order she’d planned to take with her for a family Christmas Eve gathering in the south suburbs.

“I’ve been debating it all morning,” she said, concerned about the coming storm.

On the North Side, Lilly Langhorst, 24, was looking forward to the bad weather even though it’ll make it harder to get from her home in Rogers Park to her job in Andersonville on Thursday and Friday.

“I hope we get 2 feet [of snow]. I love it,” she said. “I like snow. I’ve got boots. I paid for them. I have to use them.”

Jan Bak, 32, who lives on the Northwest Side, had also delayed his Christmas shopping but for a special reason: He lost his mother to cancer earlier this year.

Bak’s mother owned an antiques business. She disliked the commercial, generic side of Christmas. Many of her gifts came from her shop — each one as individual as the recipient.

“My mom always gave nice gifts, and I’d like to continue that tradition,” Bak said. “That’s why this year, I want to take my time and be thoughtful.”

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