DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Facing big repair bills and other financial hardships from the recent flooding in August, many families in the Baton Rouge area are cutting back on
the holiday shopping this season, including Jeantile Deville of Denham Springs and her son, Brayden.
Their home flooded and they say it's been an exhausting effort to rebuild, so they're just looking forward to enjoying each other's company this holiday season. "I'm hoping for just love and care," Brayden said. "To be with my family. It's not really value that I want, I just like spending time with my family."
Even families that didn't flood are easing up on spending. Jimmy Smiley's home didn't see any water, but after watching many of his friends go through it, he's had time to reflect. "A lot of people are just without homes and losing everything," Smiley said. "It's just more about spending time with family and being together more than normally the gifts and all the hustle and bustle of all that."
Marilyn Wallace owns Heritage House in the famous Antique Village. She says her December sales are actually consistent with last year, but she's seen a difference in the way shoppers are behaving. Instead of buying one large, expensive gift, they're buying smaller, less costly gifts such as jewelry or silverware.
"They're kind of out of the furniture right now, and they're into the sterling silver brooch or the antique cameo, small gift giving stuff," Wallace said.
That's a strategy that Anthony Vicellio and her son Dana Vicellio are using this year. They bought each other classic vinyl records, but they're not done yet. Dana says it's hard to resist the holiday spirit, even when the budget is tight.
"I have grand babies and it's hard to limit yourself and you kind of just keep seeing things that you think they would love," Dana said.