Chicago holiday shoppers brave the bitter cold

For those hitting Michigan Avenue during these bitter cold temperatures to pick up some bundles for others, it first required some bundling of self.

“I am totally dressed for shopping in this weather, Yes, today,” said Chris Cerri of Des Plaines who denied being cold. “No, no, totally not. I have leggings and under my jeans I have a thick sweater underneath my down jacket, I am warm.”

But when visitors from Alaska feel that the city of Big Shoulders is giving them the cold shoulder, it might be time to cash out on the shopping.

“It's pretty frigid, we have the wind off the lake that's really rough, and back home we don't walk around to go shopping, we are in our cars going from store to store,” said Maria Stuart, from Homer, Alaska where it was 32 degrees and snowing, compared to Chicago’s sunny and 10 degrees, with a wind chill that made it feel like -5.

For hearty Chicagoans, with the days until Christmas disappearing as quickly as the degrees on the thermometer, there was something to buy and something to prove.

“I think it's a character building experience living here in Chicago and suffering through this cold weather,” said Megan Marrs of Chicago explaining why she was not at a nice warm indoor mall.

There was actually one benefit for those braving the cold, and that was the fact that getting full bags did not mean battling full stores.

“It's making it a lot easier to get, not long lines or anything like that so it's much better shopping I think today rather than this weekend,” said Cassie Cahill of Bartlett.

The key, along with knowing how to dress, is knowing how to shop.

“Strategic pit stops help, that's the idea. A little shopping, a little pit stop, little shopping, pit stop. Temperature doesn't matter,” said Tom Crowley from Wauconda

For others, a warm heart reached all the way down to cold toes and fingers.

“We're out here for love, hopefully, so that offsets the cold. Trying to get something for someone you love,” said Amanda Fox of Chicago.