Last-minute shoppers pack local bakeries

Last-minute shoppers pack local bakeries »Play Video
Local bakeries are feeling the Christmas "crunch" this year.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Lit up against a rainy dark morning, Helen Bernhard Bakery looks like a Christmas card. But inside, Santa's elves are hard at work. Some are even college students on winter break to help out.

"Three of them were in here yesterday bagging cookies and doing cookie trays", said owner Mike Snaadt. "That's how you get 15,000 cookies frosted like Frosty the Snowman in a month."

Retail stores aren't the only places you'll find extra staff and big crowds. The rush is on at local bakeries to feed the family's insatiable appetite for nostalgic sweets. KATU found bakers depend on this day to bring in the "dough."

Snaadt admits he's exhausted.

"Actually I slept in this morning, I got up around 2," he said.

And Tuesday will be crazier when it's first come first serve. But Snaadt loves it.

"It's a great Christmas spirit, I'll probably get teary eyed sometime during the day because I'm exhausted and I'm a sap," he said.

It's all about the memories, Snaadt says -- something that's hard to find in the mall.

"You can get the perfect shirt the day after Christmas. And it's the same shirt. This is part of your celebration."

People are going way back in time this Christmas. Helen Bernhard Bakery sold out of plum pudding already. Mince meat pie is another hit, and Beaverton Bakery says its German Christmas bread takes the cake this year.