WARREN - Christmas was just another work day for Kuldip Singh, a co-owner at Fast Fuel, 1514 Parkman Road.
"It was a little slower," Singh said. "People who come in really are happy to see us open. They are coming in for a little bit of everything - gasoline, cigarettes, beer and wine, and even some last-minute items."
Singh has been at the Fast Fuel for two years.
Tribune Chronicle photos / Raymond L. Smith
Ahmad Amireh bags items being purchased Tuesday — Christmas day — by Richard Graham at the Smart Store on U.S. Route 422. While most businesses closed for Christmas, a few stayed open.
Most national and regional chain stores and restaurants - Dollar General, McDonald's, Burger King, Walgreens, Giant Eagle and others - gave their employees needed reprieves from the onslaught of final shopping days before Christmas. For one night, it was a night of peace on earth.
However, today, the post Christmas sales and the returns will begin in earnest. Plus, shoppers will begin to restock their refrigerators with food that was heavily gorged on on Christmas and begin laying in snacks and other items needed for this year's college bowl season.
Janet Garland of Youngs-town was traveling home from Parma when she noticed that her gas tank was getting dangerously low and her kids were very hungry. She stopped at the Sunoco gas station at Tod Avenue and East Market Street in Warren to fill her tank and get snacks for her crew.
"We kept seeing store after store closed," she said. "I normally would get them some hamburgers, but all of the restaurants are closed.
"I spent nearly $50 in gasoline and food, but it is worth it," she said.
Abe Jaian, an owner of the Pit Stop, described Christmas as a good day for customers.
"We've seen a lot of faces we don't normally see," he said. "People getting some final ingredients for dinner or some snacks."
The gas station / convenience store is open 365 days a year.
"We're here to help those in need," he said.
Mark Amireh described a steady stream of customers coming through the Smart Food Store, 2142 Youngstown Road.
"People need all kinds of things for their meals," he said. "We are here every day. We are only closed for weddings and funerals."
It's also another work day for emergency personnel.
Lordstown police dispatcher Patricia DeSantis said working on Christmas was relatively easy for her.
"I celebrated the holiday with the children last night," DeSantis said. "Because my children are grown, I like working on Christmas, so I can give my co-workers who have younger children a chance to be with them."
Besides, she said, everyone can use the extra pay for working the holiday.
Some workers at local hospitals were given holiday breaks by volunteers from B'nai B'rith Mahoning Lodge 339. The service organization volunteered to work at gift shops and information desks at four area hospitals so staff members could spend their holidays with their family members.
Neil Altman, a co-coordinator of Operation Snowflake, said the local B'nai B'rith lodge has been doing this since 1978.
"We had about 20 volunteers at the four hospitals this year," Altman said. "Our volunteer really enjoyed themselves."
Operation Snowflake volunteers staffed shops at St. Elizabeth Health Center Youngstown and Boardman campuses, St. Joseph Health Center in Warren and Sharon Regional Health Systems, Sharon, Pa.
Altman said member of the lodge live in the four-county area that includes Trumbull and Mahoning county.