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Some businesses choose to be open on Christmas
Waffle House waitress Christina Munoz serves Kevin and Leah Satterfield and their children Peri, left, and Micah, right, during a busy Christmas day at the Waffle House on Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville. - photo by Tom Reed

Even the parking lots of some churches were empty Sunday morning, but you could barely get a seat at the Waffle House off Dawsonville Highway in Gainesville.

"Usually, Saturday and Sunday mornings are busy anyway, but this (line of customers) is a little more lengthy than usual," said Tracy Davis, who greets and seats people at the eatery. "Usually, I'm out of here about 1 p.m., but not today. I'll be here until 7 tonight.

"From what I've been told, it's going to be like this all day long."

Christmas Day was quiet elsewhere in Hall County. Traffic was scarce and businesses were closed.

Liquor stores, now allowed to do business Sunday afternoons in Flowery Branch, Gainesville and Oakwood, also were shuttered.

But registers were ringing at convenience stores and some national pharmacy chains.

"We care for the customers," said Mike Patel at the Citgo Food Mart. "We want to make sure they have their water, bread and milk."

He said his store at the corner off Dawsonville Highway and Shallowford Road in Gainesville, also featuring gas pumps out front, was doing OK for a rainy, major holiday falling on Sunday.

"We're doing pretty good business," Patel said.

Davis had to stay on her toes as customers streamed into the Waffle House and lined up against a wall, waiting to take their turn at a booth or table.

"It's a blast," she said. "I enjoy being busy."

Kevin Satterfield and his family were enjoying a lunchtime meal at the restaurant.

"It's different food, compared to what we've been having, and it's about the only place open," he said.

Thomas Gaddis wasn't just looking to dine out for Christmas Day.

He's a huge Waffle House fan, even sporting a ball cap with the company's insignia and the messages "Happy holidays" and "From our house to your house."

"I go to them all the time," said the Dahlonega man.

He visited the Gainesville restaurant "because nothing else is open, just to hang around and I know all these people here, or most of them."


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