FREEPORT – Neal Dixon strolled up Bow Street on Sunday afternoon wearing a maize-and-blue scarf from the University of Michigan — where he attends graduate school — and a newly purchased aviator hat made of leather and lined with rabbit fur.

“Shopping the day after Christmas is much more pleasant than (on) Black Friday,” said Dixon, whose next destination involved a lobster roll lunch. “My mom has been raving about this place for the last year and a half.”

So, did Freeport live up to the hype?

“It hasn’t disappointed,” Dixon said.

He looked at the bulging shopping bag held by his father, Bill, and grinned.

“Dad hasn’t disappointed.”

Merchants were eager to rectify any Christmas disappointments with post-holiday sales Sunday. Plenty of shoppers took advantage. Some clutched gift cards instead of shopping lists. Others exchanged ill-fitting gifts. Still others simply were out for a bargain.

Count Reinette Burke, 82, of South Portland among the latter. She picked up five rolls of holiday wrapping paper — at 50 percent off — at the True Value hardware store in South Portland.

Every year, she shops on the day after Christmas. Mainly for cards and paper, she said.

“I don’t dare go back to the mall,” Burke said. “Tired of the crowds at this point.”

With no bags large enough for the long rolls of wrapping paper, her cashier bundled them with a rubber band.

“Good deal,” Burke said. “I have a nice big attic and store a lot of things up there.”

Back in Freeport, Sue Beals of Winslow took her place at the back of a sinuous line for returns at L.L. Bean’s flagship store. She held a cup of peppermint hot chocolate in one hand and the rope handles of a Bean paper bag in the other as she shuffled through a corral as if waiting to board a popular amusement-park ride.

Beals had given slippers to her children for Christmas. Her 12-year-old was delighted. Her 20-year-old daughter and 24-year-old son opted for something else. Her son Michael, who lives in Rockland, was off choosing a winter vest while Beals returned the slippers.

“This gives us a chance to shop together,” Beals said. “He gets to be treated to lunch, too.”

Across Main Street in the crowded L.L. Bean outlet store, Arnie Roy of Turner picked out a navy blue lightweight jacket while he awaited his wife, Nancy. They each had returned something earlier in the day and were now “floating around just a bit.”

Arnie Roy wasn’t sure about the jacket purchase. “I’ll have the boss check it out first,” he said. A few blocks down on Main Street, a sign in the Paderno kitchenware store announced a sale of up to 80 percent off because, after 15 years, the store is due to close for good on Friday.

“It’s a sad time for all of us,” said salesperson Caron Beard of Pownal. “The last two years, we just haven’t been able to get back on our feet from the recession.”

Christina and John Scalcione of Greenville, S.C., are regular holiday visitors to Freeport, but Sunday marked their first trip with their 18-month-old twin girls, Anna and Ella, who wore matching fleece tops in their double stroller.

“We need boots,” said Christina, who grew up in Portland, “so they can play in the snow.”

Two adult sisters, Julie and Lisa Fawcett, also enjoyed some quality time together. They lingered outside the outdoors store’s Riverbend Aquarium after Julie, who lives in Portland, poked her head inside a bottom-of-the-tank bubble so she could see eye to snout with a rainbow trout.

“I had never been in the bubble,” she said, impressed, before continuing her search for a new bird feeder. Squirrels broke last year’s squirrel-proof feeder, as if such a thing exists.

Lisa Fawcett, who lives in New York City, said she needed four pairs of the traction devices that slip over shoes or boots, all destined for members of her Pilates class. She also wanted to find a hooded sweatshirt for her daughter.

“And then I want to buy something for me,” she said with a laugh. “Not that I need anything at all, but I like to look.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

[email protected]