KITTERY — With just four days left in the Christmas shopping season, controlled chaos reigned at the Kittery Trading Post parking lot Saturday as drivers circled around in search of an empty spot.

Shoppers were out in force for this year’s Super Saturday, the last Saturday leading up to Christmas when retailers rake in the cash with special sales and deals designed to whip consumers into a final buying frenzy.

ShopperTrak, a retail analytics company in Chicago, predicted this year’s Super Saturday would beat out Black Friday as the No. 1 sales day of the year for the first time in 10 years, with nearly $10 billion in sales nationwide on that day alone for a season total of $276 billion, up 3.8 percent from last year.

But shoppers in Kittery appeared to be keeping calm Saturday as the minutes ticked away toward Christmas Day.

“I’m mellow,” said Scott Sharpe of Wells, who was shopping with his wife, Verna.

The lack of stress in the crowds may have been due to an early start to the Christmas shopping season. A National Retail Federation survey of 6,165 consumers found that the average holiday shopper had completed 52.9 percent of his shopping as of Dec. 10, up from 49.9 percent last year.

The federation’s president and chief executive officer, Matthew Shay, attributed the trend to early promotions by retailers, extended store hours and deals on shipping costs.

About one-third of those surveyed by the Washington, D.C., retail federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, said they planned to wind up their shopping before Dec. 18, while 14.5 percent planned to complete their shopping by Super Saturday. Only 9.1 percent said they would wait to buy their last gift on Wednesday, Christmas Eve.

The Sharpes said the secret to staying calm was getting up and out early and keeping lists.

“I have several lists, a list by store and a list by person,” said Verna Sharpe.

Dave Chase of Berwick set out at 6 a.m. Saturday with the goal of getting his entire Christmas shopping done in one day. By 11:30 a.m. he had made progress, having stopped at six different stores.

Ned Osolin of Brunswick was also hoping to get his shopping done in one day. He said he doesn’t bother with lists but looks for inspiration as he walks the aisles.

“I walk around and look for usable items,” said Osolin.

Kittery Trading Post, a Route 1 landmark and outdoor gear outfitter, is both a place to shop and a place to meet up. Kelly and Andrew Van Brocklin of Alfred were there to hand over their children Hunter, 8, and Madison, 5, to other family members before finishing up their holiday gift buying.

For more than a decade Sally Nelligan has set out from her home in Calais the week before Christmas to drive two hours to her son Tom Nelligan’s home in Belfast. She, her son and her brother-in-law, Jim Nelligan of Bangor, then pile into her son’s car with all her presents and luggage and head to the Kittery Trading Post, where they rendezvous with her other son, Bill Nelligan of Haddam, Connecticut.

They shop and eat. Then they transfer all her gifts and luggage into Bill Nelligan’s car, and he and his mother head to Connecticut.

“It will be the reverse going home,” said Sally Nelligan.

Nelligan said she normally shops in Bangor for her extensive gift list, which includes eight grandchildren with an age range of 8 to 28, because the shopping in Calais is limited to one store, Walmart.

Megan Taft drove two hours from Jefferson to meet up and shop with her mother at the trading post and the Kittery outlets. Her mother drove up from Vernon, Connecticut. Taft said she normally avoids shopping but this was a way to spend time with her mother.

“I am not big on consumerism, but my mother loves to shop,” said Taft, who hoped to pick up some clothes for her 1-year-old at the outlets.