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Twinkies will be under the tree

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Updated: January 13, 2013 11:09AM

Christmas shopping in the Tully household got a lot harder this year — but on Tuesday, siblings Megan and Tyler got a final chance to make their dad’s holiday wishes come true.

You see, Tully is synonymous with Twinkie. For as long as they can remember, the siblings have made a simple stop at the grocery store to appease their father’s holiday wishes. These days, that task is a bit more arduous.

Since the week before Thanksgiving, the delicious little snack cakes have been missing from local grocery store shelves, making dad’s wish list harder to check off.

“I thought we’d never get them unless we went on eBay and bought a box for $100,” Tyler, 14, said on Tuesday as he waited in line at Jewel-Osco in Oswego, where 54 boxes of Twinkies had been slated as their final destination.

When he heard about the opportunity to snag his dad a box, Tyler and sister Megan were quick to step into action. At 3:30 p.m., the two secured their spots in line, and secured the opportunity for Dad to receive at least four boxes under this year’s tree.

“Usually, his is the easiest gift to get,” Megan Tully said, holding her ticket. “Not this year.”

Store across the Fox Valley prepared to receive their final shipments Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning, and store managers had been fielding phone calls all day from customers eager to get their hands on the last sacred boxes.

“It’s really evolved as the day has progressed,” said Jewel-Osco store director Shain Lichty. As word of the final shipment hit the media, the frenzied last-ditch efforts of Hostess fanatics kicked in. “From what I understand, the majority of what’s left is at Jewel-Osco.”

And the majority of what’s at Jewel-Osco will be in the hands of eager customers as soon as it hits the shelves, he said. In Oswego, those waiting in line were given tickets, good for two boxes of the snack cakes.

“I’ve heard about people fighting over boxes,” Lichty said. The number system would assure everyone who comes and waits can snag a box, he said.

By the time the 8:30 p.m. shipment came in, the Tullys had waited in line more than five hours alongside a handful of other Twinkie trolls. Sandwich’s Irene Needham sat perched against the wall on Tuesday, waiting for the shipment to be dispersed.

“I’ll be in Yorkville (on Wednesday), too,” she said. That’s when the Route 34 location will be receiving its 6 a.m. shipment. Needham was hoping to snag enough boxes to give as gifts to her plethora of nephews, some of whom live as far away as New Jersey.

“If they have to split a box, they’ll split a box,” she said, but they’ll definitely have their Twinkies in hand come Christmas Day.

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