Brian Egbert and his family were on a cross-country holiday trip from Ohio to Idaho when they stopped Saturday at a Topeka gas station to fill up their Chevrolet Suburban SUV.
At $1.95 per gallon at the Haag Express Philips 66 station at 1001 S.W. Wanamaker, just off Interstate 70, Egbert wasn't about to complain.
"We're traveling regardless," Egbert said, "but it's a nice Christmas present."
Egbert, who was accompanied by his wife and five children, said the lower gas prices are "a big deal to us."
He said he had driven past a sign earlier in his trip advertising gas for $1.85 per gallon, but the Topeka fuel was the cheapest he actually purchased.
Motorists seemed genuinely surprised to find gas prices continuing to drop as Christmas approached, even if they were planning to stay close to home for the holidays.
Carl Kelly, of Topeka, said he wouldn't be taking a long road trip over the Christmas holiday, but he was pleased to see gas prices dip below $2 per gallon, particularly after relatively high prices earlier in the year.
"It couldn't come at a better time," Kelly said. "There's a lot of people hitting the road right now."
According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of unleaded fuel on Saturday was $2.33 per gallon. That price was down a nickel from $2.38 per gallon a week ago and down 25 cents per gallon from $2.58 a month ago.
The price also was down 11 cents from the $2.44 national average from a year ago. AAA said the current prices are the cheapest in December since 2016.
In Kansas, the average price for a gallon of unleaded on Saturday was $2.02.
In Topeka, motorists on Saturday morning were paying anywhere from $1.89 to $2.19 per gallon, according to GasBuddy.com.
Among stations with the lowest prices in Topeka was the downtown BP station at 600 S.E. Quincy, though Sam's Club at 1401 S.W. Wanamaker was selling unleaded gas that morning for a penny cheaper at $1.88 per gallon.
Rafael Marin, of Topeka, said it was "amazing" to see the $1.89 price when he pulled into the downtown BP station on Saturday morning.
"Especially at Christmas," he said. "That means I've got more money in my pocket for my kids."
Marin said he likely would be heading to Lawrence on Christmas Eve, and even though it is a short 25-mile drive, he would probably fill up in Topeka with prices so low.
"I'll probably tell my father-in-law about the gas prices at the BP," Marin added. "He's always looking for cheap gas prices."
AAA projected 102 million Americans to drive to their holiday destinations this year, a 4 percent increase over a year ago.
According to AAA, both in the United States and around the world, there is a surplus of crude oil, which has driven gas prices to the lowest levels of the year.
The lower gas prices may not stay around for long, however.
Earlier this month, OPEC and Russia announced that beginning in 2019, they will reduce crude oil production by 1.2 million barrels per day for an initial six month period to help balance global supply.
AAA said the move could drive crude oil prices up and in turn result in higher gas prices in the new year.