I know it's Christmas and there might be quite a few folks trying to activate their new phones but it's been 2 hours now and i'm worried it's hopelessly stuck.
Anyone else with similar situation?
I'm sorry that you are having difficulties activating your new phone (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201407), PaulMerc. We want to assist you as much as possible and get your phone activated.
You mention that your device is stuck on the activation screen. Is your phone completely frozen or do you see any type of activity on it?
Did you follow the activation steps outlined at this link (https://www.verizonwireless.com/support/how-to-activate-device-video/)?