Christmas Shopping

The shopping season for Christmas started just a week ago. It was heralded by the putting up of Christmas decorations along Orchard Road and Marina Square. That effectively set forth the festive mood and just as expected, crowds of shoppers flock towards these places. Having just received their bonus, many are enjoying their higher purchasing power and are already shopping for Christmas gifts for their friends and loved ones.
        I was no exception. Making my way to Orchard Road last Friday, I was surprised to see how crowded it was. There were Christmas special sales, clearance sales and various other sales promotions in all the departmental stores. In one store, there were free soft toys for shoppers who exceeded a certain amount in their purchases; there were discount coupons and also instant lucky   draws for many others. I told myself those were gimmicks engaged in by them to lure potential customers into spending more but they were certainly effective!
      The Christmas decorations were up and glittering lights lined the streets. Even tourists were just as excited and charmed; many took the opportunity to take a number of photographs of the festive decorations. I was especially delighted when the familiar Christmas songs were played over the air, making everyone's mood so light and gay.
      As I sat at a corner to enjoy the music and to rest my tired feet at the same time, I could see shoppers walking in different directions carrying colourful carriers. Most of them were not alone and as they waked with their friends or family members, they stopped occasionally when certain decorations caught their attention. There were others who appeared to be in a hurry and walked quickly past me. Perhaps, after having done their shopping, they wanted some moments of peace. Could they be people who suffer from claustrophobia?
      Looking at another direction, I could see many shoppers waiting at the bus stops and taxi-stands. The queue at the taxi-stand was...