The decorations are up, the lights are lit, and very soon Father Christmas will be at a shopping centre near you. But as the festive mood whizzes through the air, South Africans are getting ready to feel the spending pinch. RAâ€™EESA PATHER asked people about public Christmas decorations and end of year sales.
Khaya Ndala, 28, barista, Langa
Christmas decorations are good. Most of us are going to visit our families in the Eastern Cape and when we see the decorations it reminds us of that. Itâ€™s especially good for the kids. I donâ€™t like them as much, but itâ€™s just something to show the holiday season is here. With the sales, itâ€™s so bad, because everything is more expensive now. Itâ€™s not good for people, especially those who are not getting something, for those who are poor.
Karabo Rajuili, 31, M&G investigative unit, Claremont
Itâ€™s very commercial, but there is something special about doing things because itâ€™s fun and it brings a sense of the end of the year, and it gets people into a nice holiday spirit. So, itâ€™s very cheesy, but I think itâ€™s cool. I love the colour and the atmosphere, and when the lights come on in the evening. People look at the Christmas lights and they tend to get a bit happier. The commercialism bothers me because it forces people into consumerism. It makes people feel that if they donâ€™t prioritise getting things then they arenâ€™t part of the Christmas spirit. The reality is a lot of people are struggling financially, so it puts a lot of pressure on people to buy things they probably shouldnâ€™t be buying.
Ellen Mandere, 26, waitress, Hout Bay
Sometimes they put the decorations up too early, but I donâ€™t mind. It brings happiness to people. It puts me into the festive season. I think of home and I miss it, because Iâ€™m from Zimbabwe. But I am going back for Christmas. Shops should go on sale more often during this time of year, because some people donâ€™t have money but they want to buy and they want to be in that Christmas mood.
Jaco du Plessis, 31, refrigerator technician, Brackenfall
It uplifts the mood and itâ€™s actually something to look forward to. It brings joy and celebration. I feel good about it, itâ€™s a reminder the yearâ€™s over and we can celebrate a hard yearâ€™s work and new beginnings. When I see decorations on the one side I feel happy, but on the other side I think itâ€™s spending time again.
Magdalene Daniels, 29, parking security, Elsies River
Itâ€™s fun and it getâ€™s us into the Christmas spirit. You can see itâ€™s Christmas time, and itâ€™s good for the kids to come out and see the decorations. Itâ€™s not annoying, itâ€™s Christmas time, so it canâ€™t be annoying. The sales are good, because during this time you get more things. It helps, because stuff is more affordable.
– Featured image via Wikimedia Commons