SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine:
THE CHRISTMAS season traditionally brings about an increase in shopping for many people as they put a little extra into buying food and gifts for family and friends.
For some St Catherine residents, however, signs are pointing to a reduction in this perennial practice as they cope with the harsh economic times.
Citing low wages, unemployment and a slow business environment as major deterrents to them advancing their customary holiday shopping spree, some are still insisting that they will still do some form of holiday shopping this year.
While this measured sentiment is shared by a number of residents, there are others who said they will not put any effort into doing any holiday shopping because they just cannot afford it .
Peter Wright, who operates a small pest control and cleaning business from his home in Fairview Gardens in the parish, while bemoaning the slow business environment, told Rural Xpress that he will definitely be doing some shopping to make his family comfortable.
"Despite the slowdown in business, I will still have to make sacrifices to do limited shopping for my family," he said, while alluding to a drastic cut in business this year when compared to last year, a situation he said is causing grave hardships.
Wright revealed that the business is his main source of income, and with the jobs not coming in like they used to, he had no choice but to consciously scale back on his Christmas shopping.
shopping a must
Tamara Brown, a bar worker in Guy's Hill, St Catherine, was less measured in her response, telling Rural Xpress that she does not know where the money will come from, but she will be doing holiday shopping for herself and family. While this view was cautiously espoused by some, there were others who said they will not be doing any form of holiday shopping.
For Sherrian Martin, a wellness coach of Polly Ground district in Ewarton, St Catherine, Christmas holiday shopping does not buy into her philosophy of being true to herself, noting that she will not be expending money that she will need to pay her bills after the holidays are gone.
Like Martin, Shania Anderson, a practical nurse who hails from Linstead, St Catherine, and a mother of three, says she does not believe in spending money that she will need later just because of a season.