Shop windows across the city are looking bright, decked in Christmas spirit. Many of them have stars, in different shapes and sizes, while the more upstreet showrooms have Santa Claus and Reindeer installations.

A trend that’s caught on in the past many years, shops and shopping complexes also have their own Santa, often wiry men with a pillow or two stuffed underneath their bright red Santa suits, ushering in some Christmas cheer and some Santa spirit. While some Santas manage to endear themselves to children with their tummy rubbing and their ‘ho-hos’, others simply scare away the young ones.

Apart from the Christmas spirit, what’s ubiquitous are the sales. Shouting out of every window display, most shops — be it furniture and clothes or the mundane groceries — are offering discounts, each more attractive than the last one.

Maya M., a rather harried mother of three, who was shopping at Big Kids Kemp on M.G. Road, said that it is the “maddest time of the year”.

“Shops are offering sales and discounts. And I still have to buy my youngest this toy car for Christmas,” she said, admitting that Christmas, for her children, was mostly about toys and gifts.

Ashok S., an employee at Kids Kemp, said, “This is our biggest season. Christmas is when all the children expect presents from Santa Claus and all the parents are too willing to indulge.”

Not to be left behind is the roadside vendor. Like every year, Santosh Kumar, who sells Santa Claus caps on Brigade Road, says business is brisk. “People come here to shop, see the caps and at this time of the year they don’t think about money but just buy them for the fun of it,” he says, adding that his most enthusiastic costumers are children.

Sachin R., a proprietor of a fancy store in BTM Layout, says: “I bought 10 Christmas trees this year, and I’m down to my last one. Christmas stars are selling like hotcakes. When it comes to festivals, even those who are not so well off want to celebrate and enjoy for just one day.”

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