Christmas comes early: Costa Rican shoppers beat COVID negativity with retail therapy

Christmas is coming early this year for shoppers in Costa Rica amid the coronavirus pandemic, as seen in San Jose on Thursday. Retailers in the city centre could already be seen displaying Christmas decorations and Santa ads in shop windows. «I think it's a positive thing, people seem livelier,» a local resident said. «I don't know if it's going to have any effect on the economy, and whether the people are going to be able to buy, but at least it raises our spirits.» «In times of pandemic, where people are at their homes, where they are distressed, because we have not found a cure for this disease, this motivates them to decorate the house more. In fact, as many people are working at home, they care more about decorating the house,» Francisco Vargas, a store owner, said. Some locals are a bit sceptical about the early Christmas move, saying that it doesn't look too different than previous years. «It seems to me that advancing or postponing it a couple weeks, the outcome is very similar,» a local said. Undisputedly, it's mid-October, but it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in San Jose.

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