STREET BEAT: All sold out
A changing trend on the Barbadian landscape during this festive season is the buying of real Christmas trees.
In years past, people tended to pick up artificial trees which could be set up, pulled down and brought out again the next year, but this is no longer the case.
This was evident at The People’s Market on Tudor Bridge, St Michael, which has been sold out of genuine Christmas trees for weeks.
“We had about 200 Christmas trees this year and they sold out two weeks ago but people are still asking,” senior supervisor Patrick Collymore told Street Beat.
“We had more trees last year but we couldn’t sell all and now we reduced the number they all sold within a week and a half.”
He said it did not matter what size the trees were, from five to ten feet, they all sold “like mad”, with one day recording 50 trees sold in less than two hours. He said even the stunted trees and the leaves were selling.
“People just want the smell. I had someone ask for the leaves that fell off the trees. They said to bag it and they would buy it. People just don’t want artificial trees anymore,” he said.
Collymore said it was not just The People’s Market that was sold out as he thought many other companies had reduced their tree quota, resulting in a shortage.
In addition to trees, Barbadians are looking for ham for Christmas – and that’s not about to change. The freezers at Hanschell Inniss were full of hams and Barbadians were all over them. However, shoppers were being a bit more discerning this year, what with the hard economic times. Many people were comparing size to price.
Too expensive for the size
“It’s all about price and size and right now I’m comparing,” said a man who identified himself as Sam. “I find I have to be more economical. They always have good quality here but it’s different this year; I think the hams are too expensive for the size but what can you do?”
The packed store had many others who felt the same, such as a woman, who requested anonymity, who said she had no choice in the matter.
“The sizes are too small for too much money. Last year I bought ham from a truck for less but now the trucks are at the same price as here but I still got a ham because it’s Christmas and you got to have ham,” she said.
Not everyone felt this way, however. Lynell Clarke said the meat was not “too expensive” although she was on the hunt for something that filled her eyes for the money while Carlton Hinds said he was looking for a half leg, so price was not a major consideration. He said the quality was good but there was a lack of half-leg hams.
As the days to Christmas wound down, many householders could be seen placing fresh coats of paint on their homes, one tradition that’s still precious to some. However, not everyone could do it for themselves, such as the elderly, so some big-hearted people helped them out.
Reynolds Johnson is one such person. Street Beat came across him painting a house for a friend. A retiree himself, he said he was not too old to paint and in fact was still the expert at home.
“I am just helping out a friend. Right now I’m painting the trimmings after painting the house. At home, my children help keep things looking good for Christmas but what they can’t do, they leave for me,” he said.