On Christmas Eve we went out in the City Centre talking to people about their last minute shopping, dinner plans and if Brexit had affected their choices.
“I will be spending Christmas with family,” said Clayton Busto who was clinging to a number of his bags along with his smiling family. “Tonight I go to my parents’, tomorrow we will spend it at mine and the in-laws will be on Boxing Day.
“My wife and I will be taking a break in Sierra Nevada, but the kids will have everything they want, from scalextric sets to video games and there is plenty of food and wine going around.”
“Eating, drinking and spending lots of money,” said Keith. “About what I am expecting to receive, it’s a big surprise. A new camper van would be good, though! Does Santa bring those? [laughs] Meanwhile my children want drawing materials, a new phone and video games. “
But he said because of the poor exchange rate of the Euro, he had been spending in Gibraltar. “Spending in Spain is not worth it anymore, especially as everything is available over here. Even though Morisson’s is very expensive I have been going to Eroski on the Rock.”
“I will be probably getting drunk and be celebrating with the family,” said Mark Valverde who was down Main Street with his friends. “I am expecting a lot of presents but that is not what is important. What is important is the family love.
“Christmas is mostly about eating,” said an 18-year-old university student. “I have just come back home for Christmas and most missed the food, in particular the polvorones, mantecados and the pork. In terms of Christmas presents, I don’t want for much so I am happy with whatever comes my way.
“Christmas is a time for giving of course, so today I spent a decent 20 quid on a person, which is okay for a person my age. If I get some peace and quiet over Christmas I will be happy and if I don’t get a jacket I saw in Marble Arc I will buy it with my Christmas money.
“There will be a couple of drinks but it is more about the people. I have quite a religious family, but I think religion is a very personal thing so the best way to get through that is the mildly predatory use of gift-giving. But religion does not have to be in people’s throats because a lot of people get very detracted to it when you start bringing it up.”
“People are not only generous at Christmas time,” said Henry, who was busking with his hip-hop down Main Street. “If people see you have a passion for what you are doing, they will always give generously. Even if they don’t give me money, they might give me a place to stay when I am doing a gig somewhere.
“Personally I don’t really celebrate Christmas but prefer to stay at home watching Netflix, because it is the one day when I cannot be out on the street rapping. I only moved here this month but I am interested in starting workshops for children who are interested in hip-hop, where I can teach them to write lyrics, play instruments or do grafitti.”
“I just plan to do some relaxing with the family and stuff my face,” laughed Sam, who was doing some last-minute Christmas shopping. “About Brexit. it will definitely take a bit longer to come through customs in future years when it goes through.”
A guy called Pepe said he was expecting a lot of presents: “Despite Brexit, I have spent like every other year, buying my presents two weeks before, which is a way to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. Today, to be honest, I picked up the turkey for the Christmas dinner so it was nice and fresh.”
“I don’t celebrate Christmas because I’m Jewish but my friends do,” said businessman Sol Seruya, who amazingly is going to be 89 this year. “Business seems to be the same as usual, it seems!”
“It’s been very last-minute shopping,” said Andrew from Scotland. “As it is all done on one street it’s been pretty easy and duty-free, which is hard to beat. Brexit has not even crossed my mind, so I am just focusing on enjoying the sun and enjoying time with the family.”