PETALING JAYA - It's the season for the ring of the cash till as shoppers crowded malls in the Klang Valley to snap up last-minute gifts for Christmas.
With the festive holiday just days away, waiting until the last minute was the best way to shop for retiree Joyce Ong, 70, and daughter Karen Ong, who is her 30s.
"This is so that we can get good deals on the gifts. We are looking at meaningful small gifts, such as mugs and cards, as we do not want to splurge so much.
"Nowadays, people are pressured to spend on expensive items but meaningful gifts carry the same caring message," said Joyce at a shopping mall here.
A check by The Star at several malls yesterday showed that they were packed with shoppers buying items such as Christmas decorations, treats and toys.
At a mall in Kelana Jaya, contact centre supervisor, M. Kirija, 32, and her husband, service consultant N. Nantha, 32, were checking out gifts for her brother, who was celebrating Christmas.
"Every year, we look for gifts for him although we do not celebrate it. We will also buy Christmas decorations and toys for my daughter," she said, adding that it was normal for Malaysians to exchange gifts.
Student John Lim, 19, said although he was the only one in his family celebrating Christmas, it was a tradition to buy presents for everyone.
"I usually buy books or clothes for my family and friends," said Lim, who was also taking advantage of the year end sales.
In Johor Baru, among the thousands thronging the malls were Singaporeans benefiting from the weaker ringgit to splurge on gifts.
Singaporean S. Priscilla Devi, 42, said with good bargains aplenty, it had become a yearly affair for her family to do their Christmas shopping in Johor.
"The wide range of products and discounts of up to 70 per cent are what attracted us," she said.
Technician Jason Tai, 37, said due to the huge crowds, he had a tough time looking for parking.
"I went shopping at three different malls and the crowd was massive everywhere," he lamented.
Ideal Collection store assistant Fong Kun Chen said its sales tripled over the weekend, especially among Singaporeans requesting for fully decorated trees and gift wrapping services.
In George Town, college student Gwendolynn Ann Samuel, 22, was on the look out for bargains on quality items with the season sale in full swing.
"I'm looking for useful and practical items that would make great gifts," said Gwendolynn as she browsed through Christmas ornaments.