While in the UK the shop windows are already all dressed up for Christmas, here on the Costa del Sol, the mood for such festivities still seems a long way away. Christmas may be in December but the build up to it in anticipation starts in the High Street and it can even be more enjoyable than the day the presents are opened.
We can¬ít get to our home High Streets every day or every week, but we do have an advantage being a stone throw away from Gibraltar¬ís pedestrian only, Main Street and furthermore, Gibraltar is one of the few remaining VAT free zones left in Europe, offering its visitors a wide range of tax free goods.
I would imagine that immediately one associates the savings in term of drinks and smoke, naturally taking the opportunity to purchase spirits, champagne and well known brands of cigars, all intended to make your festivities even better than they might have been.
However the attraction extends to many other goods such as jewellery, gold, watches, electronic equipment, clothes, shoes and so on with the added advantage that you¬íll find DVDs and computer games in English, equipment usage instructions in English as well as familiar brands and shop names.
Rather than saving, you might just want to be able to give someone that extra special gift that elsewhere might carry a less reachable price tag.
Gibraltar may be small by comparison, but at least you will find most of what you might need to put you in a good mood for the coming festivities and that even includes a fully blown British supermarket.
You do not need to worry about having to change money before visiting Gibraltar. Every one accepts British Pounds as the value of the Gibraltar pounds is identical, but if you have any other currency, do use one of the local Currency Exchange Shops to get a better deal than paying some retailers in Euros or other denomination and a better deal than you would in Spain (no commission).
Shops normally open by 9.30am and stay open all day through to 7pm on weekdays, many close Saturday afternoon, and most, if not all, close Sunday. But check, this might change as we get nearer to Christmas.
Start getting in the mood and improve your lifestyle in Spain, remember there are also some excellent restaurants as well as cafeterias and well known quick food retailers like Pizza Hut, all contributing to make you feel at home and if you do want to stay a bit longer, you can always spend the night or a week-end at one of the many hotels. They are not as expensive as you might think and that gives you the unhurried opportunity to see Gibraltar by night.