The spirit of Christmas has filled streets, shopping centres and stores in HCM City with striking colours, decorations and items, with prices rising by 5-20 percent compared to last year.

Hai Ba Trung, Vo Thi Sau and Hai Thuong Lan Ong streets are often the most bustling on the day before Christmas Eve, offering holiday goods and crowded with buyers.

Some shops on Vo Thi Sau and Hai Ba Trung have sold out of artificial pine trees, and more imported items are on the way.

According to shopowners on Hai Thuong Lan Ong street , shops are busy with not only domestic customers but also foreign visitors who have taken opportunities to shop on the biggest holiday of the year.

Artificial pine trees are still the first choice of customers. This year, trees ranged in price from 50,000 VND (2.4 USD) to 8 million VND, depending on materials, and height from 10cm to several metres. They have increased in price by 10-15 percent.

Also, customers bought stone caves, ribbons, coloured lights, star-shaped lanterns and baubles.

Stone caves are priced at 100,000-5 million VND while the price of star-shaped lantern is from 100,000 VND to several million dong.

Gifts, baubles, snowman figures and pine items sell for between 20,000 VND and 150,000 VND each.

Santa Claus clothing products are 60,000-150,000 VND for a set of clothes, and a Santa Claus hat is about 35,000 VND.

Apart from decorative items to welcome Chistmas in the City, many toy shops have launched gift delivery services on Christmas Day, with prices of 50,000-200,000 VND for each address.

Bakery shops Kinh Do, Duc Phat, Hy Lam Mon, Givral and Brodard have introduced a series of cakes for the special occasion, such as Santa Claus-shaped cake, snowman, and pine tree-shaped cake, with the price of at least 500,000 VND each.

Co.opmart, Big C and Metro supermarkets have set up specialised areas for selling decorations for Christmas and launched promotions.

Co.opmart has provided 800 items such as decorative items, fashion clothes, toys and food, with special prices falling by 49 percent.

Tran Thi Mai Trang, PR officer of Co.opMart, said 100 percent of Christmas items on display were Vietnamese-made products.

Duong Thi Quynh Trang, director of external affairs and public relations of Big C, said the supermarket had launched Vui Giang sinh programme (For a Joyful Christmas) with a discount of 35 percent, and attached gifts on 300 items.

It also offered three kinds of gift baskets from 150,000-300,000 VND each.

Elsewhere, Thai Tuan Group Corporation's Rosshi home casual trademark has launched a new home casual collection called "Huong".

Customers will receive a gift with a minimum of 259,000 VND purchase, either a 400ml bottle of softener or a 200-gram Lux shower milk. /.