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Warm weather not in Christmas spirit

Date Posted: 2004-12-24

Itís pretty much shirtsleeve weather on Okinawa these days, a warm streak that has everyone surprised.

After all, it is winter. On Miyako Island, the cicadaís are singing, and those are insects of summer. Cars are still running air conditioners, and demand is still high for ice creams and ice candies. Simply stated, December is too warm.

Traditional winter sales are in a slump, and predictions are for a few more days of warm temperatures before thereís even a brief hint of winter. In the meantime, winter clothes and blankets, jackets and sweaters, and heater sales are down. Department stores report heaters alone are down 50% from this time last year. Only air conditioners combined with heaters are selling.

On the other hand, ice cream specialty shops are smiling at the increase in sales. Christmas cakes are always popular, but this year itís the ice cream cakes that are making store owners smile.

Weather forecasters are saying the temperatures will chill a bit starting Christmas Day, but only for a week as a cold front swoops down from Siberia. Starting the first of the year, and running to mid-January, temperatures are expected to jump to warm again.

Workers are receiving their holiday bonuses, but are holding off on spending. Store owners say people just donít want to buy cold weather apparel and home goods when the weatherís warm.

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