Spread the Christmas cheer

Spread the Christmas cheer

Christmas is incomplete without decorations. Michelle Cherian catches up on the latest trends this year.

Christmas is round the corner and if you haven’t decorated your home yet, here are a few tips to try out this year. Year after year, using the same old decorations and packing them away for next time does seem to get tedious for some folks.

The same old Christmas tree — either fresh or a faux one made of fake looking pine needles and the same old decorations — baubles, streamers and ornaments hung of the tree to bring in the festive cheer.

In the olden days, we got ornaments from the West as they could not be found in India.
Ornaments from the UK and Germany were prized. Strangely, they were made in Asia — China mainly — but they had not yet made their way into India.

Then came the NRI, back into the country, and with them came traditions they picked up in the West. Then, Christmas started to be seen as a fun tradition to celebrate in India with no real religious connotations.

Come December, their homes would be adorned with a Christmas tree and the kids would be waiting for their gifts. That’s when Christmas decorations became big in India.

One need not ask any relative anywhere in the world for baubles and twinkling Christmas lights as they can all be found in India now.

The best of brands and the best quality ones are here. Of course, one still goes to the local nursery to pick up a tree. Alive and growing, it is given the pride of place in all homes, usually in the hall. In India, we do not cut down pine trees like they do in the West; they chop down hundreds and then throw them after the season gets over.

We bring in the tree in a pot and then keep it on our terraces or in the garden for the rest of the year. We do not waste trees which is a relief!

Latest trends

The latest trend in the West currently is the upside-down Christmas tree which is soon becoming fashionable. To us that might seem ridiculous, but if one looks at the picture closely, it is seen that the upside-down concept complements the stalactite-looking ornaments. The tree is suspended very creatively.

The ornaments of a regular tree cannot be used here. It looks like a gimmick to sell new decorations, but no one seems to be complaining!

The traditional Christmas flower, the poinsettia, too has begun to be raised in all the nurseries across the country for the season. You can get them in scarlet red which is traditional or you can buy them in a creamy yellow.

There is also a miniature white poinsettia which grows especially well in Bangalore which blooms mainly in December. Christmas candles are another lovely decoration to have around the house during the season.

Christmas is not Christmas without the mandatory candle lit on the table. The little crib too with all the little Christmas figures also make a great decoration piece for Christmas. Many homes take a lot of trouble setting up a crib with fresh hay or grass to give it a more genuine feel. Today, with both spouses working, it becomes impossible to make large and intricate cribs like in the past.

However, most homes do have at least a small crib in one section of the hall around which the family gathers.

The finishing touch to the Christmas decoration is the Christmas star which in days past were made of bamboo and tracing paper. However, today, a lot of ready- made stars can be bought for very reasonable prices and can be strung up very easily at every front door with just a 100 watt bulb and a length of wire. The night before Christmas, the star is switched on and that brings in the festive fervour.

So get ready to decorate your home this Christmas with a variety of ornaments and decorations which can be bought quite easily and inexpensively across the city and the country.

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