Stringing along a festive colour

Christmas decorations

Stringing along a festive colour

The branches of the deep green fir tree sagged noticeably under the weight of the glittering ornaments. Round, square, gold and glass bobbles twinkled on the tip of tree, reminding everyone who passed by it that it is almost time for Christmas. The once nubile tree now sat decked up, unrecognisable, in fairy lights, crepe paper, plastic decorations and cotton balls.

But it isn’t just the Christmas tree that is given a make-over this time of the year. Backyards, front yards, walls, showcases and floors are lit up and made to glisten a week ahead of the festivities. Colours like red, green and blue dominate the scenes.

According to families celebrating the festival, revamping the decor is just another excuse to spend time with family and friends. Jennifer Pinto, who works at ‘Yahoo!’, says, “When I was younger, decorating the tree and house was a routine, a ritual, and something fun to do. My parents would tell me our house had to look especially pretty this time of the year and better than the other houses. But as I grew up, I understood more about the festival and realised that this is about spending time with my family.

During this time of the year, whether we bake, shop or decorate, I like to do it with my family because that’s what’s important to me.”  Shirley Rose Louis, who works for ‘Athiya Organizational Competencies’, is of the same opinion. “It is tradition in our family that the youngest gets to place the star on the tree and since I’m the youngest, I get to. This year, we have decided to make ‘blue’ as our theme for the tree. We have the whole family coming over every year so we don’t want to use the same tree and theme.”

While families are in the festive mood, they are going all-out decorating their tree and house. Steven Paul, who spends weeks planning his decorations, says, “I spend almost Rs 15,000 on decorations every year. This year, the theme is ‘red’ for ‘fear’. Along with my tree decorations, I have three types of streamers — red and green, gold and red, and white and green. I buy new ones every year; the old decorations I give away for free to children who want them.” Jennifer says that they have an elaborate process of putting up various ornaments and placing empty gift boxes under the tree to complete the charade. “It isn’t until Christmas eve that we place the real gifts underneath the tree.”

But some people have decided to make their own decorations. Shirley says, “We pop corn and string it together and make it look like snow. We don’t believe in having a “white Christmas” because it doesn’t snow here.” Rebecca Raja, a student, says, “I made an origami wreath, tree ornaments and a tree-skirt, because I had some waste paper lying around and free time. I didn’t want to waste money on decorations. Now, at least I’ve learnt something new.”

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