It's Christmas time

5:13 PM

I spend a lot (too much?) time in shopping malls. 

Last weekend I went shopping, looking for a Christmas gift for my bf. I ended up spending the whole day walking around in the shopping area around MG Road, and in a mall or two.

Indians start decorating for Christmas in December which I really appreciate by the way. I always thought doing it in October or Novemebr was ridiculous and removing all the charm of the holidays. While small shops around here do with a few garlands and a couple of styrofoam Santas and stars, shopping mall give you the big show :

Christmas trees, wreaths, lights, stars, santas, santa hats, fake snow, snow flakes, and carols played all day long all around the mall. There is nothing like hearing "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" when you are shopping wearing flip flops and a short sleeve kurta in a tropical region folks!
I had time to notice some stuff regarding this overlod of Christmas decor though. First, why is that malls display those splendind looking fake trees and decorations while all we can buy is tacky, cheapo type (both trees and ornaments)? No seriously, the only decent Christmas stuff for sale are the small or bigger stuffed Santas and hats.
Second, Bangalore is high on fake snow at that time of the year. In spray or in the form of stuffing cotton, or blankets. One mall even made a stage for santa, complete with a chalet, a big sled and a blanket of cotton snow. All of this outdoor, where palm trees are the most common sight. This is all very interesting to say the least.

Another fun fact is that while shops encourage you to buy presents for your loved ones. I have not yet been able to find a gift wrap paper that doesn't say "Happy Birthday". I'm hoplessly looking for something without text at the default of finding a Merry Christmas or Santa or anything Christmass; but can't find anything. I used to bring extra attention to gift wrapping in Switzerland, transforming my presents into art under the tree. It seems that there I will have to do without. 

Seeing all this made me see the extent of globalisation. You can go all around the globe and Christmas not only will be celebrated, but will also be celebrated the same way.The Christmas standard decided that it's about a pine tree, decorated with globes and garlands, and that to be perfect a christmas has to be white (even in Switzerland in the dead of Winter that is a rare thing by the way). Santa must inevitably be dressed in a red and white winter coat. Christmas crols speaking of snow must be sang.
In a way, it saddens me a little. Because snow looks ridiculous here. Why not inovate and make Christmas palm trees, or do without the red-green-gold?

I miss Christmas in Switzerland, but really it doesn't mean Christmas in India has to look exactly the same. Especially when it can't come close due to climatic differences.
My favourite ornament here is a star shaped paper lantern people hang outside their homes in December. It's original and unique and it give a festive air in the same way a tree would in Europe.


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