That December is a festive season with innumerable parties, is a known fact. As we all know, with every festivity comes shopping which plays a major role in our lives. Someone righty said that shopping is one of the best therapies. We feel happy, we shop. We feel sad, we shop. Any party coming up, shop. Any wedding coming up, shop. You get the drill.
Shopping is a girl’s closest buddy so when it comes to Christmas season, we are spoilt for choices in matter of Christmas decorations. It is especially this time of the year that we see a number of make-shift shops spring open in and around the new market area just to cater to house decorations pertaining to Christmas.
New Market sees a huge footfall of shoppers all year round especially if there is a festival coming up. No matter how rich or poor you are, New Market has all you need under one roof! It caters to every pocket. The area is chock-a-block with vendors and shoppers bargaining till one of them have the last word and the other happily gives up. Such was the scene even when team Beacon went on a sudden Christmas-decoration-shopping and found out some interesting things about these decorations and the people selling them.
Md.Aman a vendor of Christmas decorations in New Market area, sells ladies footwear the entire year but during December he opens a decoration stall. He says that Christmas is special for him because it brings hope and little extra bucks every year.
For more than 50 years now, these make-shift decoration shops have started opening up during December in the New Market area. They set up their stalls around the second week of December and wrap up about the first week of January but see the most sales during the week before Christmas.
It is not easy to set up a shop on a busy market road where rickshaws, cars, bikes, taxis and people are always on the move. Yet, every year you will find atleast a few make-shift shops catering only to Christmas decorations. This is because of the enthusiasm that we kolkatans show towards Christmas.
“We get all caste and creed of customers coming to purchase Christmas trees to decorate their houses for their children. They show a lot of excitement while purchasing these items. I have also put some of these decorations in my house. If given a chance, i would like to ask Santa Claus to end the suffering of the poor and favour them with some luck.”-said a happy Md.Aman.
We all know what Christmas decorations are but how many of you know that they are mostly found in the colours of pine green, white, red, blue, gold and silver because traditionally, these are the colours associated with the birth of Jesus Christ.
The chief Christmas decorations are: Christmas tree, stars, balls, joystick, socks, gifts, streamers, top star, LED lights, banners, mistletoe, snowflakes, wreaths, wall decorations, and of course Santa Claus.
Rs.30 per small packet of Christmas tree decorations like stars, bells, joysticks, gifts etc that contains a dozen of that particular item. The price increases with size and quality. Christmas trees start from Rs.35-650 for locally made ones and the imported ones are costlier, the price can go upto Rs.2500 as well depending on the quality and size of the tee that varies from 1ft-6ft. The Santa Claus banners start from Rs.50 and the price increases with quality. Good quality wreaths start at Rs.450 a piece. Streamers are the most sold item this year. There are varieties of streamers. The reason for them being most purchased is that It is easy to decorate your house with these streamers because it does not take much effort, they cost Rs.10-60 per piece.
Budget talk: In Rs.100 you can get 5 small packets of Christmas tree decorations. There is No fixed price in these stalls as they are open to bargaining.
This year the shopkeepers are expressing their disappointment with the sale due to the current scenario.”There are approximately 7 decoration items needed to adorn a Christmas tree, but now, with the current scenario of money crunch, people are only buying 3-4 of these items. We are providing customers with PAYTM facility but even then only few customers show willingness to pay through this mode of money transfer. People stand in bank queues for long hours and are provided with limited money, so it is obvious that they would not want to spend much money on decorations … We purchased all these things much before demonitization was announced so we had to put up the stall even though there is a steep fall in sales this year.” – said a source that did not want to be named.
Money or no money, the spirit of Kolkata can never be crushed. We still know how to enjoy. That is why we are called the city of joy.
Hungry after a long day of shopping at New Market? Check out this video to know about all the yummy food you can get there!