Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Holiday spirit

On the day of Christmas and good governance day, it's time to take a step back and reconsider what this particular holiday has morphed intoa gigantic sales and marketing exercise

’Tis the season to be jolly. ’Tis also the season to loosen the purse strings. On the day of Christmas and good governance day, it’s time to take a step back and reconsider what this particular holiday has morphed into—a gigantic sales and marketing exercise. There’s little doubt about the popularity of the festival, with crowds thronging places of worship, more to be seen than to attend any ritual. But these crowds pale when compared with the multitudes packing in the malls and stores.

While the element of mercantilism first took root in the West, and has been bemoaned by purists (who wouldn’t mind the odd gift or two, ironically), the trend has caught on in India as well. But it’s not just our country—it is a big festival in Dubai also, for instance, with parties thrown at hotels filled to capacity. Heck, it is a big deal in China of all places, with festive buntings and giant mock-up fir trees all over the place. But being the land of the dragon, the festival there is strictly non-denominational.

So, in keeping with that spirit, happy holidays.

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