New Delhi, Dec 23: With nativity scenes, wreaths, greeting cards or trees decorated with stars, shiny bells, balls, lights and other ornaments, markets are stocked with goodies for the festive Christmas and New Year season At Sadar Bazaar, the city's largest wholesale market, the speciality is the Christmas tree, a festival staple.
These trees are available in two variants, Indian and Chinese. Indian varieties, made from hand, are priced between Rs 40 to Rs 100 are available in small sizes, for children.
The made-in-China tree variants, however, are much taller. Shopkeepers say while the one feet high trees are preferred by households, the demand for taller trees, as much as 15 feet high, come usually from hotels and restaurants. These begin approximately at Rs 350 onwards.
Trees with optical and LED lights are also available in sizes that range from three feet and go on to six feet. They are priced between Rs 1200 to Rs 3000. Greeting cards for Christmas and New Year are among the many attractions of the market in old Delhi.
Themes that use the popularity of cartoon characters among children like Chota Bheem, Ninja Hattori, Angry Birds and Tom and Jerry, to increase their appeal are also popular among shoppers.
However, Vakil Bhai, a greeting card wholesaler at Sadar Bazaar, says, "Sales are down this this year and have been dipping for the last few years. This is mainly because of the use of mobiles and emails by people, which does away the need for sending greeting cards."
Minakshi Sikand, who owns Party Connection, a company which organises Christmas carnivals and offers decoration services to offices, says, "This year, there are a lot of new things in the market. There is a lot of use of snow in these decorations."
Snow-covered strings, wreaths, Christmas trees and snowman, offer people a glimpse of the 'White Christmas'-- a snow covered ground, which is so elusive in Delhi.
A Santa Claus captures the quintessence of festival and is a favourite Christmas fixture. Santa dresses in varying sizes costing anywhere between Rs 100 to Rs 500 are being bought by mainly by churches and even enthusiastic parents, say shopkeepers.
Anita, a mother of a four-year old says, "I bought the Santa dress from Sadar for my husband. We plan to surprise our daughter on Christmas."
Ravi, who earns his living as a footpath hawker says he picks up raw goods from Sadar Bazaar. Santa Caps in traditional red and white is among his wares for Christmas. He says, "Every year, we buy material worth Rs 10,000 and manage to sell all these at margin Rs 2000 to Rs 3000. This year, however we are selling it at a higher price of Rs 30."
Along with his wife, two brothers and mother, the hawker says he manages to sell about 200 caps to 250 caps.