As a kid, I was always so excited about festivals especially Christmas because you see all these shops putting up Santa Claus and reindeer pictures and decorations to attract customers. Some expensive shops put up Christmas trees to bring more business. I remember Akbarally’s shop at Flora Fountain used to have someone dressed up like Santa Claus and I would have to please my mother to take me to the shop to meet the Santa Claus at the door and handshake with him and enjoy my Christmas even though my family never had the budget to afford gifts being sold inside. On the other hand, I would passionately stare at the huge Christmas tree outside the shop loaded with decorations and gift boxes right at the base of it. My passion for Christmas has never died, in fact, now I enjoy the midnight mass as well with Sarah at a church close to my home.
Interesting Christmas Tree Trivia
Well, we all love to buy lights, decorations and Christmas tree when its Christmas time but do we really know the story behind it? Initially, Christmas was never celebrated with Christmas trees being decorated, but in the 12th-century things changed when many Germans decided to decorate the real fir tree symbolizing it as the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden. Most trees would die and wither in the harsh winter but fir tree is an evergreen tree which does not die or lose its needles in the winter. The star on top of the tree resembles the Star of Bethlehem. By early 17th century, the tradition spread throughout Germany and then into northern Europe. In 1841 Queen Victoria decided to introduce this custom to Great Britain and the first ever Christmas tree was set up in Windsor Castle. In the 18th century, German immigrants spread the concept of Christmas tree in the United States and gradually it spread all over the world. Today, 40 million live trees are decorated in the United States alone. The concept of lighted Christmas tree only came into existence in 1923 which also had a deeper meaning. The light on the Christmas tree symbolizes Lord Jesus Christ, His self-giving love and gift of life to us. The idea of sharing gifts also symbolizes the gift of life that Christ shared with us. Well, I believe that’s too much on the history part so I better get back to the actual information that you might need to celebrate your Christmas in style if you are in Mumbai.
Abdul Rehman Street, Crawford Market
I usually head to Crawford Market when I want to look out for Christmas tree shop and decorations and I will return thoroughly satisfied. This market is one of the best places for Christmas shopping in Mumbai and is packed with every Christmas decoration item that you can think of which includes Christmas trees of different heights and colors, Christmas tree decorations, Christmas cribs, Christmas stars, Christmas wreaths, Christmas balls, Christmas bells, Christmas socks, front door decorations, interior decorations, and much more. If you run out of Christmas shopping ideas you should visit this place and then visit what you want to purchase.
You even get Santa Claus dresses and Santa caps here and LED candles that are very much in demand these days, I have been seeing people buying that a lot even during the Diwali festival. The not so good part about Crawford Market is the kind of crowd that you will find. The lanes are very narrow and you will find cars and hand-carts trying to make way through that narrow road so it is a bit congested, especially if you are not an Indian, I believe Indians prefer shopping in such crowded places so they won’t have any issues at all.
However, don’t miss this place and make sure you bargain because if you don’t you won’t be left with any money in your pocket. If you don’t have good bargain skills take someone with you who knows how to bargain or else avoid this place, because shopkeepers here label up high prices during Christmas festival time. I would also like to add not to buy the items from the very first shop that you come across. Go through different shops asking for the prices and compare the rates and quality before you make a deal because different shops here have different prices for the same product so a Christmas tree at one shop would cost you Rs. 1600 and then at the next shop the same Christmas tree would be on sale for Rs. 1000 so you don’t want to end up with such disappointment, do you? When you are done and when you have saved money in your pocket, you can enjoy a falooda at Badshah Cold Drinks, in case you are tired and need something to boost up your body.
Hill Road, Bandra
Bandra lits up with all the excitement and enthusiasm during the Christmas season and if you are planning to decorate your home or your office and need some great deals you can come down to Hill Road in Bandra that turns into this small Christmas decoration town. Bandra has a large population of East-Indians and with some popular churches here like Mount Mary’s Basilica Bandra is always associated with Christian festivals and feasts. Many people from the western suburbs come to Bandra rather than traveling further south to Crawford Market where they get similar deals.
You can go through different dealers on the Hill Road and bargain and get the best deals that you can find. Like Crawford Market, Hill Road also offers a wide range of Christmas decorations from Christmas trees to Santa caps so you will find everything here on the same road. Here too you will need some bargaining skills to help you keep your budget under control. You can walk through the Hill Road and keep an eye on the items that you like and find out more about its price and then buy it wisely. This place is also ideal for those who are searching for early christmas shopping ideas.
I.C. Colony, Borivali
Borivali and Malad (located on the western suburban side) both these places have a good number of Christian residents and therefore many shops have sprung up here that also offer you better deals. If you stay somewhere close to Borivali or farther away towards Virar you can find these Christmas decoration and Christmas tree shops coming up right opposite the Immaculate Conception Church in I.C. Colony. In fact, when I had plans to buy Christmas tree for my home, I initially had the idea to get it from Crawford Market, but carrying a Christmas tree and all the decorations all the way up north would be a daunting task, so I head to I.C. Colony in Borivali and I found these 6-7 shops lined up with Christmas trees and decorations at a reasonable price. Of course, the decorations here are not as good as I found at Crawford Market but I still managed to buy a 4-feet Christmas tree for Rs. 800 with my bargaining skills. Since I bought my Christmas tree, I went to Crawford Market for the tree decorations and other things that I wanted and made my shopping easier.
I would also like to also like to recommend my readers to shop during the afternoon or early evening hours like 4 p.m. or so because these places are usually crowded with shoppers so if you want to avoid the rush going a bit early makes sense as most shoppers come in by 6 p.m. or so. You can do the research and find out more about the prices, talk to the dealers and then decide what kind of decorations you need. It is also a good idea to make your budget in mind as that will let you have control on what you spend rather than just spending lavishly, which is only if you have the money power on your side.
So, which of these places do you really prefer for Christmas shopping? Do share with the readers if you have some more locations where Christmas shopping can be done at affordable rates.