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    O ring, all ye Christmas bells

    KOCHI: Signboards screaming of offers and discounts decorate shop windows while stars adorn the verandah of houses. With just a week to go for Christmas, Kochi is all set to embrace the ‘Festival of Love’ with cakes and decked-up Christmas trees. The bazaars of Kochi are slowly filling in with shoppers who want to get the best of the wares. Bakeries are overwhelmed with orders for Christmas cakes. “Bakeries start receiving orders for cake as early as a month before Christmas. By December 20, the cakes would be baked and the orders would be ready. The sale of cakes will skyrocket on Christmas eve and it will continue through the New Year too. Even after Christmas, people buy cakes to be gifted to family and friends,” N Viswambharan, manager, Kerala Bakers Association, Kochi said. “Most of the orders come from big business establishments and offices,” he added.Shops are engrossed in making the best of the season by proclaiming attractive offers to draw maximum number of customers. “This is one of those times of the year when people set out exclusively for a shopping extravaganza,” said a shopkeeper.Church choirs are busy perfecting the carols and Christmas songs. “Christmas is a celebration which calls for love, hope and humility. It is a time when people should uphold the Lord’s message of helping the needy,” said Fr. Varghese Kallappara, official spokesperson of the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church. “A society free of conflicts and addictions should be the aim of the season,” he added.