It must be so tough for the people here in the UK, or for that matter, anywhere in the western world to be cooped up in their homes for 2 days - Christmas and Boxing Day - in a row. No public transport available. No shops open. No nothing. Home is where the hurt is.
Having to tolerate those pesky relatives, whom you avoided all year around. Having to bear the tantrums of your kid who was pestering for a laptop rather than a rucksack. Having to make food, an art mostly lost to another wonderful cultural thing called the takeaway.
I like Diwali better - spread over languidly over a number of days. Outside, streets are overflowing with people buying flowers, household utensils, sweets, new clothes. In our family, we still make Diwali sweets, unlike here, where it is mostly chocolates.
Even better - we still don't have a culture of giving gifts to all and sundry. And exchanging cards with your close ones - in India, we only send cards to friends and colleagues, don't we?
Why the formality of wishing your mom Merry Diwali with a card?
I am sure the trend will catch up in India - just like card flinging during Valentine's day, Relative(insert Mom/Dad/Brother/Step-sister/Dog) day is picking up. I see the reason behind birthday cards - it's special as the person born on that day is celebrating it. There is no reason for celebrating Mom/Dad/Brother/.../Step-sister/Dog day - it was just invented for 'commercialization of the calendar'.
Spend your money on a silly mass printed card with toxic ink calligraphy to prove that you are a good Mom/Dad/Brother/.../Step-sister/Dog, er.., I mean dog owner. It's just ludricrous!!
Back to Diwali. If everyone would do away with the tradition of bursting crackers, I would like Diwali much more.