If somebody asks me about my favorite month in a year, I always pick December. My favorite season being winter just makes it more lovable. Adding to that, the festival of Christmas followed by New Year’s Eve makes this month extremely special.
Christmas is a festival of joy and I was never able to relate it to only one religion. It is a festival for everyone who feels joy and wants to spread happiness. The spirit of Christmas just makes me all warm inside. There is something in the air which comforts you and takes away all your worries with the oncoming of Christmas.
I celebrated my first Christmas in school. I studied in a convent school and just before the winter vacations, our school used to have a tradition of holding a class party. It was always organized on the day of Christmas Eve. All the classmates worked together as a team to decorate the class as beautifully as possible. Weeks ahead we used to start discussing the games to be played, decorative materials to be brought and snacks and drinks for the party. Delegating things to all the class members, making a list of the students conducting games, checking that all things have been covered for the party; used to take most of our free time. One child was entrusted to bring the X-mas tree. It was the most important responsibility which had to be fulfilled. The bigger the x-mas tree, the better the party.
There used to be a buzz in the air as the day approached closer and closer. One day before the party, children who lived nearby or went home walking were asked to stay back and decorate the class. Other sets of children were supposed to come early on the day of the party to finish the remaining work of decorating the tree and putting on decorative lights. As the students entered the class, they used to deposit their snacks and drinks on the teacher’s table. The class teachers were generally asked to bring the music players and most of the time they obliged. With everything ready, we used to start the party.
Usually, carols were sung by us at the beginning. How I loved singing the carols. They are so cheerful. They used to leave us so jubilant by the time we were done singing them. Then the games were conducted by various children. When the party would be in full swing, the teacher would ask some of the children to serve snacks and distribute beverages to everyone. After that, our teacher played songs on the music player and we used to start dancing on the beats. Singing till our voice was hoarse, dancing till our legs gave away; was how we all ended our class party before going on holidays.
When I was in senior school, it was a routine to visit my Christian friends on Christmas day. I loved the rum cake which was baked in their houses. To especially eat that cake, I used to fight my way through all that cold of December, and reach my target destinations. My other friends used to join me as well. By the time we were done with all the houses, our stomachs would be bursting at the seams. Laughing and gossiping with our friends, time used to just fly.
As I grew and went to the college, I missed these Christmas celebrations. I loved visiting markets during that time to enjoy the decorations in the shops. All the shops used to be in Christmas colors. But still, my heart used to long for the feeling of being directly involved in the celebration.
When I started my career as a teacher, one of its perks was to be a part of the Christmas celebrations again. Though now I was on the other side of the table but nothing changed in the fun part. I used to plan the party, with the same fervor, with my students. We used to include the activity of Secret Santa as well. Singing and dancing along with my students I had a great time. Even when I changed schools due to my relocation, I was fortunate to relive this part of my childhood, again and again, every year.
Every year, I added something new to my Christmas celebrations in the school. I wanted it to be merrier than before. With the ‘Smartclass’ equipment installed in every class, the students could enjoy Christmas movies along with the whole party celebration. As a teacher, I loved to see my students sparkling with enthusiasm on the day of celebration. Coming in colorful dresses with a huge smile on their face, they looked nothing less than angels.
The joy of celebrating Christmas increased ten-fold when I brought the tradition of decorating the X-Mas tree in my home as well. Every year with my kids, I started decorating the tree during Christmas and gave gifts from Santa to them. The excitement to decorate the tree with family is something which is incomparable. Doing things together, planning, decorating our home with those red, green colors of Christmas is such a pleasure. The warm glow coming out of the lights from that X-Mas tree, when the whole house slept turning the lights off, is so surreal. In the morning my children opened their gifts. The joy on their faces while receiving the gifts is always priceless.
I love many festivals celebrated in India, but I will always have a special place for Christmas in my heart as it has been a part of some of my splendid memories with my friends, colleagues, and family.
This blog post is part of #A2ZChallenge. My theme for the year 2018 is Memories. This post is for letter ‘X’.