Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas in the Heart




If only it was Christmas day when my first school held my orientation, I would not have cried and refused to go inside the exam room. It would have saved my mother the bribe of an orange Amul chocolate and I would have still got my 3-year-old self admitted into that school but without so much drama sitting on the steps outside.

The sights and sounds of Christmas would have helped. The reds, greens and golden would have warmed me up to the newness around. A Santa standing right behind the demure nun and her white habit, waving me inside along with her, would have quickened things. And an Xmas tree with all its goodies surely tempted me enough to speak out the correct answers like a really good girl.

But a good girl I have hardly been. Christmas is to blame. Really.

You name it and I can tick that sin off the list of popular 7 that Christmas made me commit. I have greedily made lists for Santa Claus, asking for everything which my parents could under no circumstances afford (Yes, helicopter variety!). I have proudly displayed my class notice boards to fellow-sections as the best decorated one, yet secretly coveted another’s buntings. Year after year, I have lusted for the plum cake and puddings soon as the winter set in. Why, have even stolen my own kid brother’s stocking gifts (That my parents always knew what Santa had dropped for him, and that I had been naughty even before they had woken up did not deter me!) 

I have done it all. And after all these years, I continue to do it even better now. 

The tiny tree is always dressed. The stocking (or a clean sock) is in place every 24th December, and the husband is reminded of the important date and its significance well in time. The weekend before Christmas is reserved for family. Just us, and everything that we like to do together. Because the image that all those years in two Christian schools have made me associate with Christmas is – Family.

And not just the one I have at home, but the one that we were born into at the time of creation itself – the Human family, sans all man made labels and shadow lines of difference.  

The greatest reminder of this beautiful thought came when I sat with my husband and son, listening to a carol singing competition at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Delhi, in 2012.

We stood in the queue, wondering if our son will maintain decorum during the show, already humming snippets of Noel and Silent Night and remembering our ventures with our school choir. Doing a little jig for Santa Claus is Coming to Town and waiting our turn to enter the hall. A few moments of being seated and the music, the singing and the audience singing along made us throw all other thoughts to the wind. Everyone suddenly seemed to know everyone, either from before or simply because they were singing the same song. Like us. There was merry clapping and happy foot tapping. Some got up to dance a little as my son stood on his chair, cheering every group of carollers as if it was his own team.

Not a word did he understand, but the festive spirit he imbibed.

I do not remember the last time I felt a sense of such warm oneness of being with complete strangers. Of a happy existence, and co-existence. I have also never seen the songs being sung uninterrupted and with no drop in fervour even when the lights went out. The few candles near the dais shone even brighter to keep the merry making alive. And to make me sing on top of my voice, something that I have never done before. 


There were no strangers in that hall. Just many hearts warming up to each other, and wishing each other well. Is there anything else that can shine brighter than that?    

Even as I try to be nice, I continue to be naughty too each passing Christmas. My Santa will always exist. I have to keep the child in me alive, to keep my child happy. To stuff a pillow in my tummy and go ho-ho-ho, or to remind husband dearest that although the paper weight was lovely, the gift need not really fit inside the stocking. No such rule, unless it comes straight from a jewellery shop. 

I will continue to carry Christmas in my heart, not just to spread smiles but also to make everyone see what I can about a Faith that I was not born into but one that I have opened my mind to - to teach forward and be taught by, both. 

There is magic enough in Christmas to make the littlest of pleasures into grand occasions. Warmth enough to welcome those from far and wide. And brilliance enough to light up a hall full of darkness, or human hearts saddened by the reality outside. I believe in Christmas. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas. 








49 comments:

  1. Happy Christmas to you, Aseem and Nishad. The Christmas gift this year has been that I got to know you guys.

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  2. "The tiny tree is always dressed. The stocking (or a clean sock) is in place every 24th December, and the husband is reminded of the important date and its significance well in time. The weekend before Christmas is reserved for family. Just us, and everything that we like to do together. Because the image that all those years in two Christian schools have made me associate with Christmas is – Family.

    And not just the one I have at home, but the one that we were born into at the time of creation itself – the Human family, sans all man made labels and shadow lines of difference. "

    the post is heart warming..:) MARRY ( :P )Christmas to you and your family..and cuddle Nishad from my side and conver him my love and wishes :)

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    1. Thank you for such delightful wishes, Anshu. :) A verry mery Xmas to you too. :P

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  3. sorry i forgot to comment on pictures ...well i won't comment , well you know why..:) :)

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  4. That's such a heart warming post, Sakshi. Wishing you and your family a ver Happy Christmas. I am so glad this year I got to meet very fabulous people such as you <3

    Lotsa love!

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    1. Kajal, the feeling is mutual. I wish you keep coming to Delhi and I keep sharing daal makhnis and shahi desserts with you. Best wishes to your family this season! :)

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  5. Merry Christmas, Sakshi! Give some sweeties to my little elf. Hope the festive season brings all of you more love, joy and cheer! Loved reading your Christmas musings.

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    1. Wishing the same for one of the most wonderful people I have met this year. :) Have a lovely festive season, Rachna. :)

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  6. Merry Christmas to you girl. And me too being throughout in a convent, have almost got the carols on finger tips. And often find myself humming one or two. More so now. The fondest memory I have of christmas is when mommy dearest became the good ol' Santa herself :D

    I used to make hundreds of xmas decos and fill up the whole house with it. And in my garden had this tall xmas tree which was ofcourse filled with lights... Good old days :-)

    Richa

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    1. We do have a lot of things in common, don't we. I wonder if it's a never ending list. We shall have to meet to decide that. :D
      Your good old days will come again the moment your 3 years are up. ;)
      Thanks for reading!

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  7. This post captures the spirit of X-mas perfectly. Merry X-mas to you, Nishad and Aseem.

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    1. Thank you so much, Ruchira. Merry Xmas to you and your family too! :)

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  8. Merry Christmas and God Bless you. Wishing you a truckload of joy and love for the holidays and the year to come too.

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    1. The shortest yet sweetest poem of the season. Same to you, Roshan! :)

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  9. Been a Convent School and Christian college product I could highly relate to everything you said. Even after all those Christmas was the time of reunions and family get togethers, carols, cakes, wine, secret santa and just pure moments of togetherness with each other.

    Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family. <3

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    1. Yes, yes and yes. You have the whole list packed with everything that Christmas is about. Christmas wishes to you and yours too. Have a beautiful one!

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  10. So well penned. Happy Holidays. I do not have as many memories of Christmas as you do (have some as I studied in a Convent) but after having kids, I can say the same words as you about magic and happiness, outside as well as inside, and all the good family time spent together during the holidays!

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    1. Thank you for taking time out, Shachi. A very merry Christmas to you and yours too. :)

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  11. Marry Christmas oye!!! Lovely post which clearly illustrates what Christmas and the holiday season means to you, given the memories that it rekindles in you. Your wordplay as usual mesmerizes us, the honesty in them is so refreshing and pure.

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    1. Haha! LOVE the Delhi-esque greeting, Jairam. :D
      Thank you for reading and liking the post.
      Merry Christmas to you all too. :)

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  12. Such a nice post :) Merry Christmas :)

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  13. Love the child in you Sakshi. Innocent, honest and caring. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

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    1. :) Merry Christmas to you and your family too, Alka. Have a beautiful season!

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  14. Christmas celebrations at school were fun.. We had secret santa in class, which was done in 3 phases to include cards, chocolates and gifts...

    Apart from Santa giving us chocolates. we would all get together and make bhel in class. Someone got the rice puffs, someone the onions, and so on.. and everyone would pitch in.. Such happiness.

    I have only one put up a stocking (the largest sock I owned at that time) and zilch. I guess it affected me so much as a kid that time, that I have never put it up after. I just get myself extra chocolates and a book, which frankly makes me happy

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    1. Oh, love the idea of Bhel. Must have been fun and certainly vanished within seconds of being made. :D
      Thank for sharing you Christmas memories, even if the sock was empty. Keep hanging it though, for you never know. :)
      Merry Xmas.

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  15. Lovely little angel....thanks for refreshing christmas memories at school

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  16. Lovely and a heart warming one...There is something really very special about Christmas that attracts us all into that warmth of celebrations, love and oneness...

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    1. Thank you for reading, Manjulika. Have a wonderful holiday season.

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  17. This post has been selected for the Tangy Tuesday Picks this week. Thank You for an amazing post! Cheers! Keep Blogging :)

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  18. Completely understand your sentiments. Hope your Christmas is happy. Mine will with the Christmas pudding and turkey.

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    1. Hope you had a yummy Xmas, bellybytes. :)

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  19. A touching write up on Christmas :) Oh...the nostalgia that carols bring ! Merry Christmas, dear.

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    1. Merry Christmas to you too, Sreeja. :)

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  21. Bltdy xmas wishes to you n your family .. I am sure you had loads of fun ...

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    1. Yes, thank you, Sangeetha. Season's greetings to you.

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  22. A liebster awaits you on my blog :)
    http://reemadsouza.blogspot.in/2013/12/and-liebster-comes-my-way.html

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  23. Merry X-Mas and Happy new Year 2014 to your beautiful family, Sakshi. What a naughty kid u've been and guess, the son will follow the mom's footsteps:)

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    1. Same to you and your family, Vishal. :)

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  25. ..Christmas is celebrating life..celebrating existence..celebrating family..believing Santa Claus will come with dollops of gifts and fill our life with happiness..
    ..happy to know that the child in you is still alive and kicking..forever carry that Christmas in your heart..Merry Christmas.. :)

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    1. The child will always remain like that, Rigzin. :D
      Merry Xmas to you and yours too!

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