Christmas, the ‘Ram Navami’ for Christians (going by definition), the festival of joy, decoration, gifts, Santa and what not. Sorry if I make any incorrect reference or statement about Christmas rituals because I am no Christian and nowhere near Christianity. Yeah once upon a time I studied in St. Xavier’s school. Actually I started my education there and studied for 3 years. ( KG to 2nd standard ^_^ )
I have some faint memories of what it meant to be in a Christian school those days. In a small town of West Bengal, that was a time where traffic didn’t bother, the size of your vehicle didn’t matter. I don’t remember if my school was far from my home or near. Well, I don’t even remember where either of those were 😛 I remember we used to get Christmas holidays which is equivalent to winter vacations for non-christian schools. But it wasn’t that the school remained totally inactive during the holidays, instead they prepared for Christmas!
One such year (when I was old enough to understand what was going on 😛 ) I got to see that on the last few days before vacation, on some open area of our school which I faintly recollect, they used to stage an area and place idols or something which depicted the birth of Jesus. And I think they did some show the day of Christmas. Students were invited I guess, though I never went so I don’t know.
Probably it was the same year when I decided to celebrate Christmas. I was a child who got fascinated by something new and I really wanted to celebrate it like a Christian would do. Though my idea was slightly (blah blah very) different 😛 That’s because I didn’t actually know what Christmas was 😀 So I remember I got a large coconut flavored soft candy and wanted my family to cut it like a cake and sing Jingle Bells 😀 When I think of it today, I don’t remember how that went or what was actually going on in my mind. I don’t think anybody from my family remembers that day but I do. But oh boy, that was a day…
But then I am no Christian and Christmas never meant anything to me. Its one of those things that I didn’t just think about since I left St. Xaviers, since I left that world.
And I never got any special Christmas days ever… Except for 2015…
I visited my sister this Christmas. Once again in West Bengal. I guess that’s the only place where Christmas has done anything special for me
We visited places. I ate delicious food made by her. We lived a few days.
The city of Kolkata was flooded with beautiful lights and liveliness thanks to Christmas and as my mother said multiple times, “Sahi samay par milne aaye” (We visited at the best time of year).
Yes we did. Now I can say I liked Christmas this year.
Take away the ritual if you don’t know it, take away the religion if you don’t follow it, take away everything you don’t understand about the festival. And after you have taken everything out, you are still left with a big item in the box. A day in the calendar which still has a “bahana” (hindi for excuse) to enjoy it. So take that ‘excuse’ and make it the ‘reason’. Celebrate. Doesn’t matter how. Enjoy.
You don’t always need a Christmas tree or Santa to make 25th December a good memory.
If a festival is about the joy we get celebrating it, then I guess Christmas couldn’t have been more ‘Christmasy’ for us