For the many thoughts that come and go unannounced and the ones which refuse to budge out of my head…

That Undying Christmas Spirit

This post was selected for BlogAdda’s Spicy Saturday picks on 25th December ’10

I belong to a Hindu family, but a very liberal one at that. One of those families who would be ashamed to disclose that they even belong to a religion in a secular country. All my life I have celebrated every possible festival from Eid, to Diwali to Christmas to just anything we would wish to celebrate. We just needed a reason for it. And my dad, being in the army, pretty much made us inculcate traditions from all over.

In school, being in a Convent, I had the fondest of memories when it came to Christmas. I have always loved Christmas. I love the carols, the gifts, the mass, the trees, Santa Claus… Just everything about Christmas gives me a certain kind of joy. But most of all I’ve always loved that ‘spirit of Christmas’.

Christmas was great back then. My ‘Convent’ Christmas parties were somewhat conventional, but none-the-less extremely enjoyable. We used to have little parties in the class where we would exchange humble gifts with each other and pitch in home-cooked food which we ate with just as much relish as we would have enjoyed a fine dining meal. There was dance, there was music, and there always was a Christmas play, and then there was always this one quirky thing that the batch passing out was supposed to do. When we were in the 12th grade, our entire batch was supposed to wear a Santa Claus cap for the entire duration of the Christmas celebration. It was a bit juvenile, I know, but we never complained. In fact we enjoyed doing that. 🙂

We had our bit of enjoyment, but we never let that Christmas spirit die. After our celebration was done we used to share our food with the children on the street and bring old woollens and donate it to an orphanage. This was the part that made me feel the best. It kind of made Christmas complete for me.

When school was over, Christmas was no longer the same. I did celebrate with my family and a few friends but it never was the same as it was in School. I could feel that ‘spirit’ gradually dying out.

I had no hopes for this year too. My year was pretty much one of the worst ones I’ve had, and things like exams and being away from my mum and dad just made it even worse for me. It killed Christmas in entirety.

Yesterday, I was going back home after some petty Christmas shopping with my aunt, when we got stuck in a massive traffic jam on the street. Having nothing to do I leaned on my window, and opened a packet of Samosas we had just bought. I saw this little boy of about six selling ‘Santa Claus’ caps outside my window. He was cold and he looked hungry. He tapped at my window and in a meek and shivering voice he said, “lelo na, sirf bees rupaye” (please buy it, it’s just for twenty rupees).

Maybe it was his innocence or just the caps in his hand, which reminded me of Christmas in school, but in a flash I started to shuffle around for my wallet like a maniac. It was like something had gotten into me. I was frantically searching for twenty rupees before the signal turned green. I found one ultimately, and bought a cap from him, and he walked by happily. But something in me snapped. The kid had just walked a few steps ahead when I called out to him, “ae chhote.. wapas aa idhar” (kiddo, come back here). Without  even thinking twice, I rolled down my window again and handed over my entire packet of samosas to him. I can never forget that smile on his face. It wasn’t a very big thing that I gave him, but the thought that it made someone’s day made me happy.

I know Christmas for me was ruined. I won’t even be having a celebration of any kind. But it didn’t matter any more. That innocent smile on that little boy’s face gave me more joy than ever, and all that mattered was that Christmas spirit which I had inadvertently kept alive.

Merry Christmas!

Wish you all a Merry Christmas. Spread the joy and always remember to keep the ‘Christmas Spirit’ alive. 🙂

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Comments on: "That Undying Christmas Spirit" (20)

  1. Yeah, me too miss mine those celebration back there in school. Those long Christmas songs and then delicious cakes… ohh its all gone now.

  2. […] : AK What : That Undying Christmas Spirit Spicy : The year is coming to an end with the pleasant occasion of Christmas! Everyone waits for […]

  3. How sweet! Adorable. You’re really kind. I should remember to take you out for Samosas and tea next time we catch up… 😀 😀 😀

  4. How sweet! Adorable. You’re really kind. I should remember to take you out for Samosas and tea next time we catch up… 😀 😀 😀

  5. Well, its silent here. There’s a church opposite my house but they shut any prayer programs they had. I am living in area behind Pali Hill but there’s a lot of suited armed guys loitering around, questioning people.

    • That is so sad. I can imagine.
      I don’t know what suspicious stuff they think they’re likely to find among a choir group singing carols and children exchanging gifts. It’s just this whole dampened Christmas spirit everywhere that is just so depressing. 😦

  6. Beautiful. Wish I was with you right now.

  7. i was in a convent too !!! oh god, how i miss those prayer services !!
    now its just blah , where people ask you really weird questions like – arnt u going clubbing for christmas ?

    and i am going on like – how is that associated with christmas you mother fuker ??

    i love you arushi. and i feel it – when you say, this holiday was a quiet one — thank you, for always writing something ,which goes straight to me heart :))
    ❤ ❤

    • Thank you so much, Devika.. 🙂
      I love you too.. 🙂
      And Oh Gosh! I so identify with you. I really don’t get how clubbing and getting wasted is associated with Christmas at all.
      Just a few days ago, my friend was like, “On Christmas, let’s go drink till we get sloshed.” and I was like, ‘huh??? What the heck??’

      I guess it’s a convent thing, Christmas just becomes less special when you’re out of school.
      But I guess it’s up to us now to make it Christmasy enough.. 🙂

      Thanks once again, Devika. I’m so glad you liked it..
      Straight from a Convent-girl’s heart to another.. 🙂 ❤
      Lots of love and big hugs.. 🙂

  8. I ended up on your blog randomly & this post brought back memories of Christmas at school. You probably heard it a lot already but just wanted to say anyway that your blog is awesome. Hope you keep on writing lots more 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Sanjukta. 🙂
      I feel all gloat-worthy now.. 😛
      I really miss Christmas at school.. and that is what led to this post..
      Anyway, thanks so much once again for the encouragement.. 🙂
      cheers.. 🙂

  9. awww… how sweet – loved the post!!

  10. We are proud Hindus… we don’t forget our roots even in Manhattan… we are not ashamed of belonging to a religion in a secular world. We know life has a higher purpose than comfort and security… it is a lowly mind that would say “In a country as messed up as ours…”

    • Well, if you weren’t so heavily blinded by your ‘religious pride’ you’d actually get that I meant it in the context of how we treat women and not make it about something as petty as religion. Only a lowly mind would assume they are so important that the group they belong to is being singled out and spoken about.
      Nobody said they’re ‘ashamed’ of anything. But does it hurt to want to have an egalitarian society where one’s rights are rights and not ‘privileges’?

      • Only a self-loathing Indian can say “In a country as messed up as ours”… “One of those families who would be ashamed to disclose that they even belong to a religion in a secular country.”

        “Having internalized the negative stereotypes about their own roots, they (the colonized elite) decry all attempts to connect with the native culture, languages and classics. Their only psychological defense remains to distance themselves from these roots as much as possible — the roots of a civilization they have been systematically taught to despise. When the colonized identify with the mental worldview of the colonizer, the slavery of their mind is complete”.

        • Hahahaha! 😀
          You clearly have NO idea what I was talking about from the very beginning. Obviously any logical explanations are worthless and pointless with bigots like you. It’s amazing how you make value judgements about people based on an opinion about something completely unrelated.
          I am as patriotic and proud as any well meaning citizen would be. Maybe even more than you ’cause I don’t believe in spreading hate and singling out someone who is attempting to make sense. Let me put your insecurities to rest by just saying this, that in order to be able to critique something (even religion) one needs to have learnt and read enough about it, and I have done just that, owing to my education and genuine ability to reason.
          Up till now I have been patient and civil. But beyond this it won’t hold for long. So in order to avoid unpleasantness, please stay away from my blog and avoid spreading your well packaged filth.
          PS. Thanks for your utterly juvenile comment. I thoroughly enjoyed and had the heartiest laugh today. Thanks for making my day. 😛

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