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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Celebrating Christmas: Of Santa and Gifts and Smiles :-)




Christmas is here, that time of the year that is somehow quite magical and sweet, with twinkling bells and hopes of a new beginning with the New Year just round the corner. Christmas has always been special to me. While I was a little kid of the age my daughter is now, I was studying in a Christian school and obviously the celebrations for Christmas were huge. We would be involved in so many activities around the festival that it was one of the most beautiful times in the entire year for us all, and all us kids would wait eagerly for the next Christmas to arrive. 

At home, the celebrations were not that huge. We never had a Christmas tree, but that’s okay, as unlike these days, not most homes had one in those days, especially if they were not Christians. These days, you can see a Christmas tree almost in every home – and it’s a great way of welcoming more celebrations and rituals and festivities in your life. So for our childhood, though we didn’t have the Christmas tree, we did have the special Christmas cakes. While we were kids, my parents had modest means, and finances were always short, through the year, every year. Not that any of it affected me or my brother. Yes, there were various instances, but I feel, as does my brother, that in a way, it’s good we saw less money and less privileges and things as kids, as it has helped us remain grounded and understand and appreciate things much more than many kids those days did.


Anyway, though the finances were short, what my parents always made sure to do was to get us those amazing mouth-watering Christmas cakes. I remember going out with my parents, walking through the market and going up to a bakery that was lighted up and advertising all sorts of Christmas goodies inside. We would go in, all four of us, holding hands, and my father would select a lovely chocolate cake for us. Not an entire cake, but pastries, really. So we would come home with those four pieces of pastries wrapped up in decorative paper, and we would wait the entire walk back home to open them up and taste them. I still remember the anticipation. 

It was always special. We knew what we had bought and we knew what we were going to eat. But still, that charm of reaching home and opening the packet and eating the pastry was something that we never tired of.

As I celebrate Christmas now, there’s such a big change. My daughter has a Christmas tree in the house each year, decorating it with Christmas jewels and using lovely fairy lights to string it up. The house is in a bright festive light decorated mood. The mall that is bang opposite my home is decked up since the past month for Christmas and there’s everything and anything that a child could ask for, and does ask, and gets too. Cakes, pastries, cookies – while I associated these with only birthdays and Christmas, I see that now my daughter, as well as all kids (or at least all the many kids we know and hear of) look at these as regular things to eat that are not too special any more. Maybe it is special till that first one or two bite, but after that it loses that charm). There is so much celebration going on that each day is fun day at the mall.

My daughter loves all things princess and fairy and of course Santa Claus too. So each year she makes a wish and gets one thing from Santa. This year, my hubby told her to write down a little list of what she wanted Santa to get her. In the beginning, for about the entire last month, my daughter said she doesn’t want anything really, as she has most of what she wants, and if Santa wants, he can give her something on his own. 
But finally, she thought of something and wrote a little list of some 2 3 things she wants. So we asked her to write the list and keep it under her pillow. 

‘Father’ Christmas has sure read the letter ;-) and is in the process of sending the gifts…and as my daughter gears up for Christmas morning, both me and hubby know what our Christmas gift will be – that smile, on that face! Priceless for any parent….
 

- Debolina Raja Gupta

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And like I always believe in and say:
'Heal the world we live in
Save it for our children' - MJ

Happy Parenting!!!!

Be good to your little one, and to the millions of little ones out there who truly need every bit of love and compassion they can get.....Be a grown up...save the little ones.... Debolina Raja Gupta
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