I have always looked forward to Christmas since time immemorial. As little kids, my sister and I used to lie awake every 24th night waiting for Santa to show up in our room and catch him with our gifts red handed 😀 Needless to say, we were never successful..
I remember we were sitting somewhere outdoors with our cousin one day, when she told us that Santas are not real and the gifts are actually given to us by our parents. And that was it, *loud glass shattering noise* just like that it was an end of an era! I remember being slightly miffed with her for saying this to me and making me question his existence but over the years, I had to accept it as the truth and how it broke my heart </3
Every year, as kids, Christmas was a time to make money and get gifts 😀 It would be a time when the entire family would come to Lucknow (where my grandparents stayed at that time) and meet up. We – my sister and I along with a cousin used to host a mini concert of sorts for family members and make them pay for entry tickets that they needed to buy in order to be a part of the proceedings. There would be a dinner after that which would sometimes even have bread with bournvita spread as one of the dishes 😉 After which the wait for gifts from Santa would start. We would discuss our gifts the following morning every year – marveling at each other’s gifts and eyeing them with envy inclusive. There is something so special about all these memories that are related to this festival that make it my absolute favourite.
Later on as we changed schools and stopped getting holidays for Christmas, travelling all the way to Lucknow from Vadodara (where we were stationed at the time) became impossible. This is why, we started celebrating the festival at our home instead without any relatives and only between the four of us. I’d bake a christmas cake every year, decorate the house and mum would make amazing dishes for dinner! The gifts from Santa were still as awaited as before, only difference now we knew the real identity of our Santa.
This is one of those days, every year when I miss being the carefree kid that I was who would sing in front of her relatives and play the harmonium, decorate the house and the potted-plant-disguised-as-a-christmas-tree with all those pretty christmas decor but most of all I missed the excitement of having a Santa and waiting for those surprise gifts to magically appear under my bed..
Even though many years have passed, a part of me still waits for the real Santa to arrive even though we have resorted to gifting each other on Christmas every year now. During the time I was studying to become an undergrad and was living in a hostel, I used to hide a stocking near my pillow every Christmas eve.. knowing perfectly well that noone there had a clue about my wishes and that I would not find any gifts when I woke up the next morning.. 😦
Unfortunately, I didn’t know about Mumbai Secret Santa during that time and found out a little late last year about it (around sometime in December) and had wanted to take part in it ever since. I really regretted missing being a part of it for a long time and had bookmarked their Twitter page to my browser so I wouldn’t miss it. The best part about the entire initiative is, it gives you a chance to be someone’s Santa too 😀 And how I loved painting a card for my santee and packing his gifts in the best manner possible. It’s amazing when you know someone is happy and you are the reason for that happiness and Christmas being the festival of joy and spreading cheer, what better way to make use of it than this? You can find more about Secret Santa here and here. Their fellow santas are stationed in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai as well 🙂 And if you happen to live in these cities, make sure you are a part of this awesomeness next year, you won’t regret.
Well, it’s Christmas eve again 🙂 We will be visiting the church at midnight along with some of my sister’s office pals. There is something about Christmas that makes me a little more happier, a little more generous and a little more thankful to be alive! Maybe it’s the memories or maybe it’s just that with the end of another year there’s hope that the next year will be more brighter, amazing and good to all of us in general. I don’t really know what it is. But I know one thing, it would be an amazing world to live in if we all felt like this everyday of our lives, won’t it?
Let me in on your plans for Christmas. What are your holiday plans?
P.S. I’m also finally planning to go to this NGO I worked as a volunteer in last year. Will give those dear unprivileged kids some much deserved gifts 🙂 Really looking forward to that! Giving is such an addiction, if only I had a little more money to indulge in it more often 😦