A big ‘welcome back’ to dear Amanda!
Growing up in Kolkata, Chritmas was about having fruit cake and my hidden desire to get presents from Santa – as I thought that was what Christmas was all about. This was of course, when I was much younger and it ended probably when I was around seven or eight years old! My dad, who has always been very enthusiastic about everything, once bought us a plastic Santa Claus, about 6 inches tall with a very pink face. I was overjoyed. I remember putting it on the window sill, next to a very shiny ‘Christmas Tree’, that too was of a similar height and that was all the Christmas I needed. I did it every year, even long after I had gotten over the ‘getting gifts from Santa’ phase. I can’t really recollect why…but I guess that’s the fun part of being a child. Once, I remember, during my ‘Santa fascination’ phase, I had hung two school socks-one for me and one for my younger brother-hoping Santa would bring us some candies. While that was quite a last minute act, we were pleasantly surprised when we found some ‘5 star’ candy bars in them the following morning.
A lot has changed since then. We live in a country that does not let you miss Christmas. We too get in the festive spirit and put up our fake tree with presents underneath! Our son has a lot of fun decorating the tree with trinkets and keeps cookies and milk for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer. And every time I hang up Christmas stockings, I still think about the white school socks from many moons ago that I had hung outside my ‘moshari‘(Bengali for mosquito net). There are no more mosharis or the pleasant winters of Kolkata where the sweet winter sun embraces you in a strange warmth that I think only a Kolkata winter can bring. It’s usually all white and while the winter wonderland effect stays for some days, it disappears rather quickly when one has to dig out the car from under a pile of snow. But the snow does make things look pretty:
We are yet to put up our tree this year…may be we will do it tomorrow. But this year it has to be the smaller one, the one that is kept on a table top, as our baby girl has started ‘cruising’ and is very close to walking and a big tree, with what seems like a bit too many ornaments at times, probably would not be a good idea! Cards need to be sent out and some household items to a local organization that works with families in need, especially at this time of the year. The school/daycare our son goes to also does a similar thing and it helps the community to come together. While Santa will visit our house too, we try to make sure that out older one knows the spirit of giving that is part of this festive season. He is still small to fully comprehend the complexity of human life but the hope is to help him and his sister understand, gradually, to always do what is possible for those that need a helping hand.
Christmas lights are up on our main street, cars can be seen carrying Christmas trees tied to their roofs, sometimes in a precarious manner, shops are overflowing with things red and green, front doors are happily displaying Christmas wreaths. People are preparing in their own way I suppose, some getting ready to celebrate with near and dear ones while some probably are dreading the sudden rush. Some choose to stay away and some choose to overdo. Whichever way you choose to celebrate or not, we wish you happiness and peace and hope the year ends with you looking at all that you have done in spite of all the negativity that might have tried to upset your balance. Hope the new year brings you possibilities and you continue on creating what you love.
The photos are of Christmas past and present.
Thanks for stopping by. Have a good weekend! Posted for the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge.