“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas; Soon the bells will start, And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing, Right within your heart”.–Lyrics from the 1951 classic Christmas song by Meredith Willson
Mangalore: As I write this article, dated December 14, there are 11 days, 264 hours until Christmas?..Yes, it?s getting nearer! And I am really excited about it! This ought to mean that by the time it really comes, we should all be so fed up, all we want to do is sleep! And yet, I believe there is something inside each and every one of us, no matter how old we are, whether we have young children in our families or not, that goes ?ahhhhh? when we think of Christmas. Even if you don?t help out at your Church in the Christmas preparations, there are still plenty of things to do.
Bakers at Vas Bakery Bendur giving final touches to christmas Cakes
Yes, its already beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Mangalore, getting all geared for the big Christmas celebrations, with shops stocked up with Christmas decorations, twinkling Xmas stars, artificial Xmas trees; and bakeries are getting ready with their kuswars and cakes. Bakers at Vas Bakery Bendoor are working round the clock preparing and giving final touches to the variety of Xmas cakes, numbered in hundreds. Jewellery shops and up-class hotels have already erected their Christmas trees and decorated their premises. Churches are getting ready for the Christmas programme/mass and the choir groups are practicing thorough on the Xmas carols. Mangaloreans living abroad have already started coming down for Xmas holidays. Valencia Church had their first ever Christmas Carol and Songs Contest which was a grand success, ‘ White Doves’ put up Christmas Mobile shows at many venues, and there are still many Christmas music and drama shows lined up during the next few days.
I remember during my younger days going to the neighbouring hills and bringing home cut branches of pine tree to be set up as a Christmas tree and then decorate it with ornaments and lights ( with some string-light bulbs getting burned out within few minutes ?) – but these days you don’t have to take all that trouble, because you get China-made Xmas trees that all come decorated and lighted up too. We used to make traditional Christmas cribs with flowing water, fields ( made out of bean sprouts), green lawn etc ( just to find every morning and piss you off seeing the crib fields being dug up by cats and rats ??) -but that’s what you call traditional Christmas. But what happened to all the traditional style of Xmas, seems like Christmas is getting too commercialized and too modern these days. Oh well !
Let’s get in the mood for Christmas. Lets get in the groove of Christmas – I cant wait its almost Christmas (A time so dear) So much fun to wake up on Christmas, and spread the love and cheer. Let’s all gather round, Christmas is getting near, and its that time when love is in the air. We all had to wait through the year for this time to be here, because its that time when everyone cares. Positive energy as we laugh cheerfully having fun with family and friends (come on lets get in to it) Hang lights on the Xmas tree, hang a Santa Clause, decorate your place, and let the Christmas spirit begin.
There are chores to be done, letters to be written to our families and close friends, home-made kuswar to be made or cakes to be baked. Gift ideas to think of, shoe-boxes to fill, decoration themes to be dreamt up! Decisions to be made, do we have a real tree this year or the old tinsel one in the loft? Do we book tickets to a new movie release or just drive down to the Panambur or Ullal beach? Do we fish out the cards we bought when the local card shop closed down, or do we buy some full price new UNICEF charity ones?and are we going to send any cards at all ? or donate to charity? Lots to think of and do?..for all of us, just for one day, for 24 hrs, that will be done and dusted, and over before we know it, and the memory of it will be the unattractive Christmas Jumper, the pine needles that you?ll still be hoovering up or sweeping in March 2013 and the novelty soap basket that you got as Christmas gift that?s gathering dust on the bathroom shelf!
Christmas can also be a time when we engage with the God that invented it?It can be a time when we get all tingly inside, and traditional, and want nothing more than carols and candles, decorated Christmas trees and kuswar/cakes, and Mary and Joseph and Jesus and a manger. Yes, now the time is getting near?its 11 days, until Christmas?..11 more sleeps, 10 more mornings of waking up to God?s creation and writing all we want to do for Christmas on our calendars. I wonder when you are reading this how far the 25th Dec is? Not long, to get prepared, get ready, get excited, and get remembering WHO it is all really about. Merry Christmas to everyone of you well in advance. Ho..ho..ho..ho..
Author: Alfie DSouza- Illinois