Growing up in a neighborhood that was with a mix of people with different religions and their respective cultures brings back the vivid memories of today from the past, Christmas and the festivities that follow, the celebrations and preparations by young as well as old.
The kids were always excited about collecting items for Christmas tree, the crib, hut decoration, the list goes on with small statues of baby Jesus Christ, mother Mary, villagers, houses, dried grass, lighting, stars, shining balls, jingle bells and so on. Back then though, things were available readymade in the stores/market, unlike today, people believed in investing time in little things, call it a self-help or being self-reliant and satisfaction of doing their own decorations, however small or big. The afternoons a week before Christmas were spent mostly in the kitchen by women in preparing the sweet specialties with delicacies of mouth melting Dodol, Bebinca, the crispy Rose cookies, Kormolas etc.
Every locality had a group of zealous youngsters who hosted the celebrations which lasted till the new year and was open for public. The main attractions were the big hut with a unique scenery depicting Jesus’ birth and happiness all around, a big Star(bamboo stick make wrapped nicely with clean white cloth) with embossed “Wish you all a Merry Christmas” Christmas tree, big fat white Snow man, and an old man.
Most awaited daily evening game was the Housie(the game of numbers and luck), it could be bought as one ticket for two Rupees and three tickets for five Rupees. This game had two rounds, the first one was called “Jaldi Five”, which was over after calling out five random numbers from a glass jar and the next round went on till they got the winner. The last night that is the 31st December had special visitor Santa Claus, karol singing, games like treasure hunt and musical chair.
Here’s is to wishing all the readers a Merry Christmas! with these memoirs.