Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas in the mountains

Convent school educated, brought up in an area with large Catholic population- Christmas means a lot to me. It means meeting friends and family for curiously coloured fried snacks and plum cake. It means carols sung off-key. It means over the top decorations. It means a lot of joy.
 I was missing the Christmas of my childhood when our neighbour asked me if I'd like to go to the Christmas eve service with him. 'Yes!' I said, and at 5:30p was ready in all the white, red and glitter I could wear.
It turned out to be a full car..several others were going to the same service. When we arrived, our little group effectively doubled the number of people in the pews. Used to Roman Catholic pomp and grandeur, this church seemed bare at first..When we started,  I realised I was not going to hear any of my favourite hymns- the service was in hindi. And then the nativity began..a magnificently ambitious but woefully unrehearsed musical.
And slowly, I got what I had come looking for. The church might have been small and bare, but it soon filled up with happy families. It was obvious that everyone in there knew each other and had played a part in making this night happen. The nativity was simple, but its managed to tell its story in a simple and honest manner that would have been lost with more props. I couldn't sing along, but the church was filled with voices singing- just a little reassuringly off-key. And on our way back, our gang was invited home by a colleague. 'The whole paltan?' I asked incredulously. 'Yes', she said, 'Its Christmas!'
And we went. She sat us down in her wonderfully decorated hall..full of trees and tinsel and a nativity and cottonwool snow. And then she fed us plate after plate of crunchy fried snacks and plum cake.It was Christmas.

Merry Christmas, everyone.


Ellie said...

love it! xx

nadi said...



Anonymous said...

I have been woefully behind in reading and commenting, but this made me tear up. I, too, was hoping for similar feelings this Christmas. Although the world did not end on 12/21/2012, I feel there is a definite shift in the air. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for reading my blog and thank you most of all for your friendship over the miles.

Hugs and a Happy New Year!