Christmas, a day marked as the birth of Lord Jesus Christ is a festival of rejoicing to the Christians.
This brings about companionship coupled with enthusiasm and fervent activity in preparing for the grand day – planning for the celebration, gifts, carols, good food, gatherings and all this leaves behind memories to be cherished.
Namrita D’Souza, a Christian citizen of Udaipur said, “Christmas is always a fresh moment for us; it never gets repetitive, dull or boring. The excitement and enthusiasm for the preparation, decoration and celebration is always like it’s the first time we are reveling it.”
Preparations for Christmas begin at least a month in advance in Christian households. People get their homes whitewashed and indulge in cleaning of the house to give it a fresh and different look.
“I started my preparations for Christmas a month ago. There was so much to be done – cakes, chocolates, wines, cookies, tart, etc. and it all takes time, you see” said Namrita, elucidating her preparations for the big day.
A special cake is also prepared for the main occasion which is rich fruit cake with lots of fruits, cherry and rum as the main ingredient which is anxiously awaited not just by the entire family but also by the friends and neighbors (this time also by UT).
One of the greatest charms of this season is the Christmas carols (traditional Christmas songs), that radiate a spirit of warmth, generosity and goodwill that is always welcome, everywhere.
Explaining the Christmas Carols ritual, D’Souza said, “A group of young people from the community, along with Fathers, Santa and Sisters go door to door singing the carols and spreading the message of Christmas. Both my children go with the carol group and when I was young, even I used go.”
Elaborating on the carol tradition, she further said, “When the carol group comes they also judge the decoration of the house. They are coming to our home tonight and I have prepared dinner for them.”
Decorations are another important feature of this festival. Every house decorates a Christmas tree, a nativity (The birth of Jesus Christ), lighting and outdoor decorations and a star is put up on every Christian’s house.
Explaining the significance of the star she says, “The three kings who recognized Jesus as the Messiah while he was still a child, and traveled thousands of miles to worship him were led by a star from the east.”
The most exciting and awaited thing for children on the occasion, are the gifts from Santa.
Namrita smilingly said, “We keep the gift for our kids either under the pillow or in the red socks on Christmas eve. They are overjoyed when they see it because for them it’s a gift from their dear Santa.”
When asked about their plans for the Christmas Day she says “We will go to church to offer our prayers and then visit our friends and family to exchange wishes and presents.“