It sure is that time of the year when Dean Martin reminds you that you are just one snow-step away from Christmas. The weather outside turns chilly and the warmth of home embraces you with its wooly blanket and a cup of hot soup. Wherever in the world you are you can never get away from this quintessential feeling of a merry Christmas time. It is the Christmas that you carry in your heart that makes this seasonally joyous time more endearing. All those memories of Christmases past color your present days of merriment such that at the end of the festivities you agree with Andy Williams when he calls the Christmas time as the “most wonderful time of the year.”
This year my plans for Christmas are well underway. Contrary to my belief that Christmas celebrations in North India may not be as glorious as those in USA, I discovered the whole of Gurgaon steeped in Christmas revels. There are trees and ornaments in all the shops, the bakers are busy making the best fruitcakes and cookies, the restaurants are taking orders for Christmas parties. And on top of that the cold fogy mornings seem so much similar to the pre-snowy days in Nashville. All in all, I couldn’t be happier about this season of merriment.
We got our tree early this year. It is a small tree, three feet in height which I decorated with assorted Christmas ornaments. When I came back from USA I brought along with me a few of my Christmas decors which I thought I would cherish down the years to come. The idea of lonely Christmases with no tree in my house had almost welled up my eyes at that time since I never thought I would be able to use my Christmas goodies in India.
I couldn’t tell you how pleasantly surprised I was when contrary to my bleak expectations I noticed the first lot of Christmas trees coming to the shops. I bought the second tree I saw— the first one was only a feet in height—and came home feeling like a million dollars. Following which I scoured the whole city for ornaments to bejewel my little tree. I got ribbons and stars and little Santa ornaments and even made a couple of paper stars myself. For the next few days after I got my tree all my activities at home revolved around my tree. After my university I would come home, play Christmas classics and sit by the tree decorating it, enjoying it. And as I did that I couldn’t help but wonder how harboring two cultures in your heart, however different they might be, gives you the opportunity to enjoy their celebrations with élan. I consider my five-years in USA as a formative experience as a whole wherein the practices I gathered from the culture so ripened my taste buds and became a source of such fun and sport that I have decided to cling to them and cherish them through celebrations and merriment for as long as I shall live.
It feels great to enjoy the goodies of myriad cultures. And I feel that the distinctions that are drawn between two nations are more topographical than human. People acclimate to various cultures and make them their own. This truth may seem erroneous in a world where Facebook doesn’t exist; however, in our internet-centric set-up we are attuned to being cosmopolitan.
Harking back to the Christmas celebrations at home let me share with you the menu I have planned for the special day: homemade fruitcake with dried fruits soaked in rum, roasted chicken with mashed potatoes and homemade gravy and garlic bread. My good crockeries are out and so is my silverware. I feel in my heart as merry as Bob Cratchit’s family on Christmas Eve willing to forget all the ugliness that exists in life and indulge in the fleeting season of merriment. So here I am wishing you all a merry Christmas and hope that all your dear desires would come true in this season of joy and festivities.