There is something magical about Christmas. Call me a romantic or dreamer , I love Christmas, every little drama associated with it. I like the Christmas movies, streets festooned with decorations and light, high streets and shops decked with twinkly Christmas lights, mad rush in the shops, Christmas fair and Markets. I wait with anticipation for the Regents street and Oxford Street lights to be switched on . When I walk back home in the evenings in to our street looking up at all the homes decked and lit up , windows with warm glow of lights, lovely Christmas Wreaths, I feel a sense of elation.
Having grown up in India, where Diwali is celebrated with more pomp and show, my exposure to Christmas was very limited and probably only limited to what you see on movies. When I moved to London, it was Autumn, and just about when the days are getting shorter and it gets dark very quickly. There were a plethora of conflicting emotions running around inside my brain.I was terribly homesick, missing my family and friends ,I was working full time in India, suddenly I had no where to go, although I had many things to do at home, I had no sense of purpose. I was trying to sort things out in a new City, and a new country, trying to make sense of and understand my surroundings and I was lost. It would get dark outside by 4.00 pm and very quiet, there were no birds chirping, no noise, one could almost hear the silence, which I found eery. India on the other hand is cacophonous , buzzing with noise and commotion.I used to live in Mumbai, a city which never sleeps. I could hear noises and chatters constantly , the neighbours television,the traffic, the odd conversations from neighbouring flats , you are surrounded by a constant babble. I was feeling miserable and terribly lonely, missing my work and my friends. I had no friends or family nearby for support. I would constantly wonder what have I brought upon myself and my husband who probably was facing the same challenges , would listen to me moan about being miserable. And then one day in late November we went to Oxford street, with no pretext, just exploring the new city we were in , and the Christmas Lights were on ! The theme that year was Enchanting Christmas. There were blue twinkling lights all over the street, I was so dazzled and captured by the sight, suddenly everything was bright and shiny. We wandered around and ended up in Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. The Christmas Market with little wooden stalls , selling all sort of gifts, ice skating rink with people happily gliding on ice , Christmas songs blaring on the speakers,smell of cinnamon and wine, smoke rising from foods stalls, I was drawn in to the festive cheer. That day on our way back home on the tube , I asked my husband, ” Do you think we should put some lights for Christmas at home. ? ” and he replied, “I suppose we could. “. And that is how our little Christmas tradition started.
We all have our favourite parts or moments of Christmas. My personal favourite moment of Christmas celebration is cooking Christmas dinner with my friend , and our respective spouses busy with PlayStation somewhere else in the home , dropping in to the kitchen from time to time to check on the status of food. And after the Christmas dinner, we would all gather in front of television with our dessert bowl in the hand, to watch a movie. I love the serenity of that moment, all the excitement ,talks and chatter drifts into a blissful sweet slumber.
I always associate Christmas with lights ,merriment and laughter. The numerous unknown people on that day, years ago, in the Christmas market, laughing with their friends and family , their cheery disposition cured me of my misery. Christmas gave me something to look forward to. Smiles and happy faces are infectious and you never know when cheerfulness can rub on you. So here is a wish this holiday season, have yourself a Merry little Christmas, spread the joy of laughter and happiness. This holiday season , you never know whose life you are lighting up..