For it is in giving that we receive….
Ever since I was a little girl, Christmas was part of our festivity. We would come home for our winter holidays at the end of November, each year and get busy with Christmas celebrations. Being born and brought up in the verdant Tea Gardens of Assam this festival heralded the never ending celebrations of the winter months. After the “Children’s Christmas party” the Tea club’s celebrations would begin for the elders and till we turned to teenagers we had to make do with jam sessions on Sundays at the numerous clubs in the vicinity. And there were quite a few. Ours was Tingri Club, in Tinsukia District, of Assam.
The Christmas party was our event and therefore had to put in our 100%. There would be innumerable practice sessions for carol singing and plays to be put up on Christmas eve… And the best talent would be selected.I guess I auditioned well and got to play the part of Angel Gabriel once. We would help the elders to decorate the Christmas tree at the club which was really tall. The gifts were placed under the tree after we kids were long gone, making us believe that it was the good old Santa who being pleased with our good behavior rewarded us and fulfilled our wishes. We were little Santas ourselves, exchanging gifts between families, friends and business associates, bringing in the spirit of bonhomie,festivity and gaiety.
Few days before Christmas we would go to the houses of all our friends singing carols with candles. It would be more of an excuse to tuck into the delicacies offered by the hosts and for the grown ups, a little time to catch up on the latest gossips over a few drinks and snacks.
Our celebrations before the tea party would begin with numerous competitions both in arts and sports.And the prizes would be given at that momentous time, a badge of honour and definitely a feather on the cap of the school we studied in. This was always a bone of contention(as to whose school was better) between those of us who studied in the “Hill” schools like Shillong and Darjeeling and the schools in the “Plain” areas. And the never ending fights between the Boys team and the Girls teams. We would most often win.
Christmas parties were always delightful. Loads of yummy stuff which my Mom and the Ladies of the club would assiduously prepare, a time to show off their culinary skills. My Mom is a wonderful cook and was known for her puddings and cakes among the Tea circle, that are even talked about now. After the drama/play concluded , we would have the prize distribution,followed by a sumptuous high tea party. Not to mention the joy of opening up our gifts…. And we would dance away till the elders reminded us of our dead line to call it a day.
And year after year we celebrated Christmas..
“Christmas is a bridge. We need bridges as the river of time flows past. Today’s Christmas should mean creating happy hours for tomorrow and reliving those of yesterday.” ―