Christmas was the most joyful season
of my childhood. The study table would become the base of the crib that father
made every year more or less in the same style. Palm leaves for the sides and
roof. The bed was made up of a kind of grass which was known as Unneesopullu
(Infant Jesus grass) since it was abundant in the Christmas season. [Now I find
it pretty tedious to cut off that grass which invades my garden like heartless marauders
carol group from the parish church and the midnight Mass were all part of my
childhood delights of the season. The petromax lamp carried by the carol team
was one of my chief attractions. There would be some fireworks too to add to
memorable Christmas of my life was in 1978. I was in Kotagiri as a student of
religion. One of my teachers took me along with a few others to a nearby church
in the evening to listen to carols. It was the first time I heard such
spellbinding rendition of carols. Silent Might and Hark the herald angels
still ring in my nostalgic memories. There was magic in that music. It took me
to a different world altogether. To the realm of angels.
Angels are an
integral part of Christmas. That’s the most charming thing about Christmas for
me. Heaven descends to touch me with its tender wings. Even when I lost my
religious faith, Christmas continued to exert a heavenly charm on my soul.
Christmas carols continue to add grace to my existence. Angels become real
through them and they soothe the ancient wounds in my soul.
heals. Every Christmas is an invitation to a new birth. As T S Eliot would say,
Christmas is the fruition of a long and painful journey that puts an end to the
old dispensation. Christmas is an invitation to the death of the old and the
birth of the new. It does matter that the New Year follows Christmas
accentuating the importance of a new birth.
A Christmas short story of mine: A mad man’s Christmas