…is more happy memories! Below some of our readers share their favorite moments, feelings, and tastes of Christmas!
When money was scarce and we had to keep a small town cricket team afloat it was a yearly affair for the cricket team and all friends to go out carol singing in a big group in the night to all the houses in the nearby areas.
The households would offer us cakes, coffee and all of them would make a cash contribution to the club. The money we got from the Christmas season’s carol singing efforts would be used to buy cricketing gear and keep the cricketing activities going on for the next year. So what if I could not sing? The fun we had was awesome. Merry Christmas.
In Sri Lanka where I grew up, there were many children who didn’t have the incredible Christmas I had. Thus, in retrospect, the best Christmas memory I have from my childhood is going with my friends to the local orphanage, to spend a day close to Christmas with the orphans. We taught them the Christmas carols we knew and played Christmas-themed games with them. We then sang the Christmas carols whilst sharing lunch with them. I vividly remember the children loving the fruit-and-nut ice cream the most out of all the festive sweets we had brought for them. At the end of the day, we gave them Christmas gifts like coloured pens and sparkling notepads.
There is no better time to be a child than at Christmas, so my favourite festive memory lies in the hope that I made another child’s Christmas just a little better.
The Christmas Feasting starts at lunch for us. All our relatives join us at our home. The moms get into the kitchen to prepare lunch while we kids play. A dish my mom makes every year and that I love is spinach chicken curry. We have it with appam (South Indian bread made out of rice flour and coconut). It is something I look forward to every Christmas! Wishing you all a very merry “feastful” Christmas!
I love getting the Christmas decorations up all around the house. It gets us into the mood of Christmas and makes the atmosphere all jolly and stuff. My favorite piece of decoration is a huge poster of Santa winking. We’ve had it for ages and I remember staring at it from up close as a little girl and wondering who Santa was winking at. T’is the season to be jolly! Merry Christmas!
Things I remember about Christmas right from childhood is that I come from a family with the head of the family being an executive sous chef and so everything in its pure and natural form was brought into the house from fresh burgers to the freshest Christmas tree in store, which would be put up at the end of November; it would then be followed by the entire family getting together wearing Christmas colours to prepare sweets. Raisins would be soaked in rum for days, long letters explaining how good you’ve been throughout the year, and asking for that one big gift to be put in a Christmas stocking. Carols would be played until we’d go to bed; a lot of photographs were clicked while our faces would have flour on them.
Christmas in Goa would be getting home after midnight mass, changing into casuals, riding bikes, visiting people and drinking champagne and eating cake all night. Christmas in Mumbai would be paying to get a Santa to come over after midnight to wish your kids and giving them Christmas gifts to keep the spirit of Christmas and Santa Claus alive. Christmas would be even more joyful when the poor would get some of our very own belongings so that they too believe in the festive season. The games played in school would keep us wondering who our Christ mom was, showering us with gifts, letters, affection and love. Last but not the least, the tradition of kissing under mistletoe was followed wherever we saw it.
Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. The reason behind celebrating has always been the fact that God gave his son for us to have a relationship with Him. Hence the tradition of always sharing love and giving gifts started. The memories of Christmas are beautiful. Preparing sweets like Rose cookies, Guava cheese, kul-kuls, mazzapans, and milk cookies has always been the fun part. Also it’s fun when the family gets together to put up a Christmas tree. When in India, everyone celebrating this season will put up a Star in their balconies or home entrance. It’s a wonderful time of the year when we celebrate with friends and families, exchange gifts, sing Christmas carols and eat lots of sweets There’s nothing like relishing stuffed Turkey for Christmas dinner/lunch. My fond memories include going to people’s houses, beaches, holding the guitar and singing Christmas carols and lighting up everybody’s spirits
For me, Christmas became more beautiful and wonderful after my kids were born. Around that time I bought a Christmas candle (that I still have). Every year right before the family Christmas dinner I light that candle. It has kind of become a tradition. Looking forward to that christmas dinner with my family this year!
Preparations start in advance of the big day with enough time for making Goan sweets: Neuris, kal-kal, kormola, perrad(guava cheese), marzipan sweets, nan khatai(white snowball-looking biscuits) bolinhas and also into the more traditional dos, dodol and bibic/bebinca. In Mumbai, a sufficient number of days in advance, in some parishes, depending on the complexity, a Nativity/crib/manger scene is sometimes put up in the front yard or entrance of the house. These are sometimes entered into parish competitions. As people walk to or from Mass or pass by during the season they have a chance to stop and admire the creativity of that household. A Christmas tree of course needs to be put up and gifts for friends gradually laid out below it, which may be given as they come a-visiting. We also put up a Christmas star (with a bulb inside) on the exterior of the house.
We would prepare special dishes ranging from pulao or biryani accompanied by ‘sorpotel‘ which is a Goan curry made from diced pork and cooked a day or two in advance, also xacuti (mutton or chicken) and vindaloo (pork or chicken), roast chicken, roast beef or roast turkey .
After Christmas mass, we go a-visiting, and this is where the sweets prepared come into play to serve to guests. There would also be a Christmas lunch, with party bon-bon crackers, by the side of the plate, and always some form of alcohol of course, for us Goans! Then maybe a dinner at a friend’s or neighbour’s place and this carries on into the next days.
In Mumbai I remember in my late teens, when coming home from Christmas mass, my brother and I would buy these little throw-type crackers and have a laugh chucking them at the ground near our feet as we walked home. Not harmful at all; just makes a snappy pop/crack-noise when they hit the ground. I don’t know what they’re called, butwas fun anyway.
Also during Christmas dances were a common affair. Plenty fun, of course, with multiple live bands at the big events. In the old days, before curfew was imposed the party used to go on until 6 or 7 am with plenty of alcohol of course, for us Goans! But the whole spirit of Christmas is to try as far as possible to celebrate with your friends and near and dear. Nothing beats having company to celebrate with. It makes it a whole lot of fun, and of course with some form of alcohol of course, for us Goans! Viva Goa!
Comment below and share your own favorite Christmas traditions!